The Live Free Or Die state continues to live up to its motto. Republican Governor Chris Sununu just signed legislation to make New Hampshire the 12th Constitutional Carry state in the country. The Governor has a strong background of support for the 2nd Amendment and was endorsed by Libertarian Vice Presidential Nominee Governor Bill Weld during his campaign. Until this point, while open carry was already legal in the state, one could only concealed carry if the weapon was unloaded. Now, New Hampshire will be under a similar constitutional carry system to ones that eleven other states around the country have already passed.
New Hampshire has long been at the forefront of the gun rights movement in the United States. They were the first state to have open carry and have always maintained a shall-issue permit system for concealed carry. Although, over the past several years, multiple other states passed up New Hampshire to become constitutional carry states. Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming all beat the Live Free Or Die state to the mark. With Governor Sununu’s signature, New Hampshire has finally joined that club.
The map above shows how quickly the gun rights movement has swept across the country over the past few decades. Back in the eighties, only a handful of states were even considered shall-issue. The situation has completely flipped in thirty years and now only a few states remain under the may-issue standard. There are no longer any no-issue states either thanks to the Supreme Court’s many rulings upholding 2nd Amendment rights. Illinois was the last holdout no-issuer, although to this day, many may-issue states such as California are still comparably difficult.
Despite a few pockets of liberal resistance, constitutional carry will continue marching on. Over the next decade, it’s likely that dozens of issue states will transition towards constitutional carry as New Hampshire has.