N.H. Legislators Can Once Again Carry Concealed Weapons On House Floor

Jan 7, 2015

Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Legislators can again carry concealed weapons on the floor of the N.H. House and in the legislative office building after the Republicans-led house voted to undo a prohibition on the practice put in place two years ago by Democrats.

The 228-149 vote came following a debate where Democrats like Len DiSesa, former deputy police chief in Portsmouth, argued allowing guns in the chamber risks public safety.

“The only people who should be armed in the House of Representatives are trained police officers.”

Republicans, like Hampton Republican Fred Rice, countered that lawmakers should be entitled to protect themselves.

“We are not asking for the word on this. We are asking for the right to do what we would do in our daily lives everyplace else, merely the right to carry a concealed weapon for defense of our own person.”  

'We are asking for the right to do what we would do in our daily lives everyplace else, merely the right to carry a concealed weapon for defense of our own person.' - Rep. Fred Rice of Hampton

The vote to allow guns, which was backed by new House Speaker Shawn Jasper, reinstates the policy in effect when Republican last led the house from  2011-2012.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures as many as ten other states allow guns to be carried at statehouses.

Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers' tweets from this morning's session: