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(ironically eough, courtesy

We haven’t reported on New Hampshire Bill SB 0116 before now. It’s simple and elegantly titled: AN ACT repealing the license requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver. The arguments against the bill are best summarized by a letter to the editor from “Live Free or Die” state resident Mark Sherwood published at No need to click over, really. It’s the usual “I support the Second Amendment, but blood in the streets” rant. There’s not a lot of info on the battle on the Interwebz; we’ll be watching its progress as best we can. But can you imagine Constitutional Carry in the state bordering Massachusetts? It would be … epic. All hail the Manchester Union Leader whose recent editorial proclaims “New Hampshire should eliminate the unnecessary permit and allow all legal gun owners to carry concealed.”

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  1. Yep, the dominoes are falling. They will gather speed, and snap, we have nationwide constitutional carry. By 2020.

    • Extremely unlikely. While the courts are bound to force states into permitless open carry, they won’t. They also say concealed carry is a privilege. The chances of the California and NY, NJ, etc legislatures passing permitless carry is about 0%. Unless you know of some other mechanism I don’t.

      • Well it technically can happen, IF the people of all the states call for a constitutional convention, then through it force an amendment to the constitution be added. That is ll technically possible by the constitution. Probable absolutely not.

      • You and Frank worked as anaylists for the CIA in 1989 and predicted communism would rule eastern Europe for at least another 100 years and the wall would not come down. Amirite?

    • What could possibly be clearer than “shall not be infringed”? Someone supposedly libertarianish constitutional lawyer said that libel, slander, and other laws violating the 1st amendment guarantees of free speech and free press don’t actually violate free speech, because the amendment says “Congress shall make no law …; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;”; it doesn’t prohibit abridging “freedom of …” but “the freedom of …”, which means a specific idea, not a generic idealistic concept, and this specific idea was understood to not be absolute and to allow laws against slander, libel, etc.

      Confused? Think that’s a new low even for quibbling political constitutional lawyers? Then you have shown yourself to be an optimist par excellence, and unsuited for life in reality.

      • I’m confused. Are you trying to say there shouldn’t be laws against libel/slander, or are you just saying the lawyer’s arguments are poor? Because I absolutely think there should be laws against libel/slander, but agree that the lawyer’s argument isn’t the best.

        Libel and slander consist of statements (written or spoken, respectively), known to be or believed to be false by the person making the statement, with the intent of damaging another’s reputation. Since libel and slander are therefore unjustly (because they know/believe the statements to be false) harming another person (through damage to their reputation), they are not protected by the first amendment any more than assaulting or murdering someone is protected by the second.

        A distinction must be drawn, however, between libel/slander and insults/criticism. If speech falls in the latter categories and not the former, the speaker knows or believes his statements to be true, and is therefore justified in their speech, just as one reacting to reasonable fear of harm is justified in ending the perceived threat.

      • @JJ48: Both, I suppose. The problem I have with libel / slander is that the distinctions are too damned fuzzy. The best counter to offensive speech is more speech; slanderers and libelers will make themselves known as such, and the people who want to believe will do so regardless.

        Any crime / civil action which is so vaguely defined should be unenforceable.

        But my main point is that even if the bill of rights were clearer and simpler (why the distinction between speech and press?), leaving anything in government hands is begging for corruption.

    • VT is already, second hearing here in Maine on Friday on a bill with 96! co-sponsors and a friendly Governor, and now NH. Finally taking the real New England back from CT, MA, and NY.

    • It may happen in most states by 2020, but not all. Gun rights groups in RI, CT, Mass, CA, NY, NJ, and MD are on the defensive.

    • The screeching and wailing is a positive sign. They are growing desperate. The uncommitted and GC-sympathetic are apt to sense the irrationality and start paying attention to the substance in the debate.

