There are many laws about guns in New Hampshire. The following are the laws and a summary of each one.
It is federal law that a person buying any type of firearm must be 21 years old. However, in New Hampshire, there are no age restrictions for owning a gun. That means a 21-year-old man can legally buy a firearm and give it to his younger sibling as a gift.
There are no licenses whatsoever in New Hampshire for purchasing a gun. That means if one brings identification that proves you are 21 years or older, you can buy a gun. It is up to the dealer whether or not to do background checks. The only license and/or permit that someone can buy in New Hampshire is a concealed carry license. Anyone can carry an unloaded gun with them in New Hampshire. To carry a loaded gun anywhere, you need the license that costs $10 for in-state residents and $100 for out of state residents.
It is also legal to carry a rifle inside the New Hampshire state house, unloaded or loaded with the proper license.
PISTOLS AND REVOLVERS
A pistol or revolver means any gun with a barrel less than 16 inches. It doesn’t include antique pistols, specialty guns (gun cane) or revolvers.
Carrying Without License. – No one can carry a loaded gun in their vehicle or concealed, except in their house or place of business, without a license. First offense is a misdemeanor, second is a class B felony (if it happens again within seven years of the first offense).
Exceptions. – RSA 159:3 and 4 don’t apply to marshals, sheriffs, policemen or other law enforcement officers.
Section 159:6 License to Carry. –
The select town/city mayor or any other official appointed to take up the responsibility, will issue a license to carry a gun. The license lasts 4 years. The fee for licenses issued to residents in state is $10, while out-of-state residents will have to pay $100.
Section 159:6-b Suspension or Revocation of License. –
A license to carry can be suspended or revoked for just cause, with written notice given to the holder of said license. The carrier also has to attend a hearing if requested by the issuing authority within seven days of the suspension or revocation. If a person leaves the state and stops being a resident, the holder has to notify the issuing authority. The license will stay in effect until it expires.
Section 159:7 Sales to Felons. – No one can sell, deliver, or give a firearm to a person that has been convicted of a felony. If they do, they are guilty of a class B felony.
Section 159:8 License to Sell. – People of the state of NH can apply for a license to sell guns that lasts 3 years. The business that is selling the guns can only sell in the building they register with the license, where the license itself also has to be displayed.
Section 159:8-a Sales to Nonresidents; Attorney General. – Nonresidents of NH can’t buy a gun unless they have a license issued from their state or the state of NH.
Section 159:8-b Penalties. – If a retailer or gun seller violates any of the gun sale laws, their license is suspended for a period of 3 months and may also have to pay a fine up to $100.
Section 159:1 False Information. – Anyone providing false information when selling, buying, or applying for permits, will be guilty of a class B felony.
Section 159:12 Sale to Minors. – Anyone that sells or lends a gun to a minor is guilty of a misdemeanor. This doesn’t apply to parents or guardians that leave their firearms to their children, people instructing safe use of firearms, licensed hunters, or licensed individuals supervising minors using firearms in a lawful setting.
Section 159:13 Changing Marks. – Anyone that changes or destroys the name of the maker, model, manufacturer’s number, or other mark of identification on any firearm is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Section 159:15 Possession of Dangerous Weapon While Committing a Violent Crime. – Anyone that uses a deadly weapon during an attempted violent crime is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
159:25 Voluntarily Surrendered Firearms. – No state agency can host a “voluntary surrender and destroy” event/program pertaining to firearms. Any guns surrendered to a state agency are to be sold at public auction or kept by the state.
Proceeds from firearms sold at auction are deposited in the general fund.
The following laws are being proposed this year (2013). Each one has a summary and a list of sponsors and committees.
HOUSE BILL 451-FN
AN ACT repealing the license requirement for carrying a concealed pistol or revolver.
SPONSORS: Rep. Hoell, Merr 23; Rep. Itse, Rock 10
COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety (Check http://legiscan.com/NH/text/HB451)
Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
Eric Jedd can be contacted at