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What are the Gun Laws in New Hampshire?

A Synopsis of State Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms


Gun Appreciation Day Draws Out Gun Enthusiasts
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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.


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.


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 $20.

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.

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