The New Hampshire House has rejected HB 451, a bill that had sparked wide debate and would have enabled residents to carry a concealed weapon without first obtaining a permit from the local police. Supporters of the bill wanted New Hampshire to join Vermont in its ‘constitutional carry' laws, while opponents said the current law is working.
Opponents of HB 451
HB 451 would have repealed the current law that requires a permit to carry a concealed pistol or revolver. The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee did not support the bill, and voted 14-4 in favor of killing the bill, followed by a 226-144 House vote against the bill.
Opponents of the bill said that it would have nullified New Hampshire's reciprocity agreement with some states that currently allow those with concealed carry permits to carry in other states. Democrat Rep. Renny Cushing, (Hampton) said that the “current law in the state of New Hampshire requiring a permit from the local community selectmen or local police is working. It's a good policy we have in place and I suggest we keep it.”
In Support of HB 451
In Vermont and other states that have a ‘constitutional carry' policy, convicted felons and others who are banned from owning guns are not able to carry firearms. HB 451 would have continued to bar them from gun ownership. Republican Rep. John Burt (Goffstown) said “The bad guys never have permits. It's just funny that way. But the government says we the good guys must have permits.” Burt said that he supported the bill because he believes in his “God-given right to own a firearm,” and said that law- abiding citizens should not be required to seek a permit from the local police chief, town selectmen, or government body, the Union Leader reported.