Subject: Urge Governor Sununu to Veto SB 12, Permitless Carry
Please contact Governor Sununu today and urgently request that he stand on the side of public safety and veto SB 12.
SB 12 is another attempt by the gun lobby to allow anyone in New Hampshire to legally carry a hidden, loaded weapon. New Hampshire law currently allows anyone to open carry a weapon so long as they are not prohibited from owning a firearm, but to conceal carry you must have a license issued by local police or officials. New Hampshire does not require applicants to have a specific reason for conceal carry –self-protection, the protection of property, or target practice are all considered proper purposes – but our law does require that the applicant is a “suitable person” to be licensed.
If SB 12 were to pass, New Hampshire is opening the door to allow dangerous individuals to legally carry hidden, loaded handguns. Without the concealed carry license process and the suitable person criteria, individuals known to be dangerous and with a track record of violence will be able to legally carry hidden, loaded handguns. For example, if an individual in a community is a known domestic abuser but has yet to be indicted, or has a habit of getting into bar fights, current New Hampshire law thankfully provides our local police departments with the ability to reject their concealed carry application. Under SB 12, these individuals will be able to legally conceal carry. Local law enforcement will also be forced to issue voluntary concealed carry licenses to these individuals should they apply for the voluntary license in order to travel to other states which do require licenses.
Our current, common-sense law has been in place since 1923 and has worked well. Former Governor Maggie Hassan vetoed similar repeal bills multiple times, citing public safety concerns from law enforcement and others. The NH Police Chiefs Association has testified against these bills repeatedly over the years. What's more: other states that have permitless carry have other laws in place such as firearms training requirements, or restrictions on where concealed carry is allowed -- New Hampshire has none of these public safety measures. We shouldn’t remove the minimal protection that the New Hampshire concealed carry permit system has provided in the past. The NH State Senate and State House both fast-tracked this bill, and Governor Sununu has promised to sign it as soon as it hits his desk. Please contact Governor Sununu today and urgently request that he stand on the side of public safety and veto SB 12.