Crime & Public Safety

CITIZEN VOICES®

Should NH allow residents to carry concealed firearms without a permit?

Mar 01, 2016

On Monday, March 14th, the NH Senate Judiciary Committee will consider HB 582, a bill to repeal the license requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver. Currently, NH requires that individuals who wish to carry a concealed pistol or revolver apply for an additional permit, which costs $10 and is valid for 4 years. Last year a similar bill, SB 116, passed the full House and Senate but was vetoed by Governor Hassan.  Hassan said that "NH's concealed carry permitting law has worked well for nearly a century ... law enforcement, as well as citizens ... oppose removing the protections that the licensing process offers to help ensure that potentially dangerous individuals are not allowed to carry hidden weapons." Read more about this issue. 

"Should NH allow residents to carry concealed firearms without a permit?"

Concealed Carry NH Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 537 participants gave 1,713 responses.

A total of 91% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 9% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 1713 responses from 537 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said

Yes: A strong majority, at 83% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were in favor of eliminating the permit requirement for carrying concealed.

  • “If you can lawfully open carry without a license, then you should be able to conceal carry without a license.”
  • “Constitutional carry works perfectly fine in Vermont and other states, and there is no reason it wouldn't work equally well here.”
  • “Someone who wants to carry a concealed firearm for nefarious purposes isn't going to bother with a permit anyway. No law abiding legally permitted citizen should be required to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. I have no issue with offering a permit to allow for reciprocity with other states however.”

No: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 17%, opposed eliminating the permit requirement.

  • “We have enough problems. [We] don't need people who shouldn't have guns carrying them without a permit.”
  • “I have no problem paying the fee for my concealed permit. Our system has worked fine and since it’s not broke, there's nothing to fix.”
  • “I am pro constitutional carry. Keep the permit system in place for reciprocity purposes.”

Other: As noted above, 9% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Clarifying the applicability of various gun permits: “A pistol and revolver permit has nothing to do with the sale of guns. The permit only allows you to carry concealed and in a vehicle.”
  • Discussing the relevancy of the debate: “Given that the permitting process in NH is a very minor paperwork exercise and a $10 fee, there is very little difference between having a permit and not having one. Add to it the fact that NH is an open carry state permitting anyone to open carry anywhere except in a court building, there is very little difference between having a permit and not having one.”
  • Suggestions for alternative gun control measures: “I believe that a person should have to pass a minimum competency test in order to carry a weapon beyond the confines of their property.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

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Related Bill

HB 582 (2015)
Bill Status: Vetoed by Governor
Hearing date: Feb 19, 2015

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