Feb 22, 2017 12:51 PM
CONCORD - With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Chris Sununu made it easier for many Granite Staters to carry concealed weapons.
In front of a large audience of Republican state lawmakers and gun rights activists, the governor Wednesday signed into law a measure repeals the need for a permit or license to carry a concealed handgun.
But a leading opponent of the new law, which takes effect immediately, warned that “we are going to see significant ramifications.”
As he signed the bill, Sununu said “it is commonsense legislation that finally aligns our concealed carry laws with those of our neighboring states of Vermont and Maine and other states across the country. This is about safety. This is about making sure that our laws on our books are keeping people safe while remaining true to that live free or die spirit that makes New Hampshire the great state that it is.”
The bill passed the GOP dominated state Senate by a 13-10 party line vote last month. Earlier this month, by a two-to-one margin, the measure easily sailed through the Republican controlled state House of Representatives.
Similar bills passed the GOP dominated state Senate and state House of Representatives the past two years, but were both vetoed by then-Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan. Her predecessor in the Corner Office, fellow Democratic Gov. John Lynch, vetoed similar measures in 2006 and 2011.
But Sununu, the first Republican governor in New Hampshire in a dozen years, had repeatedly said he’d sign the bill into law.
"This is a commitment that I made to the people of New Hampshire and today I’m proud to fulfill that commitment in signing Senate Bill 12 into law," the governor declared.
State Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley told NH1 News "what the opponents of this bill forget is that it’s about protecting the rights of law abiding citizens. We've not enabled criminals to have easier access to guns, nor should we. We want to make sure that law abiding citizens are protected and that they are not judged as to whether their suitable, if they’re a law abiding citizen and entitled to own a firearm, to be able to get a concealed carry permit.”
The Republican lawmaker from Wolfeboro and former congressman, who sponsored the bill, known formally as SB12, added that "this is a long time coming, but finally it has come."
He pointed to the neighboring states of Vermont and Maine, which don’t require permits to carry concealed handguns.
"As I’ve stressed repeatedly, Vermont is the safest state in the nation, and it’s never had a permit for a concealed carry. I think New Hampshire now will become even safer. Our ranking is good, but it will be better after this," Bradley added.
And he applauded the team effort in getting the legislation passed into law.
"We were able to bring everybody together," Bradley said. "I think that various groups that support the 2nd Amendment worked hard on this language a couple of years ago to make sure it was correct, that there weren’t any technical problems in it."
Warnings of 'significant ramifications'
Current law gives local police chiefs the right to determine if a person's "suitable" to carry a concealed weapon.
And opponents of the bill, including state House of Representatives Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff, argued that the current law worked.
"A concealed carry law has been in place for 94 years. It is often cited in FBI statistics as one of the safest states in the nation," said Shurtleff, a retired U.S. deputy marshal.
And he raised alarms, saying, "if this law is repealed, individuals who should not be carrying a concealed weapon such as those suffering from dementia and alcoholism will be permitted to carry a concealed weapon."
Longtime state Sen. Lou D’Alessandro, who opposed the bill, told NH1 News that "we have shootings in Manchester on a nightly basis. It’s a very dangerous thing to allow concealed carry. It’s very dangerous. The permit system worked well. Even Gov. Meldrim Thomson, the most conservative guy New Hampshire’s seen a in long time, supported the existing legislation."
"Why did we change it? Why? I have no idea. I have no idea. But we are going to see signification ramifications from the passage and the signing of this bill," the Democratic lawmaker from Manchester warned.
And Democratic state Sen. Dan Feltes, of Concord, criticized the new law, telling NH1 News, "I think it’s a misplaced priority."
1 hour 26 minutes agoAn Alton woman passed away Friday evening as a result of a two-car crash on Route 28 near Stagecoach Road. (More)
18 hours 11 minutes agoWhile executing a search warrant, police seized what is believed to be psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana, and butane honey oil. (More)
18 hours 5 minutes agoThe tenants of a home shot at on Tuesday have been evicted by the homeowner, who's an officer with Manchester Police Department. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 9:33 AMNew Hampshire State Police arrested to wanted fugitives after stopping a van full of people who entered the United States illegally. (More)
19 hours 31 minutes agoTwo influential members of New Hampshire’s state Senate predict that a bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession will pass their chamber. (More)
19 hours 39 minutes agoSnow fell faster than expected today, accumulating a few inches in parts of central and northern New Hampshire through late-afternoon. (More)
22 hours 51 minutes agoA woman is facing drug charges after being found in possession of heroin during a parole check-in. She was arrested for possession of a...
Mar 23, 2017 4:16 PMState Police rearrested a Wales man for stealing electricity from a Central Maine Power pole and transformer. (More)
Mar 23, 2017 4:59 PMA Stafford County corrections officer allegedly tried bringing thousands of dollars of drugs into the jail was supposed to get deployed. (More)
1 day 21 minutes agoIt's the first Friday of spring, but Granite Staters will have some snow to deal with. (More)
Mar 24, 2017 9:02 AMThe effort to crack down on drug-related crimes - known NH-wide as Operation Granite Hammer - led to the arrests of 2 suspected heroin...
Mar 23, 2017 3:02 PMA Keene man was indicted for allegedly strangling two of his then-girlfriend's cats. (More)
Mar 23, 2017 1:28 PMDemocrats filed a complaint with the ethics committee arguing Sununu violated rules against using his position to secure advantages for himself or others. (More)
Mar 22, 2017 5:27 PMNicole Guida, owner of Chic & Unique, a boutique shop located in Littleton, is requesting a jury trial against a former customer who caused...
