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Jul 6, 2015 4:54 PM

Gov. Hassan vetoes bill to repeal concealed weapon permit requirement

NH1 News

CONCORD - Residents still cannot carry a concealed weapon without a permit in New Hampshire.

Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed the bill passed by the Republican-led legislature that would have repealed the law requiring government permission to carry a concealed weapon.

Hassan has been clear about her position for a while. Click here to read the statement she posted on her website back in April, stating the state’s current concealed permitting law has worked well for a century and balances Second Amendment rights with public safety.

Existing law states that if you can legally buy a gun, you can carry it openly. However, if you want to tuck it into your purse or under your jacket, you need a permit. Those permits are issued by police. If a resident is denied a permit, they would have to take the appeal to court.

Gun lobbyists say police shouldn’t have that much power and not everyone can afford to arm themselves with a lawyer to fight their court battle.

In a response sent to NH1 News, The Women’s Defense League stated, “To the abused or staked woman who needs to immediately protect herself, this could literally be deadly. These women would either have to become criminals and risk breaking the law thanks to the state-sanctioned discrimination.”

The NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action released this statement:

“This was a common sense bill that would have protected law-abiding gun owners from inadvertently breaking the law,” said Chris 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.”

Senate Majority Leader and the bill’s prime sponsor, Senator Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) said, “For over 200 years Vermont has allowed its citizens who are legally able to own a firearm to also carry a concealed weapon without having to seek a permit first. Vermont has the distinction of being the nation’s safest state according to the FBI.”

The legislature could override the veto with two-thirds support. Political insiders—including NH1 Chief Political Correspondent Kevin Landrigan - said that’s not likely.

If you feel strongly about your right to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, you can move to Vermont — the closest of the four states that don’t require you to have one.

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