U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)-– New Hampshire is getting close to passing a reform of current carry restrictions. The current law restricts the carry of loaded handguns on off-road vehicles, including snowmobiles, to those with a carry permit.
The law is a relic of the days before New Hampshire passed Constitutional Carry in February of 2017, five years ago. On March 10, 2022, the New Hampshire House passed the bill easily, 204 to 134, with 54 not voting. HB 1636 reforms the law to remove the carry permit requirement for carry of loaded firearms on off-road vehicles. On April 20, 2022, the bill passed the Senate Transportation Committee with a vote of “ought to pass”. From HB 1636:
1 Off Highway Recreational Vehicles; Loaded Firearms Prohibited. Amend RSA 215-A:20 to read as follows:
215-A:20 Loaded Firearms Forbidden. No person shall carry on an OHRV, or a trailer towed by same, any firearms unless said firearm is unloaded. This section shall not apply to law enforcement officers carrying firearms in the course of duty or to pistols or revolvers carried [under a permit issued pursuant to the authority of RSA 159] by any person who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm by a New Hampshire statute.
2 Snowmobiles; Loaded Firearms Forbidden. Amend RSA 215-C:35 to read as follows:
215-C:35 Loaded Firearms Forbidden. No person shall carry on a snowmobile, or a trailer towed by same, any firearms unless said firearm is unloaded. This section shall not apply to law enforcement officers carrying firearms in the course of duty or to pistols or revolvers carried [under a permit issued pursuant to the authority of RSA 159] by any person who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm by a New Hampshire statute.
3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
The bill is a relatively mild reform that cleans up a loose end from the era before Constitutional Carry was restored in New Hampshire.
Most bills that make it out of committee are allowed to be voted on in the Senate. The New Hampshire Senate has 14 Republicans and 10 Democrats.
In 2018, a similar bill, HB 1313, was tabled in the Senate and never voted on, after passing the House. House Bill 1313 passed the House with a vote of 181 to 148. Here is part of the testimony from the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition in 2018: It is not clear if the link is still active in the quote.
by NHFC, Inc. on April 16, 2018
Today I testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in favor of HB 1313 which was introduced by Rep. John Burt (R-Hillsborough 13) to extend last years Constitutional Carry law to snowmobiles and ATVs.
HB 1313 is a simple bill that merely repeals the requirement(s) that those who wish to carry a loaded pistol or revolver on a snowmobile or ATV first obtain a New Hampshire Pistol / Revolver license. These statutes are inconsistent with Constitutional Carry and need to be repealed. We expect that HB 1313 should pass into law without significant opposition. Click here or scroll down to see how to help enact HB 1313 into law.
This correspondent expects Republican Governor Sununu to sign the bill if it is voted on in the Senate and makes it to his office.
There is enough time left in the legislative session to do so. The New Hampshire legislative session is scheduled to end on June 30th, according to Ballotpedia.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.