Just wanted to stop by and see how many other people from NH are on this forum. Found a great web site called Pro-Gun NewHampshire vary good site and tells you every thing you need to know about gun laws in nh. I will post the link as well as the contents so you can read them would out leaving the forum. Charter life time member ship is only 5 dollars at this time.

(All information taking from PGN web site)


Q: What do I have to do to buy a gun in New Hampshire?

A: Go to a gun store, a gun show, or a private party selling a gun, and give them money.

If you buy a gun from a Federal Firearms Licensee (“FFL”) — that is, from a gun dealer/gun store, including from a licensed dealer at a gun show — federal laws apply to the purchase; in particular, you must be at least 18 years old to buy a rifle or shotgun from an FFL, and at least 21 years old to buy a handgun. Of course by law you can’t possess a gun if you’re a “prohibited person” — meaning someone who’s been convicted of a felony, or who’s been convicted of a misdemeanor “crime of domestic violence,” or who falls into certain other categories as well. The FFL will conduct an “instant background check” by telephone to verify that you are not a “prohibited person.”


Q: How do I get a license or a permit to buy a gun?

A: You don’t. New Hampshire doesn’t require you to have a license or a permit to buy or own guns, with one exception: if you buy a handgun (not a rifle or shotgun) from a private party — as opposed to a licensed dealer — then by state law (RSA 159:10 and RSA 159:14) you must either have a License to Carry or be “personally known” to the seller.


Q: How do I register my guns?

A: You don't. Welcome to New Hampshire, where "Live Free or Die" is taken seriously, and you don't have to worry about people in uniform coming to your door to take your (registered) guns — because there’s no gun registration in this state. What you own is nobody else’s business.


Q: What about machine guns? Aren’t they registered?

A: OK, you got me. Even though there’s no state registration in New Hampshire, “Machine guns” (full-auto or select-fire guns, including burst-mode capable guns), sound suppressors (“silencers”), short-barreled rifles (barrels under 16 inches) and shotguns (under 18 inches), handguns with shoulder stocks, and certain other unusual guns fall under federal law, and involve special federal forms and fees.


Q: Do I need a license to carry a gun?

A: Yes, but only for these two purposes (per RSA 159:4): (1) to carry a loaded handgun concealed upon the person, other than in your home or place of business (where you can do so without a license); and (2) to have a loaded handgun in a vehicle (whether the handgun is concealed or not).

I’m not sure if riding a motorcycle or bicycle is considered being “in a vehicle”; maybe your lawyer can answer that, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s always wise to take a conservative approach to these questions.

Note that you may not have a loaded rifle or shotgun in a vehicle, by the way (per fish and game law RSA 207:7 – where “vehicle” means a motor vehicle, aircraft, or powered or towed boat, but apparently not an unpowered rowboat or canoe).


Q: Can I carry a pistol or revolver openly, say in an exposed belt holster?

A: Yes. Furthermore, you do not need a License to Carry (the piece of paper says “Pistol/Revolver License”) to carry a loaded handgun UNconcealed — that is, visible, for example in an exposed holster — unless you’re in a vehicle. (See the previous answer about vehicles.)

Keep in mind that some people may panic when they see a gun, and if they call the police, the police may come to investigate — but the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office has made it clear that open carry is a right, and that another person’s “annoyance and alarm” doesn’t supersede that right.

On the one hand, we will indeed lose our rights if we don’t exercise them, but on the other hand, it’s not smart to frighten or antagonize people, especially if you scare enough people to make the news — which may lead to legislation restricting open carry. Use good judgment. (Hint: look and act like a responsible citizen. It helps to be well-dressed.) Also, from a practical (as opposed to “political”) point of view, if you’re carrying openly in a place where there might actually be an armed criminal attack, you’ll be the first target.


Q: Where can I and can I not carry? What about banks, bars, and hospitals?

