Q: Who can get a concealed carry license?
A: With some rare exceptions, anyone who isn’t prohibited by law from possessing a gun is generally issued a License to Carry. State law (RSA 159:6 and 159:6-c) provides that if you’re denied a license, the issuing authority must give you the reason(s) for denial in writing within 14 days of the application; you have 30 days to ask the local district or municipal court for a hearing; the court must hold a hearing within 14 days after that; and “during this hearing the burden shall be upon the issuing authority to demonstrate by clear and convincing proof why any denial, suspension, or revocation was justified, failing which the court shall enter an order directing the issuing authority to grant or reinstate the petitioner's license.”
Q: My local police department says that they will take more than 14 days to process my application for a concealed carry license; they gave me a second form (besides the standard one-page application form); they require more than three references; they require my references to send letters to the police department; they require documented proof of firearms training; and they want fingerprints and photographs. Which of these actions are legal?
A: None of them. RSA 159:6 requires that licenses shall be issued or denied within 14 days of application, that “no other forms [other than the state-standard one-page form for NH residents, DSSP 85] shall be used,” and that no fingerprints or photographs may be demanded. RSA 159:6-f provides that issuing authorities who violate the law may be personally liable to you for court costs and attorney’s fees, provided that “the court finds that the entity or person knew or should have known that the conduct engaged in was a violation of this chapter” — which you can ensure by printing out a copy of all 26 sections of RSA 159 and delivering it to your police department.
Most police departments follow the law, but since the most common violation is delay beyond 14 days, I recommend that you send your completed application form (plus the print-out of the law) by certified mail, return receipt requested. That provides evidence of the date your application was delivered.