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Heard in New Hampshire

"No 'sunshine patriots' here. Just the real deal." ~Susan Olsen

"New Hampshire has the best Constitutional Carry laws in the nation now. It took us several years because we wanted to do it right. It worked." ~Keith

"There is a strong agorist element here in New Hampshire and many people make a decent living serving primarily fellow-Porcs." ~Althea Champion Dubravsky

"Gorgeous day in paradise. I love the sunny morning after a nor'easter. Everything is so crisp and clear." ~Kristine Brooks Boncer

(Photo by Kevin Avard)

Origin Stories: Goshe Thrives in New Hampshire

In February of 2008 when I became a U.S citizen, I was led to believe that voting was now my civic duty. Previously, I had been completely apolitical and for the first time I started to read the agendas between the two party lines. Looking back, I was just another ‘one issue voter’. At the time, I could not comprehend how a government could force individuals to purchase health insurance. As disgusted as I was with taxation, it seemed like a no brainer to avoid voting for Obama. I still hadn’t found political home until a new friend from work introduced me to Ron Paul minarchism. This led me to a group of friends involved with Campaign for Liberty in Baltimore, Maryland. Later that year, this new group of friends decided to head to Lancaster, NH for the event of the year that I knew nothing about. It was called PorcFest.

Big Day in da Haus

Yesterday was a great day for liberty in the state capitol. Pro-liberty bills passed left and right in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, and will now be considered in the Senate, after which they could make their way to the Governor’s desk for signature.

School Choice

The State Senate has already passed one version of the “Croydon Bill” (SB 8) and the House passed its version yesterday (HB 557). This bill gives school districts the power to assign children to private schools in certain circumstances, using taxpayer dollars.

Says the Union Leader:

FSP Goes to Anarchapulco

Last weekend I went down to check out Anarchapulco. Since I missed my Mexico City connection by a couple minutes, I was jerked around by the airline and I ended up checking in to the auspiciously named "NH Collection" Airport Hotel.

NH Collection Hotel - Mexico City Airport

I ran into Eric July of Backwordz as we were both checking in - who had also missed his flight, and we spent the night cursing inefficient and over-regulated airlines (I’m looking at you, AeroMexico).

When I finally arrived Saturday morning, it was like getting off the plane in New Hampshire: Sunny and 70°. Beautiful!

Origin Stories: Robert Brags About his Liberty

New Hampshire just repealed concealed-carry permit requirements!

We have medical marijuana and are close to decrim.

We were the second state to recognize marriage rights for LGBT through legislation rather than the courts.

We have the best per capita representation in a state legislature, with an average of one representative for roughly every 3,250 people.

We have no income tax and no sales tax and the least tax revenue per capita among the states.

Unemployment; also lowest among all the states.

There is no requirement for car insurance which makes it super cheap (I saved 50%, yes my rates were literally halved, by switching to New Hampshire and didn't even need to call the lizard!).

We have among the lowest crime rates, and have been ranked among the healthiest states. We have the least STD’s!.

We have minor league baseball and hockey, some of the best hiking and skiing, Hampton Beach, and Chunky’s Cinema Pub!

This is what freedom can do, and we are just getting started! Live Free or Die!!

If your bags are not packed yet... what are you waiting for?? LIVE FREE with us!!

A Brief History of NH Marijuana Legislation

Few things get my goat more than when we see liberties expand in New Hampshire--as we saw recently with Constitutional Carry--and then the naysayers respond on Facebook with some version of "Still can't grow weed," or "Legalize MJ then I'll move."

Besides the giant red flag of demanding that other people expand your liberties for you before you commit to moving, it is frustrating when you consider how many years Granite State activists have been working on marijuana reform. An early mover posted the following in response to one such comment, and I thought it would be good to share for educational purposes:

1997, HB118 – Decrim <1½ oz.; killed in House

1998, HB1559 – Legal medical; killed in House

1999, HB87 – Decrim <1 oz.; killed in House (219-142)

2000, HB202 – Legal medical; interim study

2001, HB721 – Legal medical; killed in House (223-101)

2005, HB197 – Decrim all amounts; killed in House (295-60)

2005, HB238 – Legal medical; killed in House (252-116)

2007, HB92 – Decrim all amounts; died in House

Mover Survey Report

The goal of this survey was to gather hard data about the process and perception of moving from our movers, and to get the temperature of participants on the value proposition of the organization. The Free State Project needs to better understand the demographics, interests, and moving processes of its members.

We used the online survey tool SurveyMonkey, and distributed the survey through an email campaign on HubSpot. Analysis was done in Microsoft Excel.

Our response rate was 20%, which is above industry standard. Movers who responded tended to be opinionated, technologically comfortable, and recent movers. These biases have been incorporated into our analysis.

Key Lessons

Visitors prioritize exploring the state, especially on their first visit. Event management would do well to take this into account.

