On Friday, video was released from Adventures in the Free State of testimony for House Bill 582, also known as the ‘Constitutional Carry’ bill. This is the ‘twin bill’ of SB 116 which passed the New Hampshire Senate along party lines. The testimony was given to the House Criminal Justice Committee and went on for well over an hour. The testimony by proponents of Constitutional Carry was based on reasoning and facts. The testimony of the opponents was based on emotions, hoplophobia and outright lies.
What was truly interesting in the hearing was listening to employees of the state opposing the bill for the New Hampshire Department of Safety (NH DoS). Not only are these people being paid by taxpayers while they are testifying against residents’ rights but based on their testimony, these “experts” are either completely ill-informed and shouldn’t be in the positions they are in or they believe that the Representatives sitting on the committee are nothing but uneducated buffoons.
Ann Rice, Deputy Attorney General spoke against the bill claiming the New Hampshire Department of Safety is one of her “clients”. Her testimony begins at 17:27 in the video. Interesting that she is actually paid by the taxpayers of New Hampshire, as are ANY of the state employees who spoke against Granite Staters practicing their fundamental right to self-defense. She claims that Constitutional Carry would somehow force the state police to issue an out-of-state resident applying for a permit to do so even if that person was not legally able to purchase or possess a firearm under federal law.
She claims that somehow HB 582 changes the way the current pistol licensing process is done today. Unfortunately, Rice, a state paid attorney at law, doesn’t seem to understand the requirements. The only people, according to HB 582, who would be able to be issued pistol license are those who are legally allowable under New Hampshire law. New Hampshire statute specifically states that pistol ownership cannot conflict with federal statutes. Since New Hampshire statutes maintain that firearm ownership must not conflict with federal statutes, federal law indeed still applies. Federal laws will still apply to those who want a pistol license and to those who do not seek a pistol license the same as they do today without the discriminatory profiling currently allowed by the state.
Fact is, until July of 2014, and only AFTER the Chief of Police in Hooksett was sued for denying a license, the “definition” of “suitable person” could be found on the back of the Department of Safety Pistol/License Application DSSP85_Rev. 01-11 as: “An applicant 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.”
However, in Doyon v Hooksett, the NH Supreme Court twisted itself into a pretzel to cover the Chief’s backside saying no stupid citizen could rely on “word” printed on the back of a “form” which is not a form. That bullet point definition of “suitable person” got flushed down retired- but-not-really-retired Assistant Commissioner Earl Sweeney’s toilet. And that Supreme Court “order”, along with the Earl of Sweeney’s unilateral change, was just one more piece of paper with which the administrative state seems to throw around – with no small amount of impunity – its weight.
It’s already clear the New Hampshire DoS thinks very little of Granite Staters but one would think they would view elected representatives on the House Criminal Justice Committee in a brighter light. It’s the Criminal Justice Committee that will be making a recommendation on laws the DoS is to enforce. Based on the testimony from Ann Rice alone, it doesn’t seem she believes, or in this case, her “client”, the NH DoS believes, that the representatives on the committee understand the laws they create or understand the laws they may be changing.
NOTE: There will be another article dedicated to the outrageous comments made by a state police officer also representing the NH DoS as well as the DoS’ lunatic statement regarding Constitutional Carry.
Susan Olsen, Legislative Director for Women’s Defense League of NH contributed to this article.