Gun Rights

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New Hampshire has some of the strongest protections for gun rights in the United States. Highlights include Constitutional Carry, State Pre-emption of local restrictions, and Castle Doctrine all being present.

Quick Reference Table

Subject/Law Long Guns Hand Guns Relevant Statutes Notes
State permit required to purchase? No No NHRS XII § 159:14
Firearm registration? No No
Assault weapon law? No No
Magazine capacity restriction? No No
Owner license required? No No
Permit required for concealed carry? N/A No NHRS XII § 159:6 New Hampshire is a "shall issue" state for residents and non-residents who are 18 years or older and is one of the few states that will issue to non-citizens living outside of the United States.
Permitless carry took effect on February 22, 2017.
Permit required for open carry? No No NHRS XII § 159:6
NHRS XVIII § 207:7
May carry openly without permit. Loaded long guns prohibited in motor vehicles.
Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law? Yes Yes NHRS LXII § 627
State preemption of local restrictions? Yes Yes NHRS XII § 159:26 "Except as otherwise specifically provided by statute, no ordinance or regulation of a political subdivision may regulate the sale, purchase, ownership, use, possession, transportation, licensing, permitting, taxation, or other matter pertaining to firearms, firearms components, ammunition, or firearms supplies in the state. Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting a political subdivision's right to adopt zoning ordinances for the purpose of regulating firearms or knives businesses in the same manner as other businesses..."
NFA weapons restricted? No No
Peaceable Journey laws? No No
Background checks required for private sales? No No

=New Hampshire Constitution

The NH constitution states the following:

[Art.] 2-a. [The Bearing of Arms.] All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.

Related to this, it also states:

[Art.] 10. [Right of Revolution.] Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.