State Laws

New Hampshire Gun Laws


New Hampshire Gun Laws
Some state laws state that carrying any weapon requires a special permit, but the state of New Hampshire only issues licenses to carry revolvers or pistols. No licenses are required to carry firearms if unloaded, but if the firearms are loaded when being carried either on the body or in a vehicle--concealed or not--requires that licenses be necessary. The local police department handles the issuance of these licenses at a ten-dollar fee for New Hampshire residence and a one hundred-dollar fee for non-residents. These licenses last for a maximum of four years for non-resident licenses and a minimum of four years for resident licenses. The waiting time for receiving a license can be as much as fourteen days.

Purchasing Firearms in New Hampshire
New Hampshire does not require that a license be needed to purchase handguns, rifles, or shotguns. It is in fact illegal to sell a firearm to an individual previously convicted of a felon. It is also illegal to transfer or sell any kind of handgun to a minor. There are exceptions to this rule and include receiving a handgun as a gift from a legal guardian, heir, or parent.

Possessing Firearms
New Hampshire does not require that its citizens acquire licenses before possessing shotguns, rifles, or handguns. It is illegal for anyone convicted of a felony to possess, control, or own a firearm. When an individual is charged with a felony, he or she will be asked by the court to yield all forms of ammunition and all forms of firearms to the state.

Carrying Firearms
Because it is illegal to carry loaded handguns in motor vehicles, all concealed weapons must have a license. However the state of New Hampshire has set exceptions to this rule. These include carrying and having a loaded handgun in a place of dwelling, home, or business; carrying a loaded handgun for the purposes of law enforcement or military employment while on active duty; and participating in an organized meeting where handguns are to be receive and purchased. If a handgun is unloaded or secured in a casing, it is legal to carry the firearm on the body or in a motor vehicle without first acquiring a license.

Acquiring a license to carry a concealed weapon can be done through application to the mayor, the police chief, or selectmen of the town of residency. The authority will authorize the license if the application is found to be for a proper purpose where others cannot accidentally be injured. New Hampshire law states that proper purposes include self-defense, target shooting, and hunting. The copy of the license will be issued to the applicant and another will be kept by the mayor, selectmen, or police chief who authorized the license. When an application has been denied, the reasons for denial will be outlined in written form and presented to the individual. When a non-resident acquires a license, he or she must comply with all New Hampshire laws for gun safety.

See also:
New Hampshire Felony
New Hampshire Divorce
New Hampshire Bankruptcy Laws
New Hampshire Misdemeanors External link (opens in new window)
New Hampshire Expungement External link (opens in new window)