Laws pertaining to firearms in New Hampshire are less restrictive than in some other states, but that does not mean the laws are simple by any means. Moreover, federal gun laws can come into play, so it is possible to be following one set of laws but not the other. Violations of New Hampshire gun laws can have severe consequences including substantial jail time and hefty fines.
If you have been charged with a crime involving firearms or if you would like to ensure that you are complying with New Hampshire and federal laws related to firearms, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable New Hampshire gun lawyer. An experienced defense attorney can help you fight any charges you may face.
Most of the firearm laws in New Hampshire concern pistols and revolvers, which are defined by statute as “any firearm with a barrel less than 16 inches in length.”
The laws specifically exclude antiques such as flintlock pistols, flintlock muskets or any other firearm that uses an old-fashioned type of ignition such as flintlock, matchlock, or percussion cap.
However, if a pistol cane is used with an intent to commit a crime, statute specifies that it will be treated as a crime in correlation to the crime intended to be committed and a New Hampshire gun lawyer should be consulted.
Persons Prohibited from Carrying Guns
Although most adults may purchase and openly carry guns under New Hampshire law, certain categories of people are prohibited from doing so per state and/or federal law. Those who may not have guns in their possession or under their control include:
- Persons convicted of a felony against another person or the property of another
- Persons convicted of a felony involving controlled substances
- Persons convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year in prison
- Those who have been adjudicated as a mental defective or have been committed to any mental institution
- Persons convicted of domestic violence. It is important to note that this includes New Hampshire misdemeanor convictions for domestic simple assault.
- Also noteworthy is that New Hampshire Reckless Conduct law includes misdemeanor convictions: “Upon proof that the victim and defendant were intimate partners or family or household members, a conviction under this section shall be recorded as “Reckless Conduct–Domestic Violence.”
It is important to note that New Hampshire law substantially increases the penalty for “armed career criminals” meaning those convicted of three of more felonies of a certain category. Those meeting the definition face 10-40 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000 if found in possession or control of any firearm, making it important that anyone accused of violating this offense consult with a New Hampshire gun attorney immediately.
Even those allowed to carry guns have restrictions on when, where and how they can be carried. Except in the case of law enforcement officials, individuals may not:
- Carry a loaded pistol or revolver concealed on the body without a valid permit
- Carry a loaded pistol or revolver in a vehicle without a valid permit
- Carry any firearm or deadly weapon into a courtroom or area used by a court
Contacting a New Hampshire Gun Attorney
Because of the overlap of state and federal laws, along with the detailed requirements for obtaining a license to carry, it can be complex to understand and comply with all the laws pertaining to firearms. Violations can result in substantial penalties.
If you are facing charges involving firearms, you should consult with an experienced New Hampshire gun lawyer to learn about your rights and legal options.