New Hampshire: Did NRA Fumble Constitutional Carry?


The people of New Hampshire did not get a constitutional carry (no permit required) bill passed this year, and a state grass-roots group called Pro-Gun New Hampshire is putting the blame for this on the local National Rifle Association legislative liaison and the state affiliate group who they say effectively killed the bill as it was poised for passage.

The core of the allegation is that the NRA liaison did not participate in the process as the legislation (H.B. 330) was being developed and moved through the committee process in the New Hampshire House – including several public hearings – but then in the eleventh hour submitted an all-encompassing, replacement amendment that included what some see as anti-rights provisions.

The House Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee rejected the NRA amendment, suggesting that it should be offered as a stand-alone bill in the next session, and the full House overwhelmingly passed H.B. 330, sending it on to the Senate. In the Senate, the NRA liaison again offered the replacement amendment and made a deal with a friendly senator to slip it in through a side door. This immediately caused confusion and conflict among the pro-rights senators and the opposition was quick to exploit this. In short order the original bill and the amendment were tabled and dead for this session – until the gun-rights guys can find a bill they can agree on.

This whole debacle lands squarely on the shoulders of a fellow named John Hohenwarter, the NRA legislative liaison for New Hampshire.

When outraged grass-roots leaders in New Hampshire began loudly complaining about Hohenwarter's actions, NRA put out a statement claiming that the NRA bashers were making misleading statements and misconstruing the facts.

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