The Women's Defense League of NH stands behind our chairman, Michelle Levell, who was recently denied her Pistol Revolver License renewal. You can read her story on our website http://wdlnh.org/2015/12/who-is-suitable-a-personal-story/
Her local chief refused to renew her license even after a complete and accurate application was submitted with three references.
Chiefs of police are able to make arbitrary and subjective decisions to issue licenses because the basis for determining suitability is undefined in state statute.
New Hampshire's license statute has origins in efforts to limit firearms ownership by women and minorities during the Amoskeag Mills strike in the 1920s. This discrimination continues today. During public hearings for SB 116, we heard numerous people testify that their chief denied their Pistol Revolver licenses for capricious reasons.
Earlier this year the New Hampshire legislature passed Senate Bill 116, a bill that would have defined suitability and ended nearly 100 years of discrimination. However, Governor Maggie Hassan vetoed the bill and in September the senate failed to overturn the veto.
There is one more opportunity to end this state-sanctioned discrimination.
House Bill 582, with language identical to SB 116, will come before the New Hampshire House in early January, shortly after they open the 2016 legislative session. Discrimination in any century is abhorrent and must end. We urge our NH state representatives and senators to finally end this practice, and allow the clear definition of "suitability" and common sense to prevail.