Gun Laws in New Hampshire

The Constitution guarantees your basic right to own a gun. That being said, owning a gun comes with certain responsibilities, and New Hampshire, like many other states, has certain rules in place that regulate firearm ownership. These regulations ensure that individuals are taking their right to own a gun seriously. Because these laws are in place to make sure that gun owners are not endangering themselves or others, the consequences for violating gun laws in New Hampshire can be quite severe.

If you are a gun owner who has been charged with violating the law, seek legal advice from a capable gun attorney who has experience handling gun-related cases.

Recent Gun Laws

One of the newer gun laws in New Hampshire has made it legal to carry a concealed, loaded gun without a license. The new law makes the concealed-carry license optional, instead of mandatory as it had been in earlier years. New Hampshire is also an open-carry state, meaning anyone who legally owns a gun can carry it exposed without any license or permit.

In the past, gun owners have had to apply for a concealed-carry license with their local police chiefs, who determined whether applicants were “suitable.” The license came up for renewal every four years. Under the new law, anyone who can legally possess a gun under state and federal law can carry it concealed in a purse, car, or briefcase without a license. State statute bars convicted felons or people subject to restraining orders from possessing a gun. Under federal law, drug users, fugitives, and people convicted of certain domestic violence crimes, among others, cannot have firearms.

The state’s licensing process will remain in place so people who want to carry concealed outside state lines can get the necessary paperwork. New Hampshire’s law does not include a so-called duty-to-inform provision nor any specific age restrictions. Federal law bars minors from possessing handguns, but not long guns. In 2016, the New Hampshire Supreme Court, in a case called Bach v. New Hampshire Dept. of Safety, threw out a rule imposed by concealed carry permit issuing authorities that had required non-residents to have a permit to carry issued by the state in which they resided.

Gun-Related Offenses

Even though the trend in the Granite State is toward less regulation of gun ownership, gun owners can still find themselves in legal jeopardy if they do not follow the rules.

Some of the most common gun-related offenses are:

  • Illegal possession of a firearm
  • Possession or use of a gun during the commission of a crime
  • Owning a weapon that has been banned
  • Illegally transporting a firearm across state lines

As a general rule, when firearms are used in the commission of a crime, the presence of the gun results in a substantially increased punishment.

Dealing with Criminal Charges

Anyone facing criminal charges is entitled to the protections of the Bill of Rights, which includes specific limits on what the federal government can do. For example, the Fourth Amendment protects all Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures. It says that searches must be done in accordance with a warrant that particularly describes the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

A lawyer who knows the ins and outs of gun laws in New Hampshire will be able to put together a team of private investigators and professional experts to investigate the case, consider the prosecution’s evidence, and make an informed decision about whether to fight or to seek a plea arrangement.

No one should have to face criminal charges for exercising their Second Amendment rights. Speak with an attorney who can aggressively challenge any charges you might be facing, and do everything possible to defend your Constitutional rights.