New Hampshire

Updated as of Monday, August 26, 2013.

STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION

“All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property, and the state.”

Part 1, Article 2-a

Important/Relevant Gun Laws

RIFLES AND SHOTGUNSHANDGUNS
Permit to PurchaseNoNo
Registration of FirearmsNoNo
Licensing of OwnersNoNo
Permit to CarryNoYes

The list and map below are included as a tool to assist you in validating your information.  We have made every effort to report the information correctly, however reciprocity and recognition agreements are subject to frequent change.  The information is not intended as legal advice or a restatement of law and does not include:  restrictions that may be placed on non-resident permits, individuals under the age of 21, qualifying permit classes, and/or any other factor which may limit reciprocity and/or recognition.  For any particular situation, a licensed local attorney must be consulted for an accurate interpretation.  YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL.

Reciprocity

  • These states recognize New Hampshire permits:
  • Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming
  • New Hampshire recognizes permits from:
  • Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming

Map of states recognizing New Hampshire permits:

A synopsis of New Hampshire state laws on purchase, possession and carrying of firearms.

PURCHASE

There are no state licensing requirements for the purchase of any rifle, shotgun or handgun.

It is unlawful to sell any firearm to any convicted felon. It is unlawful to sell or give a handgun to a minor, unless the gift is from a parent, guardian or executor to a child, ward or heir.

POSSESSION

There are no state licensing requirements for the possession of rifles, shotguns or handguns. It is unlawful for any person who has been convicted of a felony to own, possess or control any firearm.

Persons who are the subject of a court protective order may be required to surrender all firearms and ammunition.

CARRY

It is unlawful to carry a loaded handgun in any vehicle or concealed about one's person without a license. Exceptions to the above prohibition are: carrying in one's dwelling, house or place of business; law enforcement and military personnel when on duty; organizations authorized by law to purchase or receive firearms.

A person may carry a handgun openly upon his person or unloaded and exposed or locked up in a vehicle without a license to carry. To obtain a license to carry, a person must apply to the selectmen or mayor or chief of police of the town where he is a resident. The selectmen or mayor or chief of police shall issue a license to the applicant authorizing him to carry a handgun if he is a suitable person to be licensed and has good reason to fear an injury to his person or property or has any other "proper purpose."  Hunting, target shooting or self-defense shall be considered proper purposes.  The license shall be valid for all allowable purposes regardless of the purpose for which it was originally issued.

The fee for the license is $10.00 for New Hampshire residents and the license is valid for not more than four years. The license shall be in duplicate with one copy held by the licensee and one copy held by the issuing officer.

The license must be issued within 14 days of application. If the application is denied, the reasons for the denial must be stated in writing and delivered to the applicant.

A non-resident may obtain a license to carry by applying to the director of state police. He must meet the requirements as outlined above and pay a fee of $100.

A license to carry a firearm concealed issued to a non-resident by another state shall be honored if such state provides a reciprocal privilege.

A person shall not knowingly carry or have in his control any firearm in a courtroom or area used by a court. This shall not apply to authorized persons, police officers, and security guards.

ANTIQUES AND REPLICAS

Antiques, defined as any handgun "utilizing an early type of ignition," such as flintlocks, percussion and pin fires, are exempt from the above regulations. No handgun which utilizes centerfire or rimfire cartridges will be considered an antique.

MACHINE GUNS

In the absence of any state law governing automatic weapons, federal law controls the registration and regulation of machine guns in New Hampshire.

PREEMPTION

The state of New Hampshire shall have authority and jurisdiction over the sale, purchase, ownership, use, possession, transportation, licensing, permitting, taxation, or other matter pertaining to firearms, firearms components, ammunition, or firearms supplies in the state. READ ALL

159:26 Firearms and Ammunition;  Authority of the State.

I. To the extent consistent with federal law, the state of New Hampshire shall have authority and jurisdiction over the sale, purchase, ownership, use, possession, transportation, licensing, permitting, taxation, or other matter pertaining to firearms, firearms components, ammunition, or firearms supplies in the state.  Except as otherwise specifically provided by statute, no ordinance or regulation of a political subdivision may regulate the sale, purchase, ownership, use, possession, transportation, licensing, permitting, taxation, or other matter pertaining to firearms, firearms components, ammunition, or firearms supplies in the state.  Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting a political subdivision's right to adopt zoning ordinances for the purpose of regulating firearms businesses in the same manner as other businesses or to take any action allowed under RSA 207:59.

II. Upon the effective date of this section, all municipal ordinances and regulations not authorized under paragraph I relative to the sale, purchase, ownership, use, possession, transportation, licensing, permitting, taxation, or other matter pertaining to firearms, firearm components, ammunition, or firearms supplies shall be null and void.

 

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Range Protection

No person who owns, operates, or uses a shooting range in this state shall be subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution in any matter relating to noise or noise pollution... READ ALL

159-B:1 Exemption.

Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 644:2, III(a) or any other law to the contrary, no person who owns, operates, or uses a shooting range in this state shall be subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution in any matter relating to noise or noise pollution, provided that the owners of the range are in compliance with any applicable noise control ordinances in existence at the time the range was established, was constructed, or began operations.

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MISCELLANEOUS

It is unlawful to carry a loaded rifle or shotgun in or on any motor vehicle, power boat or airplane. It is unlawful to change, alter, remove or obliterate the name of the maker, model, serial number or other mark of identification on any handgun. Possession of a handgun with its marks altered creates a legal presumption that the possessor committed the offense.  READ ALL

It is unlawful to discharge a firearm on the land of another within 300 feet of a permanently occupied building without the permission of the owner.

It is unlawful to discharge a firearm from or across a public highway, including the rights of way of a highway, in pursuit of wild birds or animals.

A person who uses or attempts to use Teflon coated or armor piercing or exploding ammunition in the course of any misdemeanor or felony shall be guilty of a separate felony.

To the extent consistent with federal law, the state of New Hampshire shall have authority and jurisdiction over the sale, purchase, ownership, use, possession, transportation, licensing, permitting, taxation, or other matter pertaining to firearms, firearms components, ammunition, or firearms supplies in the state. Except as otherwise specifically provided by statute, no ordinance or regulation of a political subdivision may regulate the sale, purchase, ownership, use, possession, transportation, licensing, permitting, taxation, or other matter pertaining to firearms, firearms components, ammunition, or firearms supplies in the state.

New Hampshire prohibits civil liability causes of action against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition for the harm caused by the criminal or unlawful use of their products by others.

HIDE

SOURCES: N.H. Rev. Ann. §§ 159.1; 159.3-159.8b; 159.11-159.21; 159-D: 1-3; 207:3-a; 207:3-c

CAUTION: Firearm laws are subject to frequent change and court interpretation. This summary is not intended as legal advice or restatement of law. This summary does not include federal or local laws, ordinances or regulations. For any particular situation, a licensed local attorney must be consulted for an accurate interpretation. YOU MUST ABIDE WITH ALL LAWS: STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL.

This may be reproduced. It may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.