  2. I would much rather see some kind of basic safety classes and firearm familiarity for concealed carry myself. Already way too many idiots with guns in my area, WA State. Also think that a class in legal implications of self defense is something that anyone that has a permit or carries should take or at least be familiar with the concepts. Way too easy to make a mistake in the heat of the moment and end up in jail or prison yourself if you don’t know what is legal and what is not.

    • I agree that it’s a good idea to be knowledgeable of the law and proficient with your tools. The government saying “you must”, not so much.

      • Allowing the government to set standards that must be complied with before you are “permitted” to exercise your natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms is the exact definition of INFRINGED.

        This is not a difficult concept.

      • And by the way, how is all that government mandated training working out for our esteemed law enforcement officers? Seem to recall some stats here not long ago that more LEOs commit crimes than non-LEOs and that non-LEO CCW (unconstitutional) permission slip holders are less likely to shoot the wrong person.

        I lived in Washington and had a CPL. I trained myself on how to shoot and when, because I was a responsible citizen. If you don’t, and you’re not, your ignorance will catch up with you at some point.

    • i love training and thing all should do it…. but not by mandates. the morons comes in all shapes n sizes the oops each year are roughly 500 a year. that is a tiny fraction of people falling. yep walking around and falling to their doom.

      there something called natural selection. morons tend to oops together. let them! they end up out of the genetics pool or in prison. those morons could take dozens of classes and still they will “oops” they will oops till they die. worst is they kill thousands in cars 1 or 2 even families at a time. i prefer them to oops their brains out instead.

      if you look at all stupid deaths each year non criminal, non desease, gun oops are less the .001% gun laws… none of them help citizens, they only help Criminals.

    • Oh dear, you must be new here Gatha. Is there a problem with unlicensed and “untrained” open carriers in Washington state?

      • Lol no… WA has been shall issue since the sixties.

        It’s the easiest permit I’ve ever seen. Half page form, prints that’s it. I had my permit in five days.

        And it was only like 50 bucks

        • In PA it’s a page; no prints; $21. I was in and out of the sheriff’s office in 14 minutes with the laminated license cooling in my hand. (Would have been less time but the lady who did the licenses was a few minutes late for work that morning.)

        • Hey, Brenton, just for fun ask a legislator or police chief, sometime, how many times in the past 50 years those fingerprints on your license application have ever helped solve a crime. My bet is never, why is the requirement still there?

        • The fingerprint requirement is intended to rule-out the possibility that the applicant is – in fact – a convicted criminal posing under an assumed identity.
          There really isn’t much of a “real ID” in this country. The only practical way we have to nail-down who someone is is via fingerprints.

    • “I would much rather see some kind of basic safety classes and firearm familiarity for concealed carry myself.”
      Right. Because that would eliminate all the needless bloodshed in violent states like Vermont.

    • If the government wants citizens to have such training, they should put such education where it belongs: beginning in middle school with safety and everyone learning to shoot a .22, and on to more advanced material in high school. By the time of graduation, every student should be sufficiently proficient that they qualify as reasonably well-regulated.

      • The constitution clearly states that it is the duty of congress to see to it that the militia is trained. I wouldn’t want them to require it to carry but technically speaking they are obligated to make training available to us.
        “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
        To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress” article 1 section 8

      • Schools have a hard enough time teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Loading them down with more will only reduce the time spent on academic subjects. Which would you prefer? Learning to handle firearms safely or learning about the American Revolution so that students understand the difference in character between European governments and the one set up in this country by the Founding Fathers.

        • The difference between the European governments and America’s is that theirs is better than ours, at least according to the schools….

        • In New Mexico, if we need hip waders to cross the rivers of blood that is our streets due to our ability to Open Carry without need of a permit; just think if we could Conceal Carry without a permit, New Mexico would become an inland ocean of blood.

    • Respectfully I disagree.

      You cannot mandate common sense, any more than you can mandate that all students shall be above average.

      If you mandate a class, those who would have taken it anyway will learn something. Those that are forced to be there? Not so much, in my experience; you can’t force them to care.

