Granite State Progress Statement on Governor Sununu Signing Law to Allow Sex Offenders and Other Dangerous Individuals to Legally Carry Hidden, Loaded Weapons (SB 12)
Sununu signed bill to overturn 94 year old New Hampshire public safety law that NH Police Chiefs, public safety advocates had urged him to keep in place
Concord, NH – Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins on Governor Chris Sununu (R) signing into law SB 12, which overturns a 94 year old concealed carry licensing law and allows individuals with a track record of violence to legally carry hidden, loaded weapons:
“We are extremely concerned that Governor Sununu chose to side with the gun lobby over local police chiefs and public safety advocates. SB 12 is a poorly written law that jeopardizes public safety by allowing sex offenders and other dangerous individuals to legally carry hidden, loaded weapons. Requiring a license to carry a concealed weapon has worked well for New Hampshire for the last 94 years, and Governor Sununu should have kept the law in place. It is reasonable to deny concealed carry licenses to those who are a danger to themselves or others.”
“Over the past 30 years, the gun lobby has pushed states to dramatically weaken firearms laws. Instead, we should look at strong public safety measures that can be taken to balance the rights of individuals with the safety of our communities. New Hampshire’s concealed carry law was already among the most lenient in the country, even before Governor Sununu completely abolished it. More than half of the states in our country require that a concealed carry applicant demonstrate that they have received some firearms training, and almost every state also imposes at least some restrictions on the locations in which concealed weapons may be carried, especially in places where disputes frequently occur. For example, states like Alaska and Wyoming which don’t require concealed carry licenses do restrict concealed carry in bars or other establishments which serve alcohol. Vermont, which has permitless carry, bans firearms in grade schools, whether worn openly or hidden away. New Hampshire has none of these other public safety laws and Governor Sununu hasn’t stepped up to advocate for them either.”
Prior to today’s bill signing, New Hampshire law allowed local police departments to deny a license when there was a reason to believe a person is a danger to themselves or others. In 2004 Senate President Chuck Morse and several other Republicans voted against a similar repeal bill. Former Governor Maggie Hassan (D) vetoed several similar bills. Governor Sununu’s close primary competitor, Frank Edelblut, had made permitless carry a top campaign priority. More information about how concealed carry laws work and a break-down of concealed carry laws in other states is available by request.
Granite State Progress is a progressive advocacy organization that addresses issues of immediate state and local concern. Granite State Progress works as a communications hub for the progressive community to provide a strong, credible voice in advancing progressive solutions to critical community problems.