As I write this letter, your rights are under direct attack. Without notice, and without prior solicitation of comments from the public, a bureaucrat in Concord has exceeded his statutory authority, and added new requirements to the New Hampshire pistol/revolver (concealed carry) licensing process.
In the past, we have warned you about legislative proposals that give too much discretionary power to bureaucrats because they are unaccountable to the electorate. It’s why we’ve fought so hard for things like “shall issue” licensing, and it’s why we ask you to attend committee hearings in Concord, to provide legislators with the perspective of the law-abiding gun owner.
But we live in troubling times, where lawlessness and disregard for established procedures have become the rule. You see, cynical politicians – taking their lead from President Obama and the Chicago-style tactics he’s applied in Washington – have decided that “with a phone and a pen”, and without legislative authority, they can instead just make up the rules as they go along. It disgusts me to report that this brand of lawlessness has now reached all the way to Concord.
Last week, three new questions mysteriously appeared on the NH Pistol & Revolver License application form – two of which are irrelevant to the statute, and invite rogue police chiefs to deny permits for flimsy, insubstantial reasons.
Did the TSA ever mistake you for someone on one of the terrorism watch lists? Were you ever denied a pistol license in California or New York because the police chief didn’t think you “needed” to carry a gun? Did you forget to write down the details of a Massachusetts pistol license you had back in the 80s? If so, with these changes to the application form, a New Hampshire police department could deny your application – even though none of these disqualifies you from receiving a license under the law.
And it gets worse, the previous application contained this on the back:
“Applicants not prohibited under federal or NH law from possession of a firearm shall be deemed suitable persons and the license shall be issued unless the applicant is so prohibited from possessing a firearm. The burden is on the licensing entity to prove by clear and convincing proof that the applicant is so prohibited from possessing a firearm.”
Removing this clear explanation from the form puts the applicant in the dark, and opens the door for rogue anti-gun police chiefs to unfairly deny applications in contravention of the law.
We have to draw a line, and we have to do it now. The lawlessness must stop. We have to send a message to the bureaucrats in Concord, that we will not abide this attempt at enacting their own gun control agenda – least of all, without notice, public comment, or statutory authority!
We need you to call the Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Safety, John J. Barthelmes and demand the prior pistol and revolver license application – the one that has helped make New Hampshire one of the safest places in the country and the world – be immediately reinstated.
603-223-3889 or email by clicking here
Also call your Executive Councilor, and express your frustration and dismay that the Commissioner would undertake to make such sweeping changes without advance notice and without first seeking public comment.
Finally, call (603)271-2121 and email Governor Maggie Hassan, the Department of Safety is accountable to the executive branch of state government. Please be polite and firm but insist that the previous form be reinstated.
If you want to see the changes click here for the “old” application and click here for the “new” application.
Jonathan R. Evans, Esq.
President – NHFC