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NH Supreme Court invalidates concealed-carry rules for out-of-staters

By DAVE SOLOMON
New Hampshire Union Leader

June 02. 2016 10:19AM

CONCORD — The state Department of Safety exceeded its legal authority when it imposed new rules for nonresidents seeking a license to carry a concealed gun in New Hampshire, according to a ruling of the state Supreme Court Thursday.

The rules, which took effect in 2013, require non-residents asking New Hampshire police for a concealed carry permit to prove that they have a permit in their home state.

New Jersey resident Scott L. Bach appealed a decision of the New Hampshire Superior Court, which issued a summary judgment in favor of the Department of Safety and its new rule.

Bach does not possess a New Jersey license to carry a concealed weapon, although from 2004 to 2013 he held a license to carry one in New Hampshire.

In late 2013, he sued the New Hampshire Department of Safety over the new rules, claiming the state law on concealed carry makes no reference to proof of license in another state, and that the rule amounts to administrative lawmaking.

The Supreme Court agreed, ruling that law enforcement has many ways to determine “suitability” for a concealed carry permit, without having to rely on out-of-state licensing authorities.

“Further, we cannot disregard the fact that residents of certain states, like New Jersey, may simply be unable to satisfy state requirements for a license that differ from New Hampshire’s statutory requirement,” the judges ruled.

The opinion can be viewed below:



The court determined that the rules “effectively incorporate into New Hampshire’s requirements for concealed-carry licenses the requirements established by other states” and that the rules “add to, detract from, or modify the statute which they are intended to implement.”

“Accordingly, we conclude that the challenged rules — requiring nonresidents to provide proof that they hold resident state licenses in order to obtain concealed-carry licenses in New Hampshire — are invalid.”


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