    • I’ve read (probably John Lott) that the experience with permitted carriers in states with/with-out training requirements is indistinguishable. That’s probably a rational outcome. Those who have their heads screwed on right will get training without a requirement. Those whose heads are cross-threaded won’t pay attention to the training that is mandated.
      In a course of 8 – 16 – 24 hours there is only a limited amount of material that can reasonably be covered. If one is not a conscientious student, he won’t take away much from the course without the repetition and homework typical of 6 years of elementary school.
      A training requirement is – IMHO – largely a PR-political issue. How do we want to present our case for Shall-Issue or Constitutional-Carry? Remember, we are trying to persuade uncommitted and gun-control-sympathetic voters to stand-down and allow State legislators to vote for carry. It seems to me that we are much better off negotiating for a Shall-Issue bill with a training requirement vs. trying to go from Won’t-Issue to Constitutional Carry. Then, after the voters in a State become accustomed to carry, reduce the training requirement. Eventually, eliminate the training requirement; then go for Constitutional Carry.
      We are down to about 10 Won’t-Issue and May-Issue States now. All the low-hanging fruit has been plucked. These last 10 jurisdictions won’t be dragged kicking-and-screaming into Right-to-Carry. So, what’s the best strategy? Is it to push hard for a move from Won’t-Issue directly to Shall-Issue?
      I suggest, as a rhetorical position, to propose a Shall-Issue bill with an onerous training requirement in such a State. Then, we can argue: “Look, 40 States are Shall-Issue with medium/low/zero training requirements and none of them have any problems. All we are asking for is a Shall-Issue law with a HIGH training requirement. Do the Anti’s maintain that – here in the State of Confusion – the citizens who have clean backgrounds are so irresponsible that they can’t carry guns even after a high training requirement? Are our citizens so inferior intellectually and so irresponsible as compared to the citizens of the other 49 States?” Such an argument ought to play better (compared to a Constitutional Carry argument) in converting the legislature of such a State.

      Nationally, I’d play the training card differently. First, I’d say that a training requirement as a prerequisite to carry is rather like a literacy test to register to vote. Second, I’d argue that training is a good thing. If the Antis want to mandate training then there is a Constitutionally-based vehicle for them to impose whatever training requirement they might think good and proper. Congress has power to prescribe the “discipline” for the militia and the States are empowered to implement the training according to Congressional prescription. Muzzle discipline; trigger discipline; loading and handling discipline; target & ground discipline; lawful-use-of-force discipline. Plenty of room here for a training mandate. The key, here, is that militia discipline would be a mandated duty for citizenship; not a prerequisite for carrying. That would substantially normalize the role of guns in society.
      All young children should be taught simple gun discipline a la Eddie Eagle. Teenaged males should all be taught gun handling discipline (4 rules). At some point, the militia law ought to be changed to incorporate females into the unorganized militia.
      Such a proposal – to prescribe and train for the discipline of the militia – would give the Antis everything they claim they demand – and more! It gives them gun safety for everyone! If such a solution is adopted then it’s “heads” – everyone wins, Anti’s and Pro-gun constituencies alike. If the Antis reject such a solution then it’s “tails” – everyone loses. The Anti’s are told they are hypocrites for calling for training but not accepting the Constitutional solution. The Pro-gun people don’t get to normalize guns in elementary and high school.

      • A well written position, however…

        To use the concepts of state (or any government mandated) training requirements as a PR issue and then refer to Constitutional Carry in the same breath is an absolute contradiction.

        The Second Amendment very clearly and distinctly says, “…shall not be infringed.” I’m pretty sure the Founding Fathers who wrote, debated and voted for this amendment meant exactly that, and for good reason.

        If you give the government the authority to set training requirements before you can exercise your natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms it is only a matter of time before those requirements become so onerous and/or expensive that no one will even bother to apply for their permission slips, or if they do they will be unable to meet the standards.

