Pro-Gun New Hampshire General Counsel, attorney Evan Nappen, has won a significant court case involving concealed carry licensing in New Hampshire. His client was denied a NH non-resident carry license solely due to a 34 year old misdemeanor marijuana conviction received when he was 18 years old. The State was stubbornly enforcing their administrative rule (which, by the way, has no basis in law) that makes any misdemeanor conviction for drugs an automatic denial.
Now, attorney Nappen has won an important court case that stands for two legal issues regarding concealed carry licensing in New Hampshire. Quoting the judge’s decision: first, that “there does not appear to be any articulable, legitimate reason for the disparate treatment of residents and non-residents”; second, that “the provision precluding the issuance of a pistol permit [sic*] for an out of state resident based upon a misdemeanor drug conviction is unreasonable on its face.”
Put these two elements together, and you have a judicial precedent (though not binding on other courts) that can be used in other, future appeals of NH licensing denials, for both residents and non-residents, that a misdemeanor drug conviction should no longer be used as an automatic basis for denying concealed carry licenses. Given how often NH police and courts deny licenses because of such misdemeanor convictions, this precedent will prove to be instructive.
We believe that this is a step toward defining the “suitable person” language in the state’s carry licensing law to mean that anyone who isn’t prohibited by law from possessing a gun shouldn’t be prohibited from concealed carry.
Read the rest: Big win for carry licensing