What would your gun rights be like in a free state?
Liberty in Our Lifetime
We don’t want to wait decades for most American citizens to realize that the nanny state is an insult to their dignity. For those of us who already understand the debilitating effects of a government bent on reducing liberty rather than increasing it, the Free State Project offers the potential for real liberty within our lifetimes. The project aims at the achievable goal of liberty in a single state where all can live free.
Dick Heller (of DC v. Heller fame) is a Free-Stater!
How would your life change in a free state?
"All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state." -- New Hampshire Constitution Article 2-A
For more information, see Free State Blogs' Frequently asked questions regarding gun laws.
Free Stater exercising his open carry rights
New Hampshire now has full so-called "Castle Doctrine" protection. While the law already protected the right of self defense in one's home without a duty to retreat, Senate Bill 88, which became law after being passed by veto-proof majorities of both houses, protects the right to self defense in any place a person has the right to be. There is no duty to retreat from an encounter. In addition, Senate Bill 88 provides civil protectsion to those who use lawful, defensive force. Read the bill here.
New Hampshire becomes the first state to legalize all knives in one fell swoop and the second to re-legalize switchblades. The governor signed HB 1665, a bill that had passed the House and Senate unanimously. HB 1665 was introduced and sponsored by a free stater who had gotten elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives. It is no exaggeration to say that if the Free State Project did not exist, automatic knives would still be illegal in New Hampshire. To see an interview with the sponsor of the "knife freedoms" bill, click here.
In 2008, the New Hampshire legislature defeated a bill to ban guns in the state house. The vote was 279-19 in favor of maintaining the rights of individuals to carry in the state house. Individuals may still carry openly in the state house without a license or concealed with a license. Can you carry in your state house?
The most amazing thing about this story is how many people showed up to protect their rights. The public hearing was packed to the rafters and Representative Kjellman (D-Henniker) - the sole sponsor of the bill - was the only person in the packed room to speak in favor of the bill. Dave Ridley has coverage of this show of force. -- Part 1 -- Part 2 -- Part 3 --
Anti-gun Rep. Kjellman subsequently lost her Democratic primary race. Apparently no one sent her the memo: even among Democrats, gun control does not fly in New Hampshire.
The same message was sent when 500-600 gun owners packed the state house to protect their gun rights and watch the senate judiciary comittee unanimously reject a bill that would have weakened New Hampshire's carry law. Coverage here.
In 2007, the New Hampshire legislature defeated a bill that would change the concealed carry licensing statute to allow the issuing authority to deny a license to anyone "the official reasonably believes to be a member of a terrorist or criminal organization" That bill was unanimously rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee before an overstuffed hearing room and a jam-packed Hall of Flags. See the video here
Free-Stater David Ridley believes strongly in the importance of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, and the stronger and more clearly-worded New Hampshire Constitution. Dave was troubled by news reports that, in the wake of hurricane Katrina, various government agencies confiscated guns from law-abiding people -- at precisely the time when they needed most to defend themselves from looters.
Dave contacted several 2nd-Amendment groups in New Hampshire, and he engaged the legislature. Inspired by his lead, the New Hampshire Senate proposed SB 348: "prohibiting the taking of arms and ammunition in a declared state of emergency."
Separately, a bill was introduced (SB 318-FN) allowing "a person who is in any place where he or she has a right to be to use deadly force to protect oneself."
As you can imagine, both these bills generated much public debate. Free-Staters joined the New Hampshire natives in writing Letters to the Editor, testifying before the House and Senate, and contacting our Representatives and Senators.
In the end, both these bills passed the House and Senate.
New Hampshire continues its progress on the issue of gun rights. In January, 2004, the New Hampshire Senate passed a bill that would lift the requirement for a state license to carry a concealed firearm!
In a free state...
New Hampshire Gun, Knife, And Weapon Law
Written by Free State Project Early Mover
Attorney E.F. Nappen
This is the first and only comprehensive book covering New Hampshire laws (or lack of laws) on guns, knives and weapons.