After adding them in August, The New Hampshire Department of Public Safety has removed three questions from the application for a concealed carry gun license. The new questions had generated complaints from gun rights activists.
“We didn’t take a critical enough read of those new questions, and the way one of them was worded, it could be misinterpreted by an applicant,” Department of Safety Assistant Commissioner Early Sweeney told the Concord Monitor.
To receive a license to carry a concealed firearm, a New Hampshire resident must complete the one-page application, which is then approved or denied by local officials such as a police chief, mayor, or designated police officer. The three questions that were added in August asked whether an applicant had held a resident gun license before, whether an applicant had previously been prohibited from possessing a firearm by a state or federal agency, and whether an applicant is prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm.
Despite the reversion in the questions section, some gun rights supporters are still unsatisfied with the application, calling for wording on the back of the application—which had also been changed in August—to be revised, as well. State Rep. JR Hoell, a Republican from Dunbarton and the secretary of the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition, told the Concord Monitor the previous wording made it clear that, “If you can own a firearm, you should be issued a license.”
Hoell said, should he win reelection this November, he would support legislation that says, “If you can own and purchase, you can carry.”
Two New Hampshire police chiefs interviewed by the Monitor said the three questions did not change how they approved or rejected concealed carry applications. Enfield Police Chief Richard Crate Jr. said the problem is not with the application but the permitting process itself.
“The way that the law works is where the problem is,” he said, calling the state’s permitting process “weak,” according to the Concord Monitor. “…You have to get a license to drive a car, you have to go through a few more steps. You don’t have to go through those steps to carry a concealed weapon.”
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Visit the Life Free or Die Alliance issue page on gun laws.
Read media coverage of the changes to the concealed carry application in the Concord Monitor and at Seacoast Online.