        Clearly, the ability to set the standards is the ability to infringe.

        • “A well written position, however…” Thank you.

          “. . . training requirements as a PR issue and then refer to Constitutional Carry . . . is an absolute contradiction.” Is it not true that our government is by Constitution? Is it not true that we live in a political republic governed by that Constitution? Alas, a constitution and the political process are often at odds. This is not surprising. There has been contention in political circles since the Constitutional convention. We have to live in this contradictory environment.

          “ ‘…shall not be infringed.’ I’m pretty sure the Founding Fathers who wrote, debated and voted for this amendment meant exactly that, and for good reason.” Certainly, that was so. And, whatever it is that they (or, to be more precise, the People of that era) understood it to mean is controlling on Congress and State legislatures today. Unfortunately, that doesn’t render the political process moot. If we PotG neglect to elect State legislators, Congressmen, and especially Senators and Presidents who see things our way; well, then, we need to be more concerned with the political process than we are. Simply repeating “shall not be infringed” incessantly does not substitute for success at the ballot box.

          (I’m mindful of the infamous saying of Mao: “Political power emirates from the muzzle of a gun” together with an earlier remark something to the effect of: “. . . the Right of the People to alter or abolish it . . . ” (which didn’t seem to allude to the simple majority-rule). And yet, these principles are expensive to implement.)

          “If you give the government the authority to set training requirements before you can exercise your natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms . . . ” I said no such thing! It would be presumptuous for me or anyone else to “give” the government any power whatsoever. Kindly re-read what I said.

          The Anti’s seem to argue that training to arms is a mighty good idea for those who would keep and bear arms. PotG do NOT seem to argue that those who keep and bear arms should – ideally – remain untrained. There seems to be – at some level – some basic agreement between the Pro-rights and Anti-gun adversaries that training-to-arms is – on balance – better than NOT-training-to-arms. Now, the devil is in the details.

          I don’t recall – with one exception – any warrant in the US Constitution for any sort of educational training or curriculum power. (Perhaps I’ve overlooked something). For example, I see no warrant for compelling anyone to be trained to speak, read or write the Queen’s English. Yet, there is one exception. Congress has the explicit power to: “To provide for organizing, . . . and disciplining, the Militia, . . . , reserving to the States . . . Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;” (I reiterate, that I, personally, did not give Congress/States this power.) I take this passage to mean that Congress has curriculum control and that the States have training power as respects “discipline” and this power extends to the “militia”.

          As respects to gun safety and the lawful use of force, the term “discipline” works for me. (Maybe it means something else to you and is exclusive of gun safety and exclusive of the lawful use of force. If so, we could debate this difference of opinion.)

          As respects “militia” I think that Congress is empowered to define that term in such a way that it reasonably encompasses the “body of the people”. Traditionally, in our culture, that power has included the discretion to exclude females. Very well; but, Congress could abruptly change this tradition; to do so would certainly do no injustice to the notion of encompassing “the body of the people”. Likewise, Congress’ power to set minimum and maximum ages is traditional; again, consistent with encompassing the body of the people. I suppose a power to exclude invalids or others seriously impaired in their capacity to join with others in common defense.

          If the Anti’s and PotG think that training-to-arms is – on balance – a good thing; then we ought to join together to advocate a Congressional bill prescribing something like Eddie Eagle for young children and a curriculum in the “four rules” for high school aged adolescents. We should further advocate for 50 State bills implementing training programs in public pre-schools, elementary schools and high schools.

          Students in private or parochial schools should have access to such training programs through after-school/summer programs operated by public schools.

          Now, then, we have a national standard and universal training. Under present Selective Service law, males are obliged to register by their 18th birthdays. A certificate of completion from a school – or an equivalent (NRA First Steps Rifle) can be a check-point for Selective Service registration. (Might want to include females in SS registration as well.)

