NH police chief: Law eliminating concealed carry license is 'dangerous'

Police Chief Andrew Shagoury said the bill removes the ability of police to deny a permit to someone they deem as dangerous

By PoliceOne Staff

CONCORD, N.H. — Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill into law allowing residents of the state to carry a concealed gun without a license. 

According to the Concord Monitor, the new bill, SB12, makes the license optional, not mandatory. New Hampshire is the 12th state to make the policy a law, an NRA spokesperson told WCVB.

New Hampshire is currently an open-carry state, but in the past, gun owners applied for the license through their police chiefs, allowing agencies to deem whether applicants were a danger to the public. 

Police Chief Andrew Shagoury told NHPR the bill is “dangerous” and could compromise public safety because it removes the ability to deny a permit to a person they deem as dangerous. 

He said the new law doesn’t offer restrictions on where open-carry is allowed, like other states’ laws describe.

“There's far more restrictions in almost every other state than New Hampshire," he told NHPR. "You can't carry them in schools, you have to submit fingerprints, you have to show training, suitability, ability, to get your license. None of that is in SB12 or in New Hampshire."

Supporters of the bill told WCVB that police have been unfairly denying people licenses. 

"The Constitution is very clear, and the chiefs of police need to grow up," Rep. John Burt said.

State statute bans convicted felons or people under restraining orders from possessing a gun. Federal law states drug users, fugitives and people convicted of certain domestic violence crimes, among others, cannot have firearms.

According to the Concord Monitor, the state’s licensing process will remain in place so those who want to carry outside state lines can get the necessary paperwork.

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