A: By state law (RSA 159:19), the only place you can’t have a gun is a courthouse or courtroom. By federal law, there are two places where you can’t carry, but these federal laws are controversial; still, I advise people not to be the “test case” in federal court, because (a) if you lose in court, then you’re going to federal prison, and (b) if you win in court, Congress may well rewrite the law to be more restrictive, because they’re that way (and this actually happened in 1996; look up the 1995 US Supreme Court case United States v. Lopez). Here are the two federal laws:


(1) Title 18, United States Code, Section 930 prohibits firearms (and also knives with blades longer than 2-1/2 inches) in federal “facilities,” meaning buildings — and that includes post offices. The controversy arises over paragraph (d) of that section, which provides an exemption for “the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.” Note that despite the law, the Code of Federal Regulations says no guns are allowed, and you’ll find notices posted on the door threatening you with arrest. Federal law (United States Code) trumps federal regulations, but I find handcuffs uncomfortable.

(2) Title 18, United State Code, Section 922, paragraph (q) is the Gun Free School Zones Act. You can’t have a gun in, on the grounds of, or within 1,000 feet of the property line of, an elementary or secondary school, whether public or private. (Note that this doesn’t include colleges or universities.)


18 USC 922 (q) includes exemptions for private property (i.e., you’re OK if your house is next to a school), for police officers on duty, for school-approved programs, and for unloaded guns in locked containers or locked gun racks. There’s also an exemption for people holding carry licenses, but only if state law requires that “before an individual obtains such a license, the law enforcement authorities of the State or political subdivision verify that the individual is qualified under law to receive the license.” Unfortunately, New Hampshire state law (RSA 159:6) arguably does NOT make the cut, in part because town selectmen and city mayors can issue carry licenses, and they’re not “law enforcement authorities.” But even if your carry license was issued by a police chief, it doesn’t protect you, because our state law doesn’t meet the requirements of the federal law.

This federal “Gun Free School Zones Act” is unpopular, and some people prefer to believe that New Hampshire’s carry licenses provide an exemption, despite the above analysis. Further, nobody in New Hampshire has been arrested or prosecuted on the basis of this federal law. Still, you have to ask yourself if you want to be the test case.

So, to summarize: state law prohibits you from carrying in courtrooms and courthouses; federal law, though controversial, “technically” puts you at risk of arrest and prosecution for carrying in federal buildings (including post offices) and in or near elementary or secondary schools.

Besides all of this, on private property (including stores, theaters, restaurants, etc.), the property owner can set a “no guns” policy, ask you to leave if you’re carrying, and have you arrested for trespassing if you don’t leave, but otherwise you’re legal. (Note: if you hear of such policies, please inform Pro-Gun New Hampshire: 603/226-PGNH.)


Q: I’ve seen city and town parks and buildings with “no weapons” or “no firearms” signs. What about them?

A: I don’t know about knives and other “weapons,” but RSA 159:26, effective July 2003, declares that only the state (not cities or towns) may regulate firearms, and that any city or town ordinances about guns are null and void, except for zoning and hunting. (Note: State Representative Elbert Bicknell introduced and promoted the legislation that became RSA 159:26. Bick was soon after elected president of Gun Owners of New Hampshire, and then in 2006, became the first president of Pro-Gun New Hampshire.)


Q: How do I get a concealed carry license?

A: First, get an application form. You can get one from your town police department, or download a blank form from the Web at http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/n...nts/dssp85.pdf . (The latest revision date at this time is 08/04 — found at the lower left corner of the form.) Fill it out and give it to your police department. (In small towns without their own full-time police officers, the town selectmen issue carry licenses, unless they’ve arranged for the county sheriff to do so.) Note that the form asks “for what reason(s) do you make application to carry a pistol in New Hampshire?”; according to the law (RSA 159:6), “hunting, target shooting, or self-defense shall be considered a proper purpose. The license shall be valid for all allowable purposes regardless of the purpose for which it was originally issued.” Licenses are issued for at least four years, and the fee is ten dollars. (Non-resident licenses, issued by the state police, cost twenty dollars.)


Q: Who can get a concealed carry license?

