New Hampshire Open Carry

New Hampshire Open Carry: Laws, Requirements, Application & Online Training

New Hampshire is a state that takes pride in its constitutional carry policy, promoting and protecting the Second Amendment rights of its citizens. However, like any other state, New Hampshire enforces laws regarding the possession and use of firearms within its borders. To ensure compliance with these laws, it is essential to familiarize oneself with the relevant statutes that govern open carry and firearm usage within the state. In this article, we will delve into the comprehensive overview of New Hampshire’s gun laws and open carry regulations.

New Hampshire Gun Law Summary

New Hampshire operates as a “shall-issue” state, meaning the state authorities are required to issue a firearm permit if the applicant meets the necessary criteria. The New Hampshire Department of Justice handles the processing of firearm permit applications. To purchase firearms within the state, you do not need a specific purchase permit. However, when buying from a federally or state-licensed dealer, you must undergo a criminal record background check. Possessing a valid New Hampshire firearm permit exempts you from this check.

The state permit is available to both residents and non-residents who meet the requirements for application. To use firearms in New Hampshire legally, you must be at least eighteen years old, without any state or federal restrictions against your name.

Is Open Carry Legal In New Hampshire?

Yes, open carry is legal in New Hampshire, but certain conditions must be met. To open carry within the state, you must be at least eighteen years old and not a felon or fugitive. However, New Hampshire imposes specific location restrictions for the possession and open carry of firearms, which you must adhere to at all times.

See also  New Hampshire Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW)

New Hampshire Open Gun Laws Quick View

Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carry.NoNoNew Hampshire does not require a permit before you open carry in the state.
Firearm registrations for open carry.NoNoThe state laws do not say anything about the registration of firearms.
Assault weapon for open carry.YesNoYou can make use of weapons like Machine guns and semi-automatic firearms as long as you have them licensed and possessed in compliance with federal laws of the state.
Magazine limitNoNoThere are no magazine limits for firearms in the state, neither does the state ban large-capacity firearms for open or concealed carry.
License for the owner of a firearm.Not requiredNot requiredNew Hampshire has no requirements for any license issued to firearm owners in the state.
Red flag lawNoNoNew Hampshire does not have any red flag law or permits petition filed to the court of law to issue a protection or restriction order.
Castle doctrine lawYesYesNew Hampshire is a castle doctrine state, and you have every right to stand your ground with no duty to retreat in residences and other places you have legal rights to be.
Background check for private dealersNoNoPrivate dealers of firearms are not mandated to carry out NICS background checks before selling. Also, you do not need to undergo a background check for transfer firearms between family members in the state.
PreemptionYesYesPrivate dealers of firearms are not mandated to carry out NICS background checks before selling. Also, you do not need to undergo a background check to transfer firearms between family members in the state.
Concealed carry permit.YesYesYou can apply for a concealed carry permit in New Hampshire.
Concealed carry in personal vehicleYesYesYes, you can conceal carry in your car as long as you are not illegally possessing a firearm.
Open carry in SchoolsNoNoNobody shall possess a firearm or conceal carry in schools, colleges, or any other technical institutions and their facilities.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, you are allowed to open carry and possess firearms in the following areas:

  1. Restaurants and bars: You can open carry-in restaurants and bars that do not have signs prohibiting firearm possession on their premises.
  2. Personal vehicle: You can open carry in your private vehicle.
  3. Roadside areas: You can open carry and possess firearms in roadside areas.
  4. State parks and forests: You can open carry in state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas.
  5. Places of worship: You can open carry in places of worship, except where there are posted restrictions against firearm possession.
See also  New Hampshire Constitutional Carry

Where Is It Illegal To Open Carry In New Hampshire?

New Hampshire prohibits the possession of firearms in the following areas:

  1. Schools: You are not permitted to open carry or use firearms in schools, colleges, and universities in the state.
  2. Courthouses: You cannot open carry or possess firearms in a courthouse or a courtroom.
  3. Off-highway vehicles: Open carry or possession of firearms on off-highway vehicles is prohibited, except for unloaded guns.
  4. Prohibited places: You cannot open carry in areas prohibited by federal laws and New Hampshire laws.

Relevant Open Carry Laws And Legislature In New Hampshire

Ammunition Restriction

New Hampshire prohibits the possession of certain ammunition within the state. The restricted ammunition includes:

  1. Teflon-coated bullets
  2. Armor-piercing bullets
  3. Cartridges or any bullet type that contains a substance that will make it explode after discharge.

Possession of such ammunition is subject to prosecution in the state.

Preemption Law

New Hampshire has a preemption gun law, granting the state government authority to regulate firearms in all its jurisdictions.

Brandishing Of Firearms

Brandishing firearms in New Hampshire illegally is considered a crime. It is unlawful to use a firearm in a threatening manner that endangers another person. This act is classified as misconduct, except when carrying out legal duties or exercising self-defense.

Open Carry While Hunting

In New Hampshire, you can open carry while hunting, except when hunting deer. During a licensed bow hunting session, you may possess firearms while bow hunting provided that the state or federal government has not withdrawn the permit. Shooting or attempting to shoot at a deer with a firearm during bow hunting is prohibited.

See also  New Hampshire Hunting

Hunter Harassment Laws

New Hampshire has hunter harassment and weapons laws in place to protect hunting activities. These laws state that no one should deliberately prevent or interfere with anyone engaged in licensed hunting activities, such as trapping or fishing. Additionally, using surveillance devices like drones to monitor legal hunting activities without proper consent is also prohibited.


New Hampshire stands firm in its commitment to safeguarding Second Amendment rights through its constitutional carry policy. Open carry is permitted within the state, but certain rules and restrictions apply. By adhering to the laws and regulations governing the possession and use of firearms, individuals can exercise their rights responsibly and contribute to a safe and secure community.


Q1. What is a “shall-issue” state?

A “shall-issue” state is one that must issue a firearm permit to applicants who meet the necessary requirements.

Q2. Do I need a permit to open carry in New Hampshire?

No, New Hampshire does not require a permit for open carry within the state.

Q3. Are there any restrictions on ammunition possession in New Hampshire?

Yes, New Hampshire prohibits the possession of Teflon-coated bullets, armor-piercing bullets, and cartridges with explosive substances.

Q4. Can I open carry in state parks and forests?

Yes, open carry is allowed in state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas.

Q5. Is concealed carry allowed in New Hampshire?

Yes, you can apply for a concealed carry permit in New Hampshire.

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