New Hampshire Constitutional Carry
New Hampshire is one of the constitutional carry states in the USA, which means that residents have the right to carry firearms without a permit. However, the state also issues gun licenses and has a shall-issue policy for non-residents applying for firearm permits. In this article, we will explore the gun laws in New Hampshire, including the process of obtaining gun permits, where you can carry firearms, and the places where carrying firearms is prohibited.
Overview of New Hampshire’s Gun Laws
New Hampshire is known for its constitutional carry, allowing residents to carry firearms without obtaining a permit. However, the state also provides an option to apply for a gun license, which may be beneficial for reciprocity reasons in other states.
Constitutional Carry in New Hampshire
Constitutional carry in New Hampshire means that residents who are 18 years or older and do not have any federal or state prohibition for firearm possession can carry a firearm without a permit. This permitless carry applies to both open and concealed carry. Non-residents who meet the same criteria are also allowed to carry firearms without a permit in New Hampshire.
Purchasing Firearms in New Hampshire
To purchase firearms from private individuals or at gun shows in the state, no background check or firearm registration is required. However, when purchasing from a federally licensed dealer, a background check must be completed. Unlike some other states, owning a pistol permit in New Hampshire does not exempt you from undergoing a background check.
Possession of Firearms in New Hampshire
To open carry firearms in New Hampshire, individuals must be at least 18 years old and have no prohibition for firearm possession, either federally or by a state government.
Concealed carry is allowed in New Hampshire without a permit. However, the state still issues licenses for reciprocity reasons. Unlike most states, New Hampshire does not require fingerprinting or completion of firearm training to apply for a gun permit.
Possession in Restricted Areas
Certain regions in New Hampshire prohibit firearm possession, including:
- Elementary school premises or facilities
- Colleges and athletic fields used for professional sports (unless related to firearm use)
- University facilities without permission from the security head
- Law enforcement agency buildings or facilities
- Prisons, jails, detention facilities, or correctional homes
- Courtrooms (unless authorized by the judge)
- Meetings for government entities or legislative committee meetings
- Enterprises with liquor licenses for on-premises consumption
- State hospitals or healthcare homes
- Areas restricted by federal law
Application for New Hampshire Gun License
To apply for a gun permit in New Hampshire, download and complete the application form. Submit the form to a law enforcement office closest to your place of residence, along with the required documents, such as driver’s licenses and three reference forms. Unlike many states, New Hampshire’s application process does not include fingerprinting or photographs.
Requirements for the Application of Firearms in New Hampshire
To be eligible for a gun permit in New Hampshire, applicants must meet several requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a legal citizen of the United States
- Have no arrest warrants or fugitive status
- Not be a convicted felon or mentally/physically impaired
- Pass a New Hampshire concealed carry permit class
- Not be a user of illicit substances under federal drug enforcement control
- Have no court protection orders or restrictions on firearm possession
- Not be on parole or probation
- Not be convicted of any violent-related crime
- Comply with all federal laws related to issuing a gun permit
Constitutional Carry in All Parts of the State
New Hampshire’s state government has the authority to regulate firearms in all political subdivisions. While constitutional carry is allowed statewide, local areas may still be allowed to regulate firearms for safety reasons within their jurisdiction.
New Hampshire’s gun laws strike a balance between constitutional carry rights and the option to obtain gun permits for reciprocity purposes. The state’s shall-issue policy ensures that eligible applicants can acquire gun licenses without excessive requirements. Understanding these laws is crucial for responsible firearm ownership and carrying practices.
Can I carry a firearm without a permit in New Hampshire?
Yes, New Hampshire has constitutional carry, allowing residents and eligible non-residents to carry firearms without a permit.
Do I need a gun license for reciprocity in other states?
While New Hampshire has constitutional carry, obtaining a gun license may be beneficial for reciprocity reasons in other states.
Are there places where carrying firearms is prohibited in New Hampshire?
Yes, certain areas in New Hampshire, such as schools, government buildings, and hospitals, prohibit firearm possession.
What are the requirements for a New Hampshire gun permit application?
To apply for a gun permit, you must be at least 18 years old, a US citizen, pass a concealed carry permit class, and meet other eligibility criteria.
Can I carry firearms while hunting in New Hampshire?
Yes, you can possess firearms while hunting in New Hampshire, but you must adhere to specific hunting laws and regulations.