A bill’s moving through the New Hampshire legislature that would make it unnecessary to get a concealed carry license…as long as residents don’t plan on leaving the state. Happy to carry, live free and/or die pretty much in your own back yard? Well then the proposed law, which will get a Senate vote on Wednesday, would let New Hampshirites pack heat sans permit anywhere gun possession is legal. The only reason you’d need a piece of paper would be to travel to another reciprocal state. Of course, even in the cramped quarters that is New England, the only state nearby that honors a NH CCW license anyway is the constitutional carry haven of Vermont. But don’t get too excited if you’re a Granite Stater, ’cause Governor John Lynch has promised a veto. So given the propensity for a lot of gun owners to minimize .gov involvement whenever possible, would you get a license if you didn’t have to?

38 Responses to Question of the Day: Would You Get a CCW Permit if it Were Optional?

  1. So funny, isn’t John Lynch a Democrat? He’s against medical marijuana too. So “liberal”. Man, Americans love tyranny!

    • You beat me to it, though as a soon to be NH resident I’ve got to say that I prefer their gun laws over their drug laws. NH has always been a Shall Issue state, it didn’t need to jump on the bandwagon in the 80’s & 90’s like most current SI states. In addition to this, anyone that wants to carry openly may do so without a permit, and getting said permit involves $10 and has a maximum waiting time of 7 (or maybe 14) days. Their marijuana laws, on the other hand, are draconian and still have mandatory minimums for possession. Pretty ridiculous for a state that has “Live Free or Die” on their license plates.

      For the record – I don’t smoke weed… I would if I liked it, but I don’t, so I don’t. That said, if scotch were suddenly illegal tomorrow I’d be breaking the law alongside all the pot heads… it’s exactly none of the government’s business what grown adults put in their bodies.

  2. I probably wouldn’t get the license. I believe responsible carry is a right, not a privilege. I also don’t feel very threatened by private criminals and believe open carry is much more effective than concealed carry, and most states don’t require a license for that.

  3. As I understand it, having the optional CCW in AZ lets you carry in a few places that would otherwise be off limits.
    And of course there’s reciprocity issues, too.

  4. It is optional in AZ. There are benefits: you can carry in an establishment that serves liquor as long as you’re not drinking. And of course it’s nice for reciprocity purposes. One reason that hasn’t been mentioned yet: there’s no need for an “instant” background check when purchasing a gun if you have a CCW.

    • No NICS check? Seriously? Isn’t that against the law?

      We get to skip the three-day waiting period here in FL with one but the NICS background check is a must for every transfer of a gun (including purchases) through an FFL.

      • In some states (God Bless Texas), the background check required to get a CHL is sufficient enough for the ATF to count it as a portable NICS approval. So all you have to do is fill out the paperwork, whip out your two or three pieces of plastic (license, CHL, and debit card [optional]), and savor in the time you didn’t have to spend waiting on a phone call.

        • +1 for Idaho – no NICS checks on buying any gun at a dealer or a dealer table in a gun show. Fill out the paper, use the CWL (concealed weapons license) as your ID, walk out with the gun. FFL dealers love it – speeds up the transaction by quite a bit.

          That’s one reason to have one even if you don’t need it. The other is travel. Idaho’s CWL is recognized in most free states that I travel through – not recognized by the People’s Republics (IL and CA), but most of the western states. And one of these days we will get nationwide reciprocity through Congress and signed (I hope) by Romney. That will certainly put the anti-gunners’ knickers in a bunch.

  5. In Alaska, all people who can legally purchase and own a pistol can legally carry without a permit. I believe this is right – the bill of rights recognizes preexisting basic human rights – it neither creates these rights not gives permission to enjoy those rights – it protects them.
    However, I have a permit, and recommend that others get a permit as well. The reciprocity is a major advantage, and Alaska permits have very good reciprocity. Another reason is that it can be a legal advantage to show that a crime victim who defended himself/herself was responsible and diligent in seeking training. Even if a person is not going to get a permit, I recommend taking a good, documented armed defense course.
    In AK, a non-permit holder has all the same rights as a permit holder, and actually has some increased protection in that they do not have a permit that the government can revoke, preventing him from carrying in the future.

  6. Under Federal law, it’s a crime to knowingly bring a gun within 1000 yards of a school. There are exceptions, and the most important one is that the 1000-yard Federal rule doesn’t apply to state permit holders. In a locale where there’s a school every ten feet, having a permit from the state where you carry might be a big deal. Or not.

    There’s a nasty little surprise within the exception. The permit holder exception only applies if the the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verified that the individual was qualified under law to be licensed. What constitutes verification? I don’t know.

    FYI, Lynch is a dick who vetoed SYG and the Castle Law in NH; the legislature overrode his vetoes of both.

