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New Hampshire Gun Laws

Unlike many states in the Northeast region, New Hampshire has extremely permissive gun laws. The state’s constitution specifically protects the right to keep and bear arms “in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.” New Hampshire has very few hardware restrictions and the state makes it easy for most residents to lawfully purchase and possess firearms. As a “shall issue” state, obtaining a concealed carry permit in New Hampshire is also relatively simple. These gun laws have made New Hampshire a popular state for firearms enthusiasts.

New Hampshire Gun Laws at a Glance

Concealed Carry Premit Required No
Open Carry Premitted Yes
Waiting period before purchasing No
Lost and Stolen Firearm Reporting No
Firearms License Required for Purchasing No
Universal Background Check No
Firearm Registration No
Large Capacity Magazine Ban No

Firearm License Requirements

No license is required to obtain a firearm in New Hampshire.

Background Checks

Private firearms transfers are not subject to background checks in New Hampshire. New Hampshire explicitly states that any person who is not licensed to sell handguns can lawfully sell a handgun to another person, unless the buyer is a convicted felon.

In accordance with federal law, licensed dealers must initiate background checks on buyers before the sale of a firearm.

Gun Shows

New Hampshire does not regulate gun shows.

Hardware and Ammunition Restrictions

Hardware Restrictions
Assault Weapons Not restricted
50 Caliber Rifles Not restricted
Machine Guns Not restricted
Large Capacity Magazines Not restricted
Ammunition New Hampshire prohibits Teflon-coated, armor-piercing, and explosive ammunition from being used in the course of a misdemeanor or felony.

Prohibited Persons

Selling firearms to felons is a state offense in New Hampshire. It is also prohibited to possess or purchase a firearm while subject to a protective order.

Prohibited Places

Location Restrictions Exceptions
Schools New Hampshire has no laws prohibiting non-students from possessing firearms in schools. None.
Vehicles Loaded handguns are permitted in vehicles. Rifles and shotguns are permitted in vehicles only if protecting or transporting livestock.

Concealed Carry Laws

Notify Officer No
“No Gun” Signs Not enforced
In-Vehicle Carry Permitted
Restaurant Carry Permitted
State Park Carry Permitted
While Hunting Permitted

Obtaining a Concealed Carry License

Individuals may carry loaded firearms on their person without any kind of permit. Despite this, the state still issues concealed carry permits.

New Hampshire is a ‘shall issue’ state, meaning that any person will be granted a concealed carry license if they satisfy certain requirements.

Requirements for a Concealed Carry License
Local law enforcement must issue a concealed carry license if “it appears that the applicant has good reason to fear injury to the applicant’s person or property or has any proper purpose.” Hunting, target shooting, and self-defense are considered proper purposes.

Concealed Carry Firearms Training

New Hampshire does not require concealed carry applicants to undergo firearms training or demonstrate competency with a firearm.

Concealed Carry Location Restrictions

Even with a valid concealed carry license, you may not carry concealed firearms at the following locations:

  • Courtrooms or areas used by any court
  • On an off-highway recreational vehicle or trailer towed by an off-highway recreational vehicle (if the firearm is loaded)
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is not to be construed as legal advice or acted upon as if it is legal advice: it is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. While we strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information. Gun laws can change frequently, especially at the state and local levels. Application of gun laws can be unique to an individual’s situation. We recommend that each individual consult with a competent and qualified legal professional before purchasing, transporting, or using any firearm or firearm-related product.