New Legislation Seeks To Loosen Concealed Carry Laws In N.H.

Download Audio

New Hampshire is poised to join eleven other states, including Maine and Vermont, that allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

The New Hampshire House and Senate have both approved the NRA-backed bill, and Republican Gov. Chris Sununu has indicated that he'll sign it. His predecessor, Democrat Maggie Hassan, vetoed similar bills twice in the past.

The law is opposed by many chiefs of police in New Hampshire, including the chief of police in Atkinson, Albert Brackett.

Interview Highlights

On his concerns with the new legislation

"My biggest concern is that a lot of people that will be carrying a lot of firearms concealed that shouldn't be. People that have mental health issues, people who have a history of domestic violence but no convictions on their record. And those individuals, the biggest issue that I see, they haven't been vetted to see if they're suitable to carry a firearm."

On the current system

"The way it works now is that we do an investigation into the information that you provide us. It starts with a criminal history record check. It may show me, I'll give you an example, an individual that's been arrested over seven or eight years on three different occasions, on domestic violence and intimidation of a witness. But those charges end up being dismissed in court. Well, when I look at that arrest history, that concerns me, so we would look into it further. So we'd look into the police reports, a lot of time we'll get the restraining orders from the courts, and the court shows the restraining order was put into effect and all of their firearms were taken away from them until the charges were dismissed. So an individual like that, I would determine is not suitable to carry a concealed firearm, and I would deny the permit.

"Under the new system, we don't even look at the individual. They're just allowed to carry a firearm concealed, there's no vetting system at all in place."


Albert Brackett, police chief for the town of Atkinson, New Hampshire, which tweets @atkinsonpolice.

This segment aired on February 15, 2017.

Headshot of Anthony Brooks

Anthony Brooks Senior Political Reporter
Anthony Brooks is WBUR's senior political reporter.


Headshot of Kassandra Sundt

Kassandra Sundt Producer/Reporter
Kassandra Sundt was a Radio Boston producer and reporter at WBUR. She started at the station as a Here & Now intern in 2010.



More from Radio Boston

Listen Live