New Hampshire Enacts Constitutional Carry

Constitutional carry continues to grow in popularity among states

Student displays his Glock 9mm semi-automatic handgun on the University of Utah campus
Holstered handgun / AP
February 23, 2017

New Hampshire became the latest state to adopt a permitless concealed gun carry policy on Wednesday.

Governor Chris Sununu (R., N.H.) signed the legislation that allows anyone in New Hampshire to legally carry a gun so long as they are legally allowed to possess a gun. The measure removes the permitting process that had previously been required for gun carry.

New Hampshire is the first state to enact permitless carry, often called constitutional carry by gun-rights activists, since the Missouri legislature overrode a veto to pass the policy into law in September. It is the 12th state to adopt some form of permitless carry since 2003 and the 11th to do so within the last decade. Including Vermont, which has never restricted gun carry, there are now 13 states with some form of permitless carry.

That makes the policy the second-most-common gun-carry law in the country. Eight states currently have gun-carry laws allowing government officials to deny permits to any applicant regardless of their background or training. The other 29 states have gun-carry laws requiring government officials to issue permits to any applicant that obtains the required training and/or passes certain background checks.

Permitless carry is poised to expand to more states over the next few years. Several states are currently considering permitless-carry legislation, with gun-rights activists actively pushing for passage. With Republicans in control of every branch of government in 25 states, activists think more progress will come quickly.

The National Rifle Association celebrated the passage of New Hampshire’s permitless carry.

"New Hampshire now joins an ever-growing number of states in passing constitutional carry," Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement. "Despite the best efforts of Michael Bloomberg-funded groups to distort the truth, the New Hampshire legislature and governor stood strong for freedom."

Published under: Guns