Mar 22, 2017 6:02 PMA Strafford County corrections officer allegedly attempted to bring heroin into the jail before being detained by police. (More)
Mar 22, 2017 11:01 AMChelsea Blais plead not guilty to abusing children in her care at the Alpha Bits Learning Center, where police say she force fed and...
Mar 22, 2017 10:15 AMNYPD seized over $4.1 million and over three kilograms (6 pounds) of heroin, unraveling a multi-state drug ring — involving New England. (More)
Mar 22, 2017 4:06 PMNew Hampshire is often in the 'weather battle zone' this time of year, which isn't a good thing if you are looking for spring...
Mar 22, 2017 10:45 AMNew Hampshire’s top public officials Wednesday marked the death of state Sen. Scott McGilvray. The first term Democratic state senator from Hooksett and president...
Mar 22, 2017 7:33 AMThe National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory from 10 a.m. Wednesday to midnight. (More)
Mar 21, 2017 10:29 PMA report released on Tuesday by the state agency that licenses childcare centers revealed multiple incidents of verbal and physical abuse committed by a...
Mar 21, 2017 6:40 PMA mother and her friend who injected her with heroin while she was in labor in September 2016 will not be facing felony charges...
Mar 21, 2017 4:09 PMA 74-year-old Mass. man living in public housing for the elderly faces drug trafficking charges after police say they found cocaine valued at about...
Mar 21, 2017 12:09 PMDerry Police say a home was shot at and struck at least 6 times early Tuesday morning, but no one was hurt. (More)
Mar 21, 2017 12:26 PMA woman has been charge with assault against three infants at a Manchester day care center. The three victims are all younger than 1-years-old....
Mar 20, 2017 4:05 PMA man who pleaded guilty to supplying a person in Rochester with a deadly dose of drugs will spend between 8- and 16-years in...
Mar 20, 2017 4:01 PMOnlyInYourState.com has provided nine places in the Granite State where you might be able to spot a ghost. (More)
Mar 20, 2017 2:31 PMPolice are searching for a man who allegedly punched and injured another man at a diner in Manchester. (More)
Mar 20, 2017 3:56 PMA 21-year-old man destroyed his family home after trying to exterminate ants with wooden matches, killing their two cats and a dog. (More)
Mar 20, 2017 4:14 PMA state representative cited house rules when she told a New Hampshire man to stop recording a committee meeting - rules that apparently do...
Mar 19, 2017 5:08 PMA new kind of roller coaster experience is set to premiere next month at Six Flags New England. (More)
Mar 20, 2017 9:40 AMAuthorities say Super Bowl LI and Super Bowl XLIX jerseys "found in the possession of a credentialed member of international media." (More)
Mar 18, 2016 10:37 AMA drug sweep on Thursday afternoon and evening netted four arrests, a pound of suspected cocaine and $7,000 in cash. (More)
Mar 19, 2017 11:56 AMDisney's live-action 'Beauty' was a beast at the box office, opening with an estimated $170 million in North American ticket sales and setting a...
Mar 19, 2017 10:06 AMToll booth workers could be a thing of the past under a bill before the New Hampshire House. (More)
Mar 19, 2017 10:48 AMA Windham man sustained life-threatening injuries when his snowmobile collided with a tree. (More)
Mar 19, 2017 11:23 AMA snowmobiler fell through thin ice, causing a difficult rescue by Wakefield Fire and EMS. (More)
Mar 18, 2017 1:33 PMA Boscawen man is accused of driving 104 mph in a 65 mph speed zone around 9:40 a.m. Saturday. (More)
Mar 17, 2017 5:07 PMAn Exeter High School guidance counselor has pleaded not guilty to aggravated sexual assault against an underage female student. (More)
Mar 17, 2017 4:26 PMA Pembroke mother held a gun to her daughter's head and shouted "You (expletive) piece of (expletive)," according to court paperwork. (More)
Mar 18, 2017 8:24 AMUtility crews are still mopping up in New Hampshire after a powerful nor'easter. (More)
Mar 17, 2017 11:30 AMA 62-year-old man passed away after his snowmobile got stuck in while attempting to get up a hill on Trail 21 in Stewartstown. (More)
Mar 17, 2017 1:13 PMThe Nashua Police Department arrested five more people for various drug-related crimes in connection with Operation Granite Hammer Thursday. (More)
Mar 17, 2017 10:37 AMCitizens Bank is experiencing transaction delays affecting customer accounts. The company acknowledged the problem on its social media accounts Friday. (More)
Mar 17, 2017 8:42 AMThe New Hampshire Attorney General identified the man who was found dead in a Farmington home Wednesday. (More)
Mar 17, 2017 7:52 AMA Pembroke mother is facing charges after allegedly pointing a gun at her daughter during an argument. (More)
Mar 17, 2017 8:22 AMPolice responded to the hotel around 11:30 p.m. to find a 43-year-old man that was "actively" bleeding due to severe injuries on his face....
Mar 16, 2017 3:35 PMAn Effingham woman pleaded guilty to selling fentanyl that caused the death of a Wolfeboro man. (More)
Mar 16, 2017 3:09 PMProsecutors recently filed a motion to revoke Earle's bail after learning she is back together with the boyfriend in question. (More)