New Hampshire Gun Laws

New Hampshire Gun Laws

In a nation where gun laws vary greatly from state to state, understanding concealed carry reciprocity is crucial for individuals seeking to exercise their Second Amendment rights across state lines.

New Hampshire, with its unique approach to firearm regulations, presents a prime example of this intricate web of reciprocity agreements. In this article, we delve into the specifics of New Hampshire’s concealed carry reciprocity, exploring the nuances of its gun laws and highlighting the states that honor its concealed carry permits.

The Demographics

Before diving into the intricacies of concealed carry reciprocity, let’s take a look at some key demographic and statistical information about the state of New Hampshire:

  • State Population: With a population of approximately 1.4 million people, New Hampshire maintains a relatively small but vibrant community.
  • Constitutional Carry: The state embraces constitutional carry, allowing individuals to carry firearms without requiring a specific permit.
  • Licenses Issued: Around 24,000 concealed carry licenses have been issued in New Hampshire, giving residents the legal authority to carry firearms.
  • Reciprocating States: New Hampshire has reciprocity agreements with 29 states, enabling license holders to carry in those jurisdictions.
  • States Honored: A total of 18 states honor New Hampshire’s concealed carry permits, demonstrating the reach of its reciprocity agreements.
  • Minimum Age to CC: The state imposes no minimum age requirement for concealed carry, providing adults with the freedom to exercise their rights.
  • Years License Valid: A concealed carry license in New Hampshire remains valid for a period of five years.
  • Stand Your Ground: New Hampshire enforces a stand-your-ground policy, allowing individuals to defend themselves without the obligation to retreat.
  • License Percentage: Around 1.7% of the state’s population holds concealed carry licenses, indicating the prevalence of responsible firearm ownership.
See also  New Hampshire Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW)

Overview of New Hampshire Gun Laws

The “Shall Issue” Policy

New Hampshire’s firearm regulations operate under a “Shall Issue” policy, enabling individuals to apply for concealed carry licenses. Despite its shall-issue approach, the state boasts relatively lenient restrictions, contributing to a strong concealed carry culture.

Application Process

Both residents and non-residents seeking concealed carry permits follow distinct application procedures. Residents apply to their respective county sheriff’s office, while non-residents submit applications to the State Department of Justice.

Quick Facts

To provide a comprehensive overview, here are some quick facts about New Hampshire’s gun laws:

  • Constitutional Carry: The state proudly embraces constitutional carry, allowing eligible individuals to carry firearms without a permit.
  • Open Carry Permitted: New Hampshire permits open carry for individuals aged 18 and older, who are legally eligible to possess firearms.
  • Carry-In Vehicle: Residents over the age of 18 can carry firearms in their vehicles without a permit.
  • Carry-In State Park: Concealed carry is allowed within state and national parks in New Hampshire.
  • Carry-In Restaurants: While specific laws regarding concealed carry in restaurants or bars are absent, carrying remains generally permissible.
  • No Weapon Sign Enforced: There are no laws giving no weapons signs the force of law in New Hampshire.
  • Must Notify Officer: New Hampshire does not mandate individuals to inform law enforcement officers about their firearm possession.

Reciprocity List

Honoring CCW Permits

New Hampshire’s reciprocity agreements encompass a wide array of states that honor its concealed carry permits, providing license holders with expanded firearm-carrying privileges. Some of the states that honor New Hampshire’s permits include:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming
See also  New Hampshire Gun Permit

Restricted Reciprocity

Several states have restricted reciprocity agreements with New Hampshire, limiting the privileges extended to New Hampshire concealed carry permit holders.

New Hampshire Gun Laws

How Reciprocity Works

Under New Hampshire’s reciprocity agreements, individuals possessing concealed carry permits from reciprocal states are legally allowed to carry firearms within the state. However, they must adhere to the laws of both the county and state during their stay in New Hampshire.

Where Is CCW Allowed in New Hampshire?

Places Allowed

Concealed carry is permitted in various locations within New Hampshire, including:

  • State parks
  • State and national forests
  • Roadside rest areas
  • Vehicles
  • All areas of the state, except those specified as off-limits

Places Not Allowed

Firearms are prohibited in certain areas, such as:

  • Courtrooms or areas used by courts
  • Locations prohibited by Federal Law
  • Areas mentioned in Title 12 ยง 159:19 Courtroom Security

Conceal Carry Laws

Open Carry

New Hampshire’s gun laws allow both open and concealed carry without requiring a permit or license.

Carry-In Vehicle

The state permits vehicle carry without a license/permit, with laws specifically addressing the transport and carry of firearms in vehicles.

Carry-In State Parks

Carrying firearms in state parks, state forests, and roadside rest areas is allowed under New Hampshire’s gun laws.

Carry-In Restaurants

Carrying firearms in restaurants is generally permitted in New Hampshire. While specific laws regarding carrying in establishments that serve alcohol may vary, carrying for self-defense remains a viable option.

Constitutional Carry

New Hampshire is recognized as a constitutional carry state, allowing individuals to carry firearms without a permit.

No Weapon Signs Enforced

No Weapons signs do not hold legal force in New Hampshire, and entering private properties or businesses with such signs does not carry legal penalties.

See also  New Hampshire Constitutional Carry

Must Notify Officer

New Hampshire’s gun laws do not mandate individuals to inform law enforcement officers about firearm possession during official interactions.


In the realm of concealed carry reciprocity, New Hampshire stands as a prime example of balancing the Second Amendment rights of its residents and visitors with responsible firearm ownership.

With a shall-issue policy, constitutional carry, and a comprehensive reciprocity list, the state presents a model for others to follow. Whether exploring picturesque state parks or urban centers, individuals with concealed carry permits can exercise their rights while respecting the laws of New Hampshire.


Q1. Can non-residents apply for a concealed carry permit in New Hampshire?

Yes, non-residents can apply for a concealed carry permit through the State Department of Justice.

Q2. Are there age restrictions for concealed carry in New Hampshire?

No, the state does not impose a minimum age requirement for concealed carry.

Q3. Does New Hampshire enforce stand-your-ground laws?

Yes, New Hampshire has a stand-your-ground policy, allowing individuals to defend themselves without retreating.

Q4. Which states have restricted reciprocity agreements with New Hampshire?

Several states, such as California, Connecticut, Delaware, and more, have restricted reciprocity with New Hampshire.

Q5. Is open carry permitted in New Hampshire?

Yes, both open and concealed carry are allowed without a permit or license in the state.

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