In a victory for gun rights activists, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on Wednesday signed legislation that will allow concealed carry without a license in his state, the latest in a string of states that have adopted so-called “Constitutional carry” laws.
The law takes effect immediately, according to the Concord Monitor.
Using the language of gun prohibitionists, Gov. Sununu called it “common-sense legislation,” the newspaper noted.
“This is about making sure that our laws on our books are keeping people safe while remaining true to the live-free-or-die spirit,” the Republican governor stated.
While eliminating the need for a carry license, it is still possible for residents to obtain one for reciprocal carry in other states. The new law also extends the life of a carry license to five years, the National Rifle Association noted in a press release.
It is a major defeat for the gun prohibition lobby. It also is a reversal of philosophy in the Governor’s office. Former Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, vetoed similar legislation.
The new law was sponsored by State Sen. Joe Bradley (R-3).
Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action issued a statement: “New Hampshire now joins an ever-growing number of states in passing constitutional carry. Despite the best efforts of Michael Bloomberg-funded groups to distort the truth, the New Hampshire legislature and governor stood strong for freedom.”
“Constitutional Carry” is an idea that is slowly gaining ground in the states. Second Amendment activists have argued that they should not need a license or permit to carry a firearm in a peaceful manner for their personal protection. These activists see such requirements as a Second Amendment infringement.
States where “Constitutional Carry” is already legal include Arizona, Alaska, Vermont, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Kansas and West Virginia. Idaho and Wyoming allow it for residents only. A statute in Arkansas is still reportedly in dispute.
These laws typically recognize the right of law abiding citizens to carry firearms. They do not make it possible for criminals to carry, as opponents have intimated. This is essentially the same assertion that gun prohibitionists are using to fight national concealed carry reciprocity/recognition. A bill is now before Congress that would make it legal for licensed residents of one state to carry in other states, provided they behave under the host state’s laws.