53% of respondents report that moving processes (physically moving, finding and job/home etc) were the most difficult part of the move to manage. 33% of respondents had more trouble building a network. The FSP can improve the first number by seeking out agencies that facilitate this process.

There are two major weaknesses.

Origin Stories: Bringing the Chase's Home

I moved to New Hampshire in late January from Iowa. I am a New Englander by birth but life landed me in Iowa for past seven years, happily so. My wife is still back in Iowa settling up affairs there and I moved early to start a new job. Having lived in both Connecticut and Massachusetts previously, when we decided to move back to the area the choice was between two states - Vermont or New Hampshire. I would like to say that we chose the Shire for reasons of principle, and that was certainly a factor, but the overriding factors were the pragmatics. As a technologist it opened up the greatest number of options for employment for me (Manchester, Concord, and the Boston area), the taxes are favorable (I've given more than enough money to Taxachusetts), and the mode of life here is more to our liking. Once we sell the house in Iowa, my wife will be moving out here as well and we will be purchasing property to start a small farmstead; our goal is building towards self-sufficiency and working with like-minded people to secure as much freedom and privacy as possible for everyone.

Constitutional Carry Signed into Law

Gov. Chris Sununu signs SB12

Constitutional Carry SB12 has been signed into law by Governor Sununu. You may recall, a similar bill was passed in 2015, only to be vetoed by then Governor Hassan.

New Hampshire is an open carry state, meaning anyone who legally owns a gun can carry the firearm in the open. But before today, gun owners needed to get a license from local police or town officials to carry a loaded firearm concealed. From today forward, there is no longer a “suitable person” permit requirement to carry concealed.

During the legislative session, the New Hampshire state Senate voted along party lines,13-10, to pass the bill, followed later by a 200-97 vote in the House in favor of the measure.

New Hampshire now joins its neighbors Vermont and Maine as another Constitutional Carry state. As with the other 11 states that have moved to Constitutional Carry, the Granite State’s “shall issue” permit system will remain in place for residents seeking reciprocity with other states.

Origin Stories: Melanie Finds Her Tribe

I had been "kinda sorta" planning on visiting New Hampshire for a while and had a train trip planned to L.A. in June for a friend's wedding. Due to train schedules, I had taken almost two weeks off of work. My anarchist friend who lives in New Hampshire told me that the TSA had quit some of the more objectionable activities that were the reason why I refused to fly on planes. So, I rescheduled my trip and flew to New Hampshire the morning after the wedding.

Back in Louisiana, I had begun to catch myself making concessions. After living in the Prison Capital of the country, New Hampshire was immeasurably better. Once, I was driving to the store at night, and saw some people walking down the sidewalk. The person in the car with me had to explain to me that walking after dark will NOT get you stopped by the police here.

Origin Story: Bruce Escapes Taxachusetts

I left the Marine Corps in May of 2011 and moved back to MA, upon return I applied for my LTC, 3 Months later I received a restricted to target and hunting from the city of Medford. I am a combat veteran who has been to Afghanistan and know my way around weapons safety, to me that was the first slap in the face.

One year later, I met my wife, got married, and had a baby. After finding a job and getting settled to married life, a friend encouraged me to move after moving to NH himself, to make the change. Considering the fraud, waste, and abuse that is part of the MA body politic I was tired of seeing my money get pissed away on negligible road work, shoddy construction, and insider deals. I found an awesome house in Derry that if plopped smack dab in the greater Boston area would cost 700K easy, my neighborhood is quiet and peaceful, and my wife and child are happier than ever. Many of us Vets get out looking to live in a place that embodies those principals we stood to defend and I find that here in NH, with the freedom-oriented knife and gun laws, fiscal responsibility in transparent government, and a better sense of self sufficiency and independence.

Liberty Forum Was Awesomesauce!

Hundreds of free thinkers attended the Free State Project’s 10th Annual Liberty Forum this past weekend. Thank you to everyone who came! Tickets to the Porcupine Freedom Festival, our summer extravaganza went on sale. We’ve already sold more than 150 PorcFest XIV tickets, so take advantage of the lowest available price, and get yours today!

Due to renovations at the Radisson, we held Liberty Forum in the Expo Center where we utilized the 65,000 square foot space for our vendor area, keynote addresses, our dining area, as well as a bar and lounge where folks could hang out. Talks and kid’s activities were held in breakout rooms. We even had a virtual gun range--thanks, Bill D!

Look What's Cookin' in the Granite State Today

I still get and read the Union Leader the old fashioned way--paper delivered to my doorstep (or thereabouts... sometimes it seems the distance from my front door to my paper shifts depending on the temperature outside. The colder it is, the farther away it lands). Here are some highlights from today's edition:

In Granite Status, Dan Tuohy writes the "Governor's budget proposal should keep legislators busy". In the article, Governor Sununu (R) says there are "two guiding principles that should be considered at every step":

“We urge Congress to untie the hands of the States, Let us have the flexibility to design a New Hampshire system for New Hampshire Citizens.”

