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Permit Still Required to Carry a Concealed Weapon in NH

New Hampshire lawmakers' failure to override Gov. Maggie Hassen's veto of SB 336 means permits are still required to carry a concealed weapon in the state. (Augustas Did˛galvis/wikimedia)
New Hampshire lawmakers' failure to override Gov. Maggie Hassen's veto of SB 336 means permits are still required to carry a concealed weapon in the state. (Augustas Did˛galvis/wikimedia)
October 3, 2016

CONCORD, N. H. – The right to carry a concealed weapon in the Granite State will still require a permit, as state lawmakers failed last week to override the governor's veto.

Gov. Maggie Hassen vetoed Senate Bill 336, a measure supported by the gun lobby that would have allowed anyone to carry a concealed weapon in the state.

Sen. David Watters, a Democrat from Dist. 14, was among the lawmakers who supported the governor and voted against the veto override.

"We have very, very supportive laws for Second Amendment rights, and we have open-carry without a permit," said Watters. "So this was, I thought, a way of standing with our law enforcement."

Republican Majority Leader Sen. Jeb Bradley is on record saying he is disappointed in the failed override. He called the bill an important step in protecting gun owners' constitutional rights.

It was a close call, as the veto-override effort failed by only three votes.

Sen. Watters said he made his decision based on information he got from law enforcement leaders in Dover, and around his district.

"I hear from my local chiefs of police, and they said, 'Well, maybe one or two out of a hundred, we decide discretion here,'" Watters explained. "You know, perhaps they know of threats that have been made by the individual, or they know of domestic situations that some caution would be needed."

Supporters of the governor on this issue, including the group Granite State Progress, have said requiring a license to carry a concealed weapon has worked well for New Hampshire for more than 90 years. They said the licenses are relatively easy and quick to obtain, and don't place an unreasonable burden on law-abiding citizens.

Mike Clifford/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - NH