We tackle two of the hottest issues of the week at the Statehouse: repealing concealed carry and Right-to-Work legislation. In the first half-hour we'll address SB12, which would allow gun owners to carry their weapons concealed without a special permit. In the second half-hour, we look at SB11, which prohibits unions from collecting dues from nonmembers. Both have come up repeatedly in recent years, but with Republicans in control of both the legislature and executive branch, they have a good chance of becoming law.
- Jeb Bradley - Senate Majority Leader from Wolfeboro. Bradley has sponsored past efforts in the last two legislative sessions to repeal concealed carry.
- Jeff Woodburn - Democratic Senate Minority Leader from Dalton.
N.H. Senators Debate the Pros and Cons of Concealed Carry.
In New Hampshire, gun owners can carry their weapons openly. Concealed weapons, however, are another matter, requiring a special permit from a local police department.
SB12 would change that. Here's how Senator Jeb Bradley described it:
"All this would mean -- this bill -- if it passes, is you can put a jacket over your handgun if you have one, without having to get a second permit," Bradley said.
But Woodburn said the second permit gives police time to check on a person's "suitability." Mostly, he said, police will issue that permit but sometimes, when they don't, it's for good reason. "This pause is the greatest benefit we have, the greatest benefit all of us have in public life, to pause, consider, evaluate, and then make decisions."
I am a gun owner and have permits to carry in two states, NH and MA. I support the right of Police Chiefs who have the best feeling for the pulse of their communities as to who is fit and who is not. Let's remember how the legislature rushed to allow guns in the Statehouse and then had one of the Republican members drop several weapons onto a table during a meeting. Here is a classic example of the Republicans fixing something that is not broken. --Exchange listener, Jerry.
Bradley, however, sees that pause differently. "I respectfully disagree...that there should be a second level of review for a law-abiding citizen in the United States, who is legally entitled to own a handgun, to have to get a special permit to carry it on a concealed basis when we already allow open carry in New Hampshire."
Exchange listener, Michelle, said she had been denied renewal of her concealed-carry license by her local police department, though she had never even had a speeding ticket. She said it took her 112 days to get her license, after taking her police department to court.
Bradley said that situation could have ended in tragedy if she'd had to defend herself during that period. "This is about the rights of law-abiding citizens being able to defend themselves," he said.
The bill to repeal requiring concealed-carry permits passed the Senate Judiciary Committee this week and now heads to the full Senate. With Republican majorities in the House and Senate -- and a Republican Governor -- it's likely to become law.