“We urge the creation of narrowly focused market-based solutions, rather than onerous regulations. Let us regulate our own marketplace and then hold ourselves accountable.”

The "Welcome to the Free State of New Hampshire Experience" is Growing!

Our new movers are coming in fast and furious! As a result, we are so excited to announce the expansion of our Welcome to the Free State of New Hampshire Experience™.

This month our participants are hosting two New Mover Parties! Our wonderful friends at the Quill will host their amazing potluck party on the first Tuesday of the month, as they have been, come rain or come shine. Hostess BuMps will be providing one dish and smiles for days.

Area 23, the awesome bar and grill in Concord, will be hosting their first quarterly New Mover Party on February 23rd, and are excited to welcome the newest participants on the Free State Project, and help them feel at home. It’s a great chance to catch up with other Free Staters from up north.

If you are a Free State Participant who would like to host a New Movers Party, please reach out! There are movers all over the state, and we need to get them their swag bags!!

Volunteers Needed: Calling All Callers!

The Free State Project is looking for outgoing, self-motivated individuals with a knack for making friends and influencing people. We are calling signers and encouraging them to fulfill their pledge and Make the Move.

Our goal is to move one new Porcupine a day, and we need your help to do it!

You can make the calls with me in Manchester at my home office, or from the comfort of your own home. We will provide training in person to set you up for success. Training will include onboarding, technical integration, conversational responses, and follow up recommendations--which will all make sense after the training! :)

Outreach reps will be expected to commit to 7 hours a week for 3 months. Schedules are flexible, in accordance with your needs. This is a volunteer position. Successful, dedicated volunteers may be considered for paid positions.

If interested, email volunteer@fsp.org and include any relevant experience in sales, customer support, phone banking, etc. Look forward to having you on the team!

Origin Story: Kevin Moves to Lancaster

In August 2004, there was a rumor that my employer might close the facility where I worked in Texas. While discussing our options, I mentioned to my wife that a new facility had just been approved in New Hampshire.

Her response: "Are you serious? How soon can we go?" I smiled and said, "Well, let me tell you about this thing called the Free State Project."

Neither of us had ever lived in New Hampshire, and had no ties to New England or even the Northeastern U.S.; we were solid Southerners who hated the heat. But thanks to the FSP, we were able to research towns where we might like to live, compare housing prices and tax rates, and generally fall in love with New Hampshire.

We made our first visit to the 2006 Porcupine Freedom Festival, and spent a week touring the communities of the Great North Woods. The next time that we set foot in New Hampshire was October 1, 2012, when we arrived pulling all our household goods behind us to move into a house we had purchased online without ever seeing it in person.

I don't recommend it, but it worked out wonderfully for us!

Boom! Firearms Rights and Jobs in New Hampshire

SIG Sauer P320 FDE on SIG logo table

ConCarry ("constitutional carry", or the right to carry a concealed pistol without a permit, aka the Second Amendment) recently passed the Senate, and is headed to the House. Unlike former Gov. Hassan, who vetoed a similar bill last session, new Republican Governor Chris Sununu has promised to sign it.

NH-based SIG Sauer won a new contract to provide the Army's new sidearm. $580m for the new P320 to be made here in NH. Sure, it’s a massive government contract, but if you have any experience in firearms, manufacturing, engineering, or construction, you should have no trouble finding a job here.

School Choice Week, Soon An Everyday Occurrence?

It's National School Choice Week, and New Hampshire is showing a hearty appetite for more school choice!

You may have followed the saga of the NH Department of Education's witchhunt against the small town of Croydon. The Education Commissioner responsible, Virginia Barry, is stepping down at the end of this month. The new appointee tapped by Governor Sununu is none other than Frank Edelblut, the conservative homeschooling accountant and former legislator who surprised many (but not me!) by coming within 800 votes of beating Sununu in the Republican primary last fall. Edelblut is a big proponent of school choice, all seven of his children were home schooled, saying:

Only 100 Tickets Left for Free State Project’s Liberty Forum

MANCHESTER, NH: The 10th annual Liberty Forum will be held February 2-4, 2017 at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Manchester and features an exciting lineup. Due to renovations at the hotel, seats are limited and there are only approximately 100 tickets left. Register today to avoid disappointment.

Headliner Rick Falkvinge, founder of the first Pirate Party and political evangelist for freedom of speech and expression will speak via videoconference on Saturday, February 4. Falkvinge was shortlisted as one of TIME Magazine’s 2012 “Most Influential People” and The Guardian listed him as one of the world's Top 20 Internet Freedom Fighters.

“This year’s theme is ‘Leading Liberty’,” said Matt Philips, president of the Free State Project, “because that’s what free staters do. Attendees will hear from our early movers, talks on topics like legislative advances being made by elected participants, and the lawsuit brought by the Department of Education against the small town of Croydon regarding school choice.”

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