Ignores the constitutional rights of law-abiding New Hampshire gun owners
Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today criticized New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan for vetoing legislation that would have protected the Second Amendment rights of New Hampshire's law abiding gun owners. Senate Bill 116 would have expanded New Hampshire's permitless open carry law to include permitless concealed carry, which allows individuals who are not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm the right to carry concealed without a permit.
"This was a common sense bill that would have protected law-abiding gun owners from inadvertently breaking the law," said Chris W. Cox, executive director for NRA-ILA. "Since lawful gun owners in New Hampshire can already carry firearms openly without a permit, they should not become criminals just because they put on a jacket or place their firearm in a purse or briefcase."
New Hampshire residents already have the right to carry a firearm openly without a permit as long as they are not prohibited by law from possessing a firearm. However, under current law, if a firearm becomes covered by a coat or if a woman prefers to carry a firearm for protection in her purse, he or she would need a concealed carry handgun license. The proposed legislation would have simply extended permitless open carry to permitless concealed carry, allowing law-abiding gun owners to protect themselves and their loved ones in the manner that best suits their needs. New Hampshire's permitting system would have remained the same under the bill.
"Governor Hassan's veto sends a clear message that she is listening to billionaire gun-control activist Michael Bloomberg over New Hampshire voters," continued Chris Cox. "On behalf of the NRA's five-million members, I am disappointed Governor Hassan has chosen to disrespect the constitutional rights of her constituents."
Gun control groups funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg worked to defeat similar bills in a number of states, including neighboring Maine. Despite the Bloomberg misinformation campaign, however, the Maine legislation is awaiting Governor LePage's expected signature.
In the three states that have had similar permitless carry laws on the books for a measurable amount of time, murder rates have gone down; declining by 23 percent in Alaska, 16 percent in Arizona, and eight percent in Wyoming. Kansas signed similar legislation into law earlier this year.
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America's oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. More than five million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at NRA on Facebook and Twitter @NRA.