          If we got this far, then we have achieved universal – or near universal – training. Society would have what the Antis and PotG jointly want. At such a juncture, I don’t much care one way or the other if a State requires a showing of a certification of training as a prerequisite to a Certificate of 2A Ability (AKA CWP). Nor do I care one way or the other if a State adopts Constitutional Carry such that there is no application checkpoint to see if a carrier has been trained.

          “. . . it is only a matter of time before those requirements become so onerous and/or expensive that no one will even bother to apply for their permission slips, or if they do they will be unable to meet the standards.” Nonsense. If the training is mandatory for everyone then it will be set to a level where 95% or 98% of the students can meet it. Set it to Army Basic Training level; or to Police Academy level.

          Let’s be realistic. State legislators (assuming they legislated any such training program at all) would not want to spend any more money on training-to-arms then would be sufficient to meet the minimum of Congress’ prescription. Congress wouldn’t set the bar any higher then necessary. Something like Eddie Eagle plus First Steps Rifle.

          Now, let’s be frank. If we introduce this – PERFECTLY Constitutional – idea in the debating hall can you imagine the Anti’s joining with us in advocating for such bills? Pause to allow you to finish laughing. OK. well, then, when the Anti’s call for training to qualify for a CWP we can tell them that they have already conceded that they are interested in neither Constitutionality nor in universal gun-safety training. That truncates ANY further discussion of a training requirement prerequisite to any CWP. It’s just “STFU”.

          “Clearly, the ability to set the standards is the ability to infringe.” Yup! That’s right. Congress could set the bar to pass the training according to it’s prescription such that no one would qualify for 1-A Selective Service classification. I.e., Congress could say that if you don’t qualify for SEAL school you are incapable of militia service – let alone qualified for service in the standing army. Will Congress legislate themselves out of a standing army?

          I have no illusion that my proposal would ever pass Congress let alone 50 State legislatures. Nevertheless, if we agree on training as a generally good idea, then there is the solution. Perfectly Constitutional. Perfectly uniform. Perfectly applicable in a nation where we have as many guns as citizens; i.e., all of us really need a nodding acquaintenship with gun safety; especially young children. If it saves just one child!

    • How about this: No training “requirement” but offer incentives to get training. Say a tax break equal to the cost of the class once per year. I’d say it qualifies as a public service as you are increasing the safety of your community.

      • …or, teach gun safety (including live fire) in school. Or at least offer it. Have it “mandatory” that the training is available, easily accomplished, and cheap or free.

      • Oh, you have ME sold! The gubment is going to pay my shooting bills for a weekend a year? Every year? Sign up to run for Prez, you have my vote!

    • Gatha, licenses have been issued for a very, very long time, someone has told you that such and such is needed now (with no evidence, because it does not exist), and you believe that crap? I first took those required lessons after retiring from the military with Expert Marksman badges in 2 weapons, neither of which taught me anything since I had been shooting since I was 12. But people like yourself should decide and control how much “training” I need? That is absolutely ridiculous, rub a couple of brain cells together and you will find that somebody, somewhere, has been lying to you. That *should* make you mad!

  3. But can you imagine Constitutional Carry in the state bordering Massachusetts?

    Yes, I can. It’s called “Vermont.” Which also shares a long border with New Hampshire.

  4. To those who’ve pointed out Vermont borders the home of the Massholes and has always been con-carry:

    It’s not just the state bordering Massachusetts, it’s the state bordering the Boston metro area. Vermont is distant enough from Boston that the beantowners could forget it existed. New Hampshire is in their faces. Ya gotta love it.

      • That’s exactly what she’ll do.

        Best part about the veto is from what she and opponents have said recently regarding this is it would be rooted in loss of revenue from the permit fees rather than the so oft cited cause of “safety”.

        I’m not sure if such a position is rooted in pragmatic cynicism as it relates to the reality of government operations or if it’s just a weak effort to appeal to the conservative concept of budget balancing.

        Either way she’s being a total bitch about it.

