UPDATE 4:59 PM: Chief Poitras has clarified to the author that he is “not in support of the hypothetical [he] asked about and [he doesn’t] think it would be advantageous for the 2A.” He said that as a fellow gun owner, gun control is not his goal and he was simply reaching out to his trusted 2A compatriots for their opinions on the issue of “duty to inform” laws.
One member of the ‘Protect & Serve’ LEO Community has decided New Hampshire needs a ‘duty to inform’ law to help law enforcement. That is, the Grafton NH Police Chief proposes 2A restrictions. Here’s his post I stumbled upon in the ‘Grey Shields‘ Facebook Group.
A ‘duty to inform’ law, if adopted in New Hampshire, would couple with Constitutional Carry (passed into law in 2017 and signed by Governor Sununu,) and requires those carrying concealed to inform law enforcement immediately upon contact. Basically, when you get pulled over, you have to tell the officer you have a concealed firearm on your person.
Maine has this proviso to their Constitutional Carry law. If you have a permit, you don’t have to inform, though. It’s unclear whether Chief Poitras wants to mandate ‘duty to inform’ for just constitutional carriers, or for PRL holders too.
As always, this proposal hinges on the idea that criminals will follow a new law. (Hint: they won’t!) Some who carry under our constitutional carry law (or lack of one, to be more precise,) already inform LEOs when they are in contact. Some don’t. Is there a problem that Chief Poitras is trying to fix?
In reality what will happen is otherwise ‘law-abiding’ gun owners will be persecuted for failing to inform “timely” enough, failing to inform at all if they don’t know about the law, or otherwise getting bound up by the legal system that routinely prosecutes silly offenses like this.
Are LEOs across NH being shot by concealed carriers en masse? I haven’t seen any of those stories in the three years since NH repealed PRL requirements, and I didn’t see those stories beforehand either. So, it seems this is another solution in search of a problem, by a police chief who doesn’t like our right to keep and bear arms, despite his claims.
Don’t forget – when our Constitutional Carry bill was going through the legislature in 2017 the NH Association of Chiefs of Police said “it will allow sex offenders and children to carry certain firearms concealed if signed.” [NH police chiefs warn about gun bill, Eagle Tribune, 2/13/2017]
Pure propaganda, of course. The law didn’t change definitions of prohibited persons, and it didn’t allow for children to carry firearms concealed. Convicted felons are still not legally allowed to own, possess, or carry (concealed or not) firearms. Children are still not legally allowed to carry firearms, concealed or otherwise, either. The only thing it did was remove our requirement to beg permission from the Government to exercise our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Chief Poitras needs to go re-read the US and NH Constitution and protect our rights, not attempt to infringe on them.
**The author reached out to Chief Poitras and the Grafton NH Police Department for comment, but did not receive a response prior to publishing. If we hear back, the post will be updated.**