The Governor's staff dismissed the documented history as simply the League's "perspective" and, when confronted with the deadly reality of women's rights being left to the discretion of local law enforcement, said women who felt aggrieved could pursue legal remedies. The very detailed and objective poll commissioned by the League demonstrating that 71% of ALL NH citizens support an end to discretionary and discriminatory licensing was dismissed as "rank partisanship."
The League presented the staff members with briefing books containing a detailed history of New Hampshire's pistol law, tracing it back to New York's 1911 Sullivan Act, a law that allowed for legal discrimination against ethnic and racial minorities. It became law in NH in 1923, ironically 3 years after women gained the right to vote.
After nearly 3 months of waiting, the Women's Defense League was granted an audience, not with Governor Margaret Wood Hassan, but with junior staff members, to discuss its position on SB 116, a bill making optional New Hampshire's pistol license.
Passed by both chambers of the NH legislature, SB 116 would also replace 92 years of discrimination by replacing the amorphous phrase "suitable person" with the crystal-clear "not prohibited by state or federal law."
The Governor's Office believes that even women in dangerous situations such as NJ woman Carol Bowne, murdered while waiting for her pistol permit, should just wait, hope they aren't attacked in the meantime and fight a pistol license denial in court. We find this not only egregious but given the fact that women ARE being discriminated against, we find it unconscionable Governor Hassan would take this stance.
Appalled by this shallow and callous attitude, the League pressed for a meeting with Governor Hassan to make its case face to face; however, her staff averred saying they would "certainly" make our perspective known to her.
Apparently, the Governor is unwilling to meet with NH citizens with whom she does not agree. Perhaps NH is becoming the "live free but do not disagree state."