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GUN LAWS  

New Hampshire Gun Laws

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION - Part 1, Article 2-a

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

Gun Laws Overview

RIFLES & SHOTGUNS HANDGUNS
Permit to Purchase No No
Registration of Firearms No No
Licensing of Owners No No
Permit to Carry No No*

*A permit to carry is available, but it is not required to carry a handgun either openly or concealed.  

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.

STATE STATUS
Castle Doctrine Enacted
No-Net Loss No Legislation
Right to Carry Confidentiality Provisions Enacted
Right to Carry in Restaurants Legal
Right To Carry Laws No Permit Required
Right To Carry Reciprocity and Recognition True Reciprocity
Right to Keep & Bear Arms State Constitutional Provisions With Provisions
Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Select Map
Click on a State to see the Gun Law Profile

 

Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms

Purchase

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

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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.

 

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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.

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

 

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Carry

New Hampshire is a permitless carry state, and New Hampshire Statute 159:6(III) provides that "The availability of a license to carry a loaded pistol or revolver under this section or under any other provision of law shall not be construed to impose a prohibition on the unlicensed transport or carry of a firearm in a vehicle, or on or about one’s person, whether openly or concealed, loaded or unloaded, by a resident, nonresident, or alien if that individual is not otherwise prohibited by statute from possessing a firearm in the state of New Hampshire."

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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.

Reciprocity

While New Hampshire has permitless carry, New Hampshire Statute 159:6-d only recognizes the concealed carry permits of states with which it has a reciprocal agreement. The director of the division of state police shall negotiate and enter into reciprocal agreements with other jurisdictions, and shall apply to every jurisdiction with which New Hampshire does not have a reciprocity agreement at least once every five years. See the Division of State Police website.

New Hampshire only recognizes resident concealed handgun licenses.

New Hampshire only recognizes the Arizona, Colorado, Florida, and West Virginia license of persons 21+ years of age.

Prohibited Places

New Hampshire Statute 159:19 prohibits a person from knowingly carrying or having in their control any firearm in a courtroom or area used by a court. An “area used by a court” is defined as:

In a building dedicated exclusively to court use, the entire building exclusive of the area between the entrance and the courthouse security.

In any other building which includes a court facility, courtrooms, jury assembly rooms, deliberation rooms, conference and interview rooms, the judge's chambers, other court staff facilities, holding facilities, and corridors, stairways, waiting areas, and elevators directly connecting these rooms and facilities.

It is an affirmative defense to any prosecution that there was no notice of the prohibition posted in a conspicuous place at each public entrance to the court building.

Other Carry Prohibitions

New Hampshire law continues to restrict firearm possession in certain circumstances:

No person shall carry on an Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle, or a trailer towed by same, any firearms unless said firearm is unloaded. This section shall not apply to law enforcement officers carrying firearms in the course of duty or to pistols carried under a permit issued pursuant to the authority of RSA 159. New Hampshire Statute 215-A:20

No person shall carry on a snowmobile, or a trailer towed by same, any firearms unless said firearm is unloaded. This section shall not apply to law enforcement officers carrying firearms in the course of duty or to pistols carried under a permit issued pursuant to the authority of RSA 159. New Hampshire Statute 215-C:35

No person shall have or carry, in or on a motor vehicle, Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle, snowmobile, or aircraft, whether moving or stationary, a cocked crossbow, a loaded rifle or loaded shotgun, or a rifle or shotgun with a cartridge in a magazine or clip attached to the gun. New Hampshire Statute 207:7(II)

No person shall have in or on a boat or other craft while being propelled by mechanical power, or in a boat or other craft being towed by a boat or other craft propelled by mechanical power, a cocked crossbow, a loaded rifle or loaded shotgun, or a rifle or shotgun with a cartridge in a magazine or clip attached to the gun. New Hampshire Statute 207:7(III)

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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.

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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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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.

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.

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...

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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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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.