    • My understanding of this law though is that a Federal LEO must accuse you of the crime, not local or state LEO. Example, you are carrying and pulled over by local cop within 1000 yds of the school. Would it be correct that the local cop can not enforce this federal law??

    • I am pretty sure that the federal GFSZ is 1000 feet rather than yards. Of greater concern as more people carry and travel is that the license exemption is only good in the state which issued the license. Applying common sense (silly thing to do with regard to law, I know) to the section that concerns you as a “nasty little surprise” would seem to be covered by the initial background check before the license is issued.

      • An initial background check is not require in every state for a license. And if there is a background check without a fingerprint check, is that sufficient?

        The GFSZA is a trap for the unwary.

  7. So long as there are extra benefits (reciprocity, skip the three-day waiting period for handguns, etc.) then yes. Otherwise, not a chance – why would you? Any license anywhere is supposed to confer benefits you can’t enjoy without that license, and those benefits are usually substantial.

    That said, seeing as how I’ve already got a CC license (we don’t do permits here in FL, just licenses) there’s no question for me. When it comes time to renew it in seven years for $75 (or whatever they’re charging by then) we’ll see – answer’ll probably be yes, though.

  8. I live in NH and just got my CCW last week (called a “pistol permit” in NH). I got it so I could bring my handgun to the range without having to lock it in the trunk. I currently don’t see myself needing the reciprocity with other states so I probably would have saved myself the $10.00 for the permit.

  9. All the supposed benefits of a CCW involve counter-acting already existing infringements (background check, waiting period, reciprocity, school gun-free zones, etc). The question should be “are you willing to accept an infringement on your rights if that infringement counteracts other infringements?”

    The answer, of course, is “I will NOT accept ANY infringements on my natural, inherent rights!”

    • All the supposed benefits of a CCW involve counter-acting already existing infringements

      That is 100% correct.

      I will NOT accept ANY infringements on my natural, inherent rights!

      I don’t “accept” any infringements, but I am stuck with them. The Massachusetts Correctional Facility may be lovely this time of year, but not for me.

      • It’s certainly understandable and I don’t blame anyone for not risking a prison sentence for lofty principles.

        But no revolution/restoration was ever successful by just going along to get along.

        • But no revolution/restoration was ever successful by just going along to get along.

          Absolutely, which is why I like it when the government is sued. As with Heller and McDonald, nobody got shot or imprisoned and the good guys won. These were perfect cases, since the plaintiffs risked nothing (they had not broken any law) and all the risk of loss was on the governments. Talk about the shoe being on the other foot!

          Sometimes, there is a meaningful and powerful middle ground between suicidal resistance and pitiful acquiescence. Understanding the system means knowing how to work it. More often than most people know, victory is there for the taking.

        • Unfortunately, now is one of the worst times in history to go to law school. Unless you have a lot of money laying around, you will acquire a lot of debt. At the same time, the implosion of the world economy hit the legal profession extremely hard, and legal jobs haven’t rebounded to any significant degree since then. The combination of the two means that law school is a recipe for medium to long-term suffering right now.

        • Your prudent approach is right, of course… I’m likely just too impatient to apply it successfully.

        • You might be impatient, but you’re also smart enough to nail the bastards legally. The real question is, are you rich enough or connected enough to handle the cost? Heller and McDonald had financial backing from the SAF. Without it, they’d be sunk.

    • By your post, I assume that you choose to carry even though you wont get a pemit because it infringes your rights.

      Thatll work well for you if your ever found CCing while getting pulled over.

  10. I travel to other states often to visit family, so my answer would be yes simply for reciprocity sake. As I live in the socialist rebulic of IL right now, I would be happy with any kind of CCW.

  11. Live in a state where I don’t have to get a permit. Did get a permit. Reasons:

    No NICS check when buying a gun (saves money on gun purchases), out of state recip, and if I’m stopped in the course of business as a gunsmith with a bunch of iron in the passenger compartment, the CCW is a way to make the LEO’s just go away and quit asking about whether or not I can actually pack around all that iron. Most all cops know what a CCW is now in the states where I travel. They don’t all know what to do with a Xerox copy of a FFL…

  12. In answer to the original question: Yes, I would get a CCW even if it was optional and this would remain my answer until the SCOTUS strikes most state and local gun laws and declares Constitutional carry to be in effect in all states and territories. Not holding my breath for that to happen any time soon…

    • +1

      In practical terms, this is the right answer. Hopefully some day, we’ll get to nationwide recognition of the Second Amendment, but until that day, we have to deal with the reality that having a permit makes things a lot easier.

  13. Having to get a permit if required? Yes.
    Getting a permit if not required? Not so much.
    I think legislatures go nuts in regard to handgun laws, but that is just me.

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