A: With some rare exceptions, anyone who isn’t prohibited by law from possessing a gun is generally issued a License to Carry. State law (RSA 159:6 and 159:6-c) provides that if you’re denied a license, the issuing authority must give you the reason(s) for denial in writing within 14 days of the application; you have 30 days to ask the local district or municipal court for a hearing; the court must hold a hearing within 14 days after that; and “during this hearing the burden shall be upon the issuing authority to demonstrate by clear and convincing proof why any denial, suspension, or revocation was justified, failing which the court shall enter an order directing the issuing authority to grant or reinstate the petitioner's license.”


Q: My local police department says that they will take more than 14 days to process my application for a concealed carry license; they gave me a second form (besides the standard one-page application form); they require more than three references; they require my references to send letters to the police department; they require documented proof of firearms training; and they want fingerprints and photographs. Which of these actions are legal?

A: None of them. RSA 159:6 requires that licenses shall be issued or denied within 14 days of application, that “no other forms [other than the state-standard one-page form for NH residents, DSSP 85] shall be used,” and that no fingerprints or photographs may be demanded. RSA 159:6-f provides that issuing authorities who violate the law may be personally liable to you for court costs and attorney’s fees, provided that “the court finds that the entity or person knew or should have known that the conduct engaged in was a violation of this chapter” — which you can ensure by printing out a copy of all 26 sections of RSA 159 and delivering it to your police department.

Most police departments follow the law, but since the most common violation is delay beyond 14 days, I recommend that you send your completed application form (plus the print-out of the law) by certified mail, return receipt requested. That provides evidence of the date your application was delivered.


Q: Is my New Hampshire License to Carry valid in other states?

A: Only in those states with which New Hampshire has reciprocity, meaning states that agree to recognize our licenses if we recognize theirs. There are currently (November 2007) 20 such states, listed on line: go to NH.gov - The Official Web Site of New Hampshire State Government ; click on “State Agencies” on the right; scroll down to “S” and click on “State Police Division” (within the Safety Department); then click on "Support Services Bureau" on the left; then click on “Permits and Licensing Unit” on the left; then click on “Pistol and Revolver.” No, Massachusetts isn’t on the list. The nearest state where your NH license is recognized is Pennsylvania. (For you sissies afraid of the cold, note that Florida is on the list.) And, of course, you don’t need a license to carry concealed in Vermont. Be aware that if you go to these states, you must follow their gun laws, which may be more restrictive than New Hampshire’s.

Here’s the current list (note, subject to frequent change): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, and Wyoming.


Q: Where is it legal to shoot?

A: Per state law (RSAs 207:3-a, 207:3-c, and 644:13), you may not shoot across or within 15 feet of a road, or “within 300 feet of a permanently occupied dwelling without permission of the owner or the occupant of the dwelling or from the owner of the land on which the person discharging the firearm or shooting the bow and arrow is situated.”

You also may not discharge a firearm within the “compact part of a town or city,” defined as “the territory within a town or city comprised of the following:

(a) Any nonresidential, commercial building, including, but not limited to, industrial, educational, or medical buildings, plus a perimeter 300 feet wide around all such buildings without permission of the owner.

(b) Any park, playground, or other outdoor public gathering place designated by the legislative body of the city or town.

(c) Any contiguous area containing 6 or more buildings which are used as either part-time or permanent dwellings and the spaces between them where each such building is within 300 feet of at least one of the others, plus a perimeter 300 feet wide around all the buildings in such area.”

Further, it’s just common sense and courtesy to ask permission of the landowner to shoot on private property, even if there is no “permanently occupied dwelling” within 300 feet.

For target shooting, many people belong to a gun club, and there are many of them in New Hampshire; the local police can tell you where they are, and you can find a list of shooting clubs compiled by the state Fish and Game department at Fish and Game Clubs and Shooting Ranges in New Hampshire - N.H. Fish and Game. Also, there are two commercial indoor shooting ranges in the state (at least that I know of): the Manchester Firing Line (628-7663), and Belmont Firearms and Range (524-8678).

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