HB 536-FN – AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE
HOUSE BILL 536-FN
SPONSORS: Rep. Hoell, Merr 13; Rep. Burt, Hills 7; Rep. Cunningham, Sull 2; Rep. Itse, Rock 9; Sen. Forsythe, Dist 4; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. White, Dist 9; Sen. Lambert, Dist 13; Sen. De Blois, Dist 18
I. Increases the length of time for which a license to carry a pistol or revolver is valid, and reduces the fee for nonresidents wishing to obtain a license to carry.
II. Allows a person to carry a loaded, concealed pistol or revolver without a license provided such person is not otherwise prohibited by law.
III. Requires the director of the division of state police to negotiate and enter into agreements with other jurisdictions to recognize in those jurisdictions the validity of the license to carry issued in this state.
IV. Clarifies to whom a pistol or revolver may be sold.
V. Allows a person who has obtained a license to hunt with a bow and arrow to carry a firearm if he or she is otherwise qualified under the license to carry statute.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven
AN ACT relative to carrying a loaded, concealed pistol or revolver without a license.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Pistols and Revolvers; Carrying Without License. RSA 159:4 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
159:4 Carrying Without License.
I. No person shall carry a loaded pistol or revolver concealed upon his or her person, except in his or her dwelling, house, or place of business who:
(a) Is prohibited from possessing a weapon under any provision of this chapter;
(b) Is subject to a court order under RSA 173-B which prohibits such person from possessing a dangerous weapon or requires such person to relinquish dangerous weapons in his or her possession;
(c) Has been convicted of a crime of domestic violence;
(d) Is currently serving any terms of imprisonment, is on probation or parole, is a fugitive from justice, or is subject to a condition of bail prohibiting possession of a weapon;
(e) Is less than 18 years of age;
(f) Is an illegal alien;
(g) Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled drug or controlled drug analog, as defined in RSA 318-B;
(h) Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution;
(i) Has been discharged from the United States Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions; or
(j) Having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his or her citizenship.
II. Whoever violates the provisions of this section shall, for the first such offense, be guilty of a misdemeanor. For the second and for each subsequent violation of the provisions of this section, such person shall be guilty of a class B felony, provided such second or subsequent violation has occurred within 7 years of the previous conviction.
III. Nothing in this section shall restrict the right of a person to carry a loaded pistol or revolver concealed upon his or her person if such person possesses a valid license issued pursuant to RSA 159:6.
2 Pistols and Revolvers; License to Carry. Amend RSA 159:6 to read as follows:
159:6 License to Carry.
I. The selectmen of a town or the mayor or chief of police of a city or some full-time police officer designated by them respectively, upon application of any resident of such town or city, or the director of state police, or some person designated by such director, upon application of a nonresident, shall issue a license to such applicant authorizing the applicant to carry a loaded pistol or revolver in this state for not less than [
4] 5 years from the date of issue, if it appears that the applicant has good reason to fear injury to the applicant’s person or property or has any proper purpose, and that the applicant is a suitable person to be licensed. Hunting, target shooting, or self-defense shall be considered a proper purpose. The license shall be valid for all allowable purposes regardless of the purpose for which it was originally issued. The license shall be in duplicate and shall bear the name, address, description, and signature of the licensee. The original shall be delivered to the licensee and the duplicate shall be preserved by the people issuing the same for [ 4] 5 years. When required, license renewal shall take place within the month of the [ fourth] fifth anniversary of the license holder’s date of birth following the date of issuance. The license shall be issued within 14 days after application, and, if such application is denied, the reason for such denial shall be stated in writing, the original of which such writing shall be delivered to the applicant, and a copy kept in the office of the person to whom the application was made. The fee for licenses issued to residents of the state shall be $10, which fee shall be for the use of the law enforcement department of the town or city granting said licenses; the fee for licenses granted to out-of-state residents shall be [ $100] $20, which fee shall be for the use of the state. The director of state police is hereby authorized and directed to prepare forms for the licenses required under this chapter and forms for the application for such licenses and to supply the same to officials of the cities and towns authorized to issue the licenses. The form shall require no more information than was required on the state of New Hampshire application for a pistol/revolver license, form DSSP 85, as revised in December 2009. No other forms shall be used by officials of cities and towns. The cost of the forms shall be paid out of the fees received from nonresident licenses.
II. No photograph or fingerprint shall be required or used as a basis to grant, deny, or renew a license to carry for a resident or nonresident, unless requested by the applicant.
III. The availability of a license to carry a loaded pistol or revolver under this section or under any other provision of law shall not be construed to prohibit the unlicensed transport or carrying of a firearm in a vehicle, or on or about one’s person, whether openly or concealed, loaded or unloaded, by a resident, nonresident, or alien, if such individual is not otherwise prohibited by statute from possessing a firearm in the state of New Hampshire.
3 Pistols and Revolvers; Reciprocity. RSA 159:6-d is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
159:6-d Reciprocity. The director of the division of state police shall negotiate and enter into reciprocal agreements in other jurisdictions to recognize in those jurisdictions the validity of the license issued under RSA 159:6. The director shall apply to every jurisdiction with which New Hampshire does not currently have a reciprocity agreement, at least once every 5 years to obtain recognition in those jurisdictions of the license issued under RSA 159:6. Any such agreement executed shall not expire unless an expiration date is required under the statutes of the reciprocal jurisdiction.
