UPDATE: This bill has been killed

In the 1950’s, only around one in 20 people needed permission from politicians, or a ‘license’ to work. Today, one in four people requires a license before they can legally earn a living. Depending on the state, licenses may be required before a person could legally work as a barber, interior designer, interpreter, travel guide, or a florist. Currently, New Hampshire is ranked among the top-10 least restrictive states in terms of occupation licensure. Some politicians want to change that, though.

HB1587 locksmith free speech

House Bill 1587 creates a license requirement for locksmiths. In order to obtain this permission slip from our overlords in the government, each locksmith would have to attend a government-approved school for locksmithing, be at least 21 years old, pass a background check by the government, and an application fee of an amount to be determined later by the director of the office of professional licensure and certification. As written, the bill provides an exemption for those who can prove that they’ve been in the industry for more than 5 years. Of course, this sentence could easily be stricken from the bill with a simple amendment.

Violating this new law would be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on whether the unlicensed locksmith had a business.

The bill defines a “Locksmith” as “a person engaged in the locksmithing trade, which is defined as the inspection, installation, recombination, rekeying, service, or repair of locks or locking devices.”

According to the Institute For Justice, only 14 other states currently require locksmiths to obtain a license. Does New Hampshire want to be one of the most regulated, anti-freedom states?

This horribly anti-liberty bill forces people to spend more time and money (potentially MUCH more time and money if the director determines that all ‘accredited programs must be 4-year college degrees) before they could legally earn a living in the trade of their choice.

There is something much more sinister in this bill, and you must read between the lines to notice it.

323-B:2 Section 1 of the bill states that No person shall engage in locksmithing, use the title locksmith, or display or use any words, letters, figures, title, advertisement, or other method to indicate said person is a locksmith…”

This bill seems to violate the natural right to free speech, the 1st amendment to the US Constitution, and Article 22 of the New Hampshire Constitution. This bill would make it a crime to even utter the word ‘locksmith’ unless you are licensed by the state to do so. Considering how many handy men often joke about being carpenters, gunsmiths, and locksmiths whenever they successfully complete a project, this bill could open up a humongous black hole which would easily be large enough to swallow the natural right to freedom of speech, never to be seen again.