New Hampshire Gun Laws

Learn about gun control laws, gun permit requirements, and penalties in New Hampshire.

In New Hampshire, adults may purchase and openly carry firearms without a permit. However, you must obtain a concealed handgun permit to carry a loaded and concealed gun on (or near) your body. (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 159:4.)

For more information, see Open and Concealed Gun Carrying Laws in New Hampshire.

How to Obtain a Concealed Handgun Permit in New Hampshire

To obtain a concealed handgun permit, you must apply at the police or sheriff’s office in the county where you reside. To qualify, you must complete an application and present a “proper purpose” for needing a firearm. Hunting, target shooting, and defense of yourself or your property are considered “proper purposes.” You must also appear to the licensing authority to be “a suitable person to be licensed.” Subsequently, the license is valid for all allowable purposes, regardless of the purpose for which it was originally issued.

(N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 159:6.)

Does New Hampshire Recognize Concealed Handgun Permits From Other States?

Yes. New Hampshire recognizes valid concealed handgun permits from states that recognize New Hampshire permits. If you have a license from a reciprocal state, and you are not a New Hampshire resident, your license is valid in New Hampshire. If you are a New Hampshire resident (or become one), you must apply for a New Hampshire permit. A non-resident must carry upon his person the license from the state in which he resides at all times.

A current list of reciprocal states is available at the New Hampshire State Police’s website.

(N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 159:6.)

Penalties for Failing to Obtain a Concealed Handgun License

It is a misdemeanor to carry a concealed firearm in New Hampshire without a permit. Penalties include a fine of up to $1,000, up to a year in jail, or both. A second or subsequent violation occurring within seven years of the previous conviction is a class B felony; penalties include a fine, at least one year (and up to seven years) in prison, or both. (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 159:4.)

Getting Legal Help

If you have any questions about whether you are allowed to carry a gun in New Hampshire, or if you are facing charges for a gun permit violation, consult a qualified criminal defense lawyer.

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