On Wednesday, February 1, House Majority Leader Dick Hinch offered the following testimony before the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee relative to SB12, repealing the licensing requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver.

February 1, 2017

House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee
Rep. David Welch, Chairman
Legislative Office Building Room 204
Concord, NH 03301

Testimony: SB12 repealing the licensing requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. For the record, I am Rep. Dick Hinch. I represent the town of Merrimack, which is Hillsborough District 21, and have the honor of serving as House Majority Leader.

Mr. Chairman, it should come as no surprise that I am here today in support of this bill. Myself and 95 percent of House Republicans – and a bipartisan majority of the members of this body – supported similar legislation in 2015 and 2016, only to have our former Governor veto both bills.

House and Senate members have been working on this issue for years to achieve this important balance that enhances the rights of law abiding gun owners, clarifies existing laws to prevent misinterpretation, and preserves public safety.

And we are finally in the position of taking the culmination of this work, and sending it to a Governor who will honor the work of the legislature on this issue – on behalf of our many constituents who believe this is a fundamental constitutional right – and sign the bill.

This bill does not extend rights of those who would be otherwise prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm. Those with criminal intent will continue to obtain, carry, and use firearms in illegal ways. Impeding the rights of lawful gun owners based on the actions of criminals is frankly unfair.

This is not a political bill. This is not a partisan bill. This is not a bill that oversteps or overreaches. This is common sense legislation that allows people to protect themselves and their loved ones by exercising their 2nd Amendment rights under the Constitution. This a reasonable and long overdue measure that will enhance freedom for our responsible firearms community, and will be an overall deterrent to crime.

Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, I ask you to recommend this bill Ought to Pass, and I look forward to joining my fellow House members in passing this legislation in the coming weeks.

Thank you.