Beating Back Bloomberg

From America’s 1st Freedom:

by Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA Executive Director
Friday, May 26, 2017

his feature appears in the June ‘17 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.

While much of the nation’s attention has been fixated on the latest media-manufactured melodrama in Washington, D.C., the NRA has been hard at work in state capitals across the country to improve state gun laws that impact the everyday lives of gun owners. Even though we were barely a quarter of the way through 2017 at press time, the NRA has already piled up an impressive list of state-level victories in the New Year.

Recognizing The Right To Carry Without A Permit

In the first three months of 2017, two new states have adopted permitless Right-to-Carry laws.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 12 (SB 12) on Feb. 22, making the Granite State the 11th state to allow those who can lawfully possess firearms to carry a concealed firearm without first obtaining a Right-to-Carry permit. The legislation also strengthened New Hampshire’s existing Right-to-Carry permits by making Pistol/Revolver Licenses valid for five years, up from four, which was the previous term for a permit.

New Hampshire’s journey to permitless carry was a challenging one. In 2015 and 2016, then-Gov. Maggie Hassan, now a U.S. senator, vetoed legislation that would have recognized the Right to Carry without a permit, and attempts to override her veto were unsuccessful. Moreover, earlier efforts at permitless carry were at times complicated by discord among some segments of the state’s enthusiastic gun rights community.

With SB 12, New Hampshire has brought recognition of the Right to Carry in line with its northern New England neighbors, Vermont and Maine. [Vermont has never prohibited the right to carry without a permit, while Maine joined the growing number of permitless carry states on July 8, 2015, when Gov. Paul LePage signed Legislative Document 652 (LD 652) into law.] The Granite State is now truly living up to its “Live Free or Die” creed when it comes to Right to Carry.

Just more than a month after New Hampshire became a permitless carry state, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed House Bill 1169, making that state the 12th to adopt permitless carry. Prior to receiving Burgum’s signature, the Legislature enthusiastically endorsed the measure, with a House vote of 83-9 on Feb. 22, followed by a 34-13 vote in the Senate on March 21.

The NRA and our friends in the state legislatures have made progress in other states as well, although more work remains to be done.

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