        • Yes, She’ll probably veto it, unfortunately. But it won’t be for monetary reasons. The bill will double the cost of getting a NH CCL (ooooh $20) and increase the coverage term to 5 years available to anyone wishing for reciprocity. The current fee just barely covers administrative costs so constitutional carry would actually be a financial wash

        • If so, it’ll be the third state this year that it’ll have passed the legislature and been vetoed by the governor (WV, MT).

          That’d be a shame. I’d love it if both NH and ME could pass constitutional carry this year. I’m actually considering moving up to NH soon … it’d be great if they could get this passed.

  5. Too bad Hassan is standing between us. She’ll probably veto it for stupid reasons. All this bill will change is a procedural process. The NH restrictions are: Are you allowed to have a gun? OK. Do you have $10? OK. Can you make it to the police station? OK wait a week and you’ll have it. I don’t have mine simply because I’m lazy and already avoid the 3 stupids as it is.

    The “blood in the street” is a non-argument as well since we already have constitutional open carry so anyone and their mother could already wear a firearm almost anywhere (jealous Texas?)

    Ideally, I’d like this to be passed. Then, after a few years and people realize that it affected nothing, revise the licensing procedure so that we may have reciprocity with more states. As it is right now the only other practical state I could carry in is Vermont. (yes I could carry in more, but that would require something like an 8 hour drive and passing through several no-fly zones).

    Also, I believe that Maine is looking at constitutional carry as well, but I haven’t looked into it yet.

    • Your post prompts me to realize that PotG in the northern New England States are trapped behind the enemy lines of MA and NY. You have no carry rights and plenty of jeopardy under FOPA when traveling anywhere south. As such, you have a great argument to make to your Congress-critters for National Reciprocity

      • Sometimes I think it’d be nice if everything north of Rockland & Westchester Counties just left and formed their own state. Then maybe they’d dump the Bloomberg-ish laws and there could be a safe way to get to the rest of the country.

  6. I posted this in another article, but I’ll post it here too in case anyone’s interested — the list (AFAIK) of constitutional carry attempts in 2015:

    Colorado — passed the Senate, died in the House
    Idaho — introduced, no progress
    Indiana — introduced, no progress
    Maine — still in progress, I think
    Mississippi — passed the Senate, killed in the House
    Montana — VETOED by the governor after having passed the legislature
    New Hampshire — passed Senate, in the House
    Pennsylvania — introduced, no progress
    South Carolina — introduced, basically no progress
    South Dakota — passed the House, killed in Senate committee
    Tennessee — killed in committee
    Texas — introduced, no progress
    Utah — passed Senate, died in the House
    West Virginia — VETOED by the governor after having passed the legislature

    Hopefully I’m not missing any.

  7. I read the anti’s editorial in the Monitor, and left this reply:

    SB116 would not “completely dismantle” the permitting process.
    This editorial ignores the issue of reciprocity, which much of the text of SB116 is concerned with. The bill would KEEP the permitting system in place, for the purpose of allowing NH permit holders to carry in the 26 OTHER states which recognize and honor the NH permit. This is potentially important, since national concealed carry reciprocity is going through congress now (HR.578, HR.2959, and S.1908).
    The permitting system is not being taken away. SB116 would only decriminalize the lack of a valid permit while in New Hampshire. Mr. Sherwood would know that if he’d read the bill. It’s only about three pages long:
    More importantly, SB116 also keeps all of the language in place which allows the state, by statute, to prohibit specific persons from carrying weapons, with OR without a permit. Anyone who’s not presently allowed to carry a gun in New Hampshire would STILL not be allowed to do so.
    Mr. Sherwood’s concerns are misplaced, his language is misleading and incorrect, and this editorial is without merit.

    It seems that anyone can leave a comment, living in NH or not, if they log in through facebook.

  8. I emailed my NH House representatives about this. One did not reply and the other said that he would study the bill. Both are Republicans. I’m not holding my breath for passage.


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