BY: Citizens Count
In New Hampshire it is illegal to carry any loaded firearm on an OHRV or snowmobile, unless you have a permit to carry a concealed handgun.
The New Hampshire House and Senate are both working on bills to change that law.
Gun law changes in the works
Earlier this month, the Senate passed SB 500. That bill would add an exception to the state ban on carrying a loaded rifle or shotgun on an OHRV or snowmobile, allowing it so long as the vehicle is stationary. SB 500 also allows someone protecting livestock or crops to carry a loaded long gun while moving.
Yesterday, the House passed HB 1313. That bill simply repeals the law against carrying a loaded handgun on an OHRV or snowmobile entirely.
Gun rights for snowmobilers, OHRV operators
Supporters of SB 500 and HB 1313 generally argue that snowmobilers and OHRV operators shouldn’t lose their right to defend themselves just because they are riding a vehicle.
Some gun rights advocates argue HB 1313 should pass, rather than SB 500. That way, all OHRV and snowmobile drivers would be allowed to carry loaded long guns, moving or stationary, protecting farmland or not.
Concern about road rage, accidents, poachers
Opponents of SB 500 and HB 1313 argue that the current laws are a reasonable restriction on gun ownership. If an OHRV operator or snowmobiler wants to carry a loaded gun for self-defense, he or she can get a permit. This small barrier makes it less likely that there will be accidental discharges or road rage incidents.
The blanket ban on loaded long guns also makes it easier for Fish and Game officials to enforce laws against illegal hunting and poaching.
Would you support a law to allow all snowmobilers and OHRV operators to carry loaded firearms? Let us know in the comments.