4 Pistols and Revolvers; Exemption. Amend RSA 159:14 to read as follows:
159:14 Exemption. None of the provisions of this chapter shall prohibit an individual not licensed under the provisions thereof who is not engaged in the business of selling pistols or revolvers from selling a pistol or revolver to a person who is licensed under this chapter, to a New Hampshire resident who may lawfully own firearms, or to a person personally known to him or her.
5 Game Animals; Bow and Arrow. Amend RSA 208:5, V to read as follows:
V. The licensee shall not be entitled to carry any firearms while hunting under the provisions of this section, unless such licensee also possesses a valid firearms hunting license, or a valid license to carry firearms issued pursuant to RSA 159, or is otherwise qualified pursuant to RSA 159:6, III.
6 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
HB 536 FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT relative to carrying a loaded, concealed pistol or revolver without a license.
The Judicial Council states this bill will have an indeterminable fiscal impact on state general fund expenditures in FY 2012 and each year thereafter. The Department of Justice states this bill will increase state general fund expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2012 and each year thereafter. The Department of Corrections states this bill may decrease state general fund expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2012 and each year thereafter. The Department of Safety states this bill will decrease state general fund expenditures by $44,111 in FY 2012, $46,833 in FY 2013, $49,774 in FY 2014 and $52,903 in FY 2015 and decrease state general fund revenue by $625,000 in FY 2012 and each year thereafter. The New Hampshire Association of Counties states this bill may increase county expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2012 and each year thereafter. The New Hampshire Municipal Association states this bill may decrease local revenue by an indeterminable amount in FY 2012 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on county revenue or local expenditures.
The Office of Legislative Budget Assistant is awaiting information from the Judicial Branch relative to the potential fiscal impact of this bill. The Branch was initially contacted on 12/20/10, 1/12/11 and most recently contacted on 06/12/11.
The Judicial Council states this bill establishes an optional license to carry a firearm, decreases the fee for an out of state license from $100 to $20, establishes the license will be valid for 10 years instead of 4, establishes a class A misdemeanor for any official that interferes with the right to carry, and repeals RSA 159:19 which involved a class B felony. The Judicial Council states this bill will have an indeterminable fiscal impact on general fund expenditures. The Council states if an individual is found to be indigent, the flat fee of $275 per misdemeanor is charged by a public defender or contract attorney. If an assigned counsel attorney is used the fee is $60 per hour with a cap of $1,400 for a misdemeanor charge. The Council also states additional costs could be incurred if an appeal is filed. The public defender, contract attorney and assigned counsel rates for Supreme Court appeals is capped at $2,000 per case, with many assigned counsel attorneys seeking permission to exceed the fee cap. Requests to exceed the fee cap may be waived upon motion filed in advance and approved by the Court. Finally, expenditures would increase if services other than counsel are requested and approved by the court during the defense of a case or during an appeal. The repeal of the class B felony in RSA 159:19 may reduce general fund expenditures by an indeterminable amount. The flat fee of $756.25 per felony is charged by a public defender or contract attorney. If an assigned counsel attorney is used the fee is $60 per hour with a cap of $4,100 for a felony charge. There would also be a decrease in costs associated with services other than counsel and potential appeals not being need as a result of this repeal.
The Department of Justice states this bill will increase state expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2012 and each year thereafter. The Department states this bill would result in an increase in investigations and prosecutions, however the department is not able to estimate the degree of increase to determine the fiscal impact.
The Department of Corrections states the average annual cost of incarcerating an individual in the general prison population for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 was $32,492. The cost to supervise an individual by the Department’s division of field services for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 was $659. The Department states this bill will may decrease expenditures by an indeterminable amount, but is unable to predict the number of individuals that might be impacted.
The Department of Safety states this bill eliminates the requirement for the $100 fee for nonresident licensees and requires the Department to enter into agreements with other jurisdictions to recognize validity of the license to carry in this state. The Department estimates general fund revenue will decrease by $625,000 in fiscal years 2012 through 2015. In addition the Department estimates it would have a decrease in expenditures of $44,111 in FY 2012, $46,833 in FY 2013, $49,774 in FY 2014 and $52,903 in FY 2015 associated with a decrease need in staff to process the nonresident license.
The New Hampshire Association of Counties states to the extent an individual is charged with the new law and detained pre-trial in a county correctional facility or an individual is prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to incarceration, the counties may have increased expenditures. The Association is unable to determine the number of individuals who might be detained or incarcerated as a result of this bill. The average cost to incarcerate an individual in a county facility is $35,000 a year.
The New Hampshire Municipal Association states this bill repeals the requirement that a person obtain a license to carry a loaded concealed pistol or revolver, with certain exceptions. The process for obtaining a license would remain in place for those who voluntarily seek a license. The Association states the change in the license being valid from 4 years to 10 years may result in fewer applications and a potential loss of revenue to the municipalities. However, the Association is not able to determine if all the changes will result in more or fewer applications, therefore is not able to determine the fiscal impact on revenue to municipalities.
Based on information provided by the Judicial Branch for other bills, a class B felony is treated as a routine felony which costs $394.13 in FY 2012 and $399.33 in FY 2013 and each year thereafter and a class A misdemeanor costs $60.03 in FY 2012 and $60.88 in FY 2013 and each year thereafter. However, the possibility of appeals reduces the number of cases needed for a fiscal impact to the Branch in excess of $10,000. The fiscal impact on state general fund expenditures is indeterminable. It can not be determined how many new class A misdemeanors will be heard by the Branch or how many class B felonies will no longer be heard as a result of this bill.