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New Hampshire Gun Control Laws

Gun control is a hot topic of debate in the U.S., pitting federal constitutional protections against public safety concerns. While the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was originally intended to allow citizens to defend themselves against invading forces, it has since been interpreted much more broadly. The regulation of firearms is done mostly at the state level, with plenty of diversity among different states and regions. Some states require a waiting period before purchasing a gun and have additional restrictions on the carrying of handguns, while other states are much more permissive. The federal government has limited authority over firearms (see the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm's explanation of the National Firearms Act to learn more).

New Hampshire Gun Control Laws at a Glance

New Hampshire is relatively permissive with respect to firearms and does not require a waiting period for gun purchases. The statute allows residents to carry concealed handguns with a permit and is a "shall issue" state, which means permits will be issued as long as the applicant meets the minimum requirements. Some other states require a compelling reason to carry a conceal handgun before a permit will be issued.

Additional details of New Hampshire's gun control laws are listed below. See Gun Laws for related information.

Code Section 159:1, et seq.
Illegal Arms Teflon coated or armor piercing bullet; slung shot; metallic ("brass") knuckles; billies; fully automatic weapons; sawed-off shotguns
Waiting Period None
Who May Not Own
  • Armed career criminals
  • Convicted felons
  • Minors
Concealed and/or Open Carry

Concealed handguns are permitted with a license (NH is a "shall issue" state, which means permits will be issued as long as the applicant meets the minimum requirements)

Unloaded handguns may be carried openly, except while in a motor vehicle. Loaded "long guns" (rifles, shotguns, etc.) may not be carried in motor vehicles.

Law Prohibiting Firearms On or Near School Grounds Unlawful possession or sale of a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a school zone 193-D:1

Note: State laws always subject to change at any time through decisions by higher courts, the enactment of newly signed legislation, and other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you may also want to contact a New Hampshire criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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