The information provided on the Website is for general information purposes only and is not an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer. We may receive commissions from our partners when you click on some of the links. Learn More

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

Learn More

New Hampshire is a constitutional carry state that encourages second amendment rights.

The state enforces laws on where and how you can make use of firearms within its territory.

To ensure that you do not violate the state law during open carry, you must be familiar with statutes that relate to the practice.

New Hampshire Gun Law Summary

New Hampshire issues permit for the possession of firearms.

It is a shall-issue state with the application processed by the New Hampshire Department of Justice.

To buy firearms in the state, you do not need a purchase permit, but you need to complete the criminal record background check when purchasing from a federally or state-licensed dealer.

Your New Hampshire firearm permit will exempt you from the check.

The state permit is legal for both residents and non-residents that meet the requirements to apply for the permit.

To make use of firearms in New Hampshire, you must meet the age requirement of eighteen years old, without a state or federal restriction to your name.

Get Your Concealed Carry Weapon Permit Online in Minutes

Click Here to Get Your CCW PERMIT

Is Open Carry Legal In New Hampshire?

Yes. It is legal to open carry in the state, as long as you are eighteen years old or more, and you are not a felon or fugitive.

The state also has location restrictions for the possession and open carry of firearms, which you must abide at all times.

Open Carry Gun Laws In New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a permissive open carry state, and you do not need any permit before you open carry within its jurisdiction.

The state does not have a prohibition on machine guns and semi-automatic firearms. Therefore the federal law automatically covers this aspect.

To make use of such firearms in the state, you must comply and handle them according to federal law regulations.

New Hampshire prohibits the use of explosive bullets, Teflon-coated bullets, and armored piercing ammunition.

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
PreemptionYesYesNew Hampshire preempts all gun laws in the state with authority to regulate the use of firearms in every jurisdiction.
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?

You cannot open carry or possess your firearms in the following parts of New Hampshire:

  • Restaurants and bars: You can open carry in restaurants and bars that do not have posts prohibiting the possession of firearms on their premises.
  • Personal vehicle: You can open carry in a car that you own.
  • Roadside areas: You can open carry and possess firearms in roadside areas of the state.
  • State parks and forests: You can open carry in state parks and forests as well as in wildlife management areas.
  • Places of worship: You can open carry in places of worship except there is a post that restricts the possession of firearms.

Where Is It Illegal To Open Carry In New Hampshire?

New Hampshire prohibits the possession of firearms in the following parts of the state:

  • Schools: You are not permitted to open carry or use firearms in schools, colleges, and universities in the state.
  • Courthouses: You cannot open carry or possess firearms in a courthouse or a courtroom.
  • Off-highway vehicles: Nobody can open carry or possess firearms on off-highway vehicles except unloaded guns.
  • Prohibited places: You cannot open carry in areas prohibited by federal laws and New Hampshire laws.

FAQs About Open Carry New Hampshire

Some of the most frequently asked questions about open carry in New Hampshire include the following:

Do I Need A Firearm Permit To Open Carry In New Hampshire?

No. New Hampshire does not require that anyone own a permit before concealed carry of firearms.

Do I Need A Permit For Concealed Carry In New Hampshire?

New Hampshire is a permitless state, and you can either conceal or open carry without a firearm permit.

But you can still obtain the state firearm permit regardless.

What Is The Age Requirement For Open Carry In New Hampshire?

The minimum age requirement for anyone to open carry in New Hampshire is eighteen years old.

What Is The Age Requirement For Concealed Carry In New Hampshire?

Anybody who is eighteen years old or more can conceal carry in New Hampshire.

At What Age Can I Apply For New Hampshire Firearm Permit?

You must be at least eighteen years old to apply for a firearm permit in New Hampshire.

Does New Hampshire Have A Red Flag Law?

No. The state statute does not say anything about a red flag law.

As A Non-resident, Can I Apply For New Hampshire Firearm Permit?

Yes. New Hampshire permits application is open for both residents and non-residents of the state that meet the requirements.

However, New Hampshire is a permitless carry state, and you do not need a permit to open or concealed carry.

Is New Hampshire A Constitutional Carry State?

Yes, New Hampshire allows constitutional carry within its jurisdiction.

Is New Hampshire A Permitless Carry State?

Yes. Although the state issues a permit, you can still open and conceal carry without a license.

Can I Open Carry Knives In New Hampshire?

Yes, New Hampshire statutes allow the open carry of knives except in places restricted by gun laws of the state.

Can I Conceal Carry Knives In New Hampshire?

Yes, You can conceal carry weapons except you are a convicted felon. Also, concealed carry is not legal in court and schools in the state.

Does New Hampshire Have Firearm Restrictions?

The state bans the use of some types of ammunition, but machine guns and semiautomatic weapons are legal as long as the owner complies with federal law while possessing them.

Must I Own A Purchase Permit Before I Open Carry In New Hampshire?

No. The state does not require a purchase permit to buy firearms within its jurisdiction.

Do I Need To Undergo A Criminal Record Check Before I Buy Firearms In New Hampshire?

Yes. This is one of the requirements to complete before buying a firearm in New Hampshire.

The only exception to this is if you are buying from a private dealer since they are not mandated to carry out a criminal record background check.

One of the advantages of New Hampshire firearm permits is that you do not need to complete a background check if you own a license before purchasing a firearm.

What Is The Legal Age To Purchase A Firearm In New Hampshire?

You must be at least eighteen years old to buy a firearm in New Hampshire.

For How Long Does New Hampshire Firearm Permit Last?

The permits last for five years, after which you have to apply for a renewal permit.

How Soon Can I Apply For My Renewal Permit In New Hampshire?

You must begin the renewal application process at least thirty days before your license expires.

Do I Have A Duty To Inform Law Enforcement Officers About My Possession Of Firearms In New Hampshire?

No. You do not have a duty to inform the police or any other law enforcement officer about your possession of a firearm when you come across one.

Does New Hampshire Allow Castle Doctrine In The State?

Yes. New Hampshire adopts the castle doctrine policy with a stand your ground policy and no duty to retreat in your home of residence or any other place where you have legal rights to be.

Can I Make Use Of Deadly Force In New Hampshire?

Yes, you can make use of deadly force while carrying out your self-defense right if you think that an attack could lead to severe bodily harm or imminent death. ‘

You can only make use of deadly force in places where you have no duty to retreat and as long as you are not the initial aggressor of a situation.

Do I Need To Complete Firearm Training Before Applying For A Permit In New Hampshire?

No. New Hampshire does not require that you complete a firearm training or that you demonstrate knowledge of firearm safety before you apply for a permit in the state.

Is It Compulsory To Register Firearms In New Hampshire?

No, there are no requirements to register firearms in the state.

Can I Possess Firearms In Bars In New Hampshire?

There are no laws in New Hampshire that prohibit the possession of firearms in bars or places where for the consumption of alcohol.

How Long Will It Take To Process My New Hampshire Firearm Permit In The State?

The processing period for permit application in New Hampshire is two weeks.

Relevant Open Carry Laws And Legislature In New Hampshire

Some of the state gun laws that have to so with open carry and other similar situations include the following:

Ammunition Restriction

New Hampshire prohibits some ammunition in the state, and they include the following:

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

Anybody found with these firearms will face prosecution in the state.

Preemption Law

New Hampshire has preemption gun law with the state government in charge of regulating firearms in all its jurisdiction.

Brandishing Of Firearms

It is a crime to brandish firearms in New Hampshire illegally.

Anybody that uses a firearm in a threatening way, such that it puts another person in danger, is guilty of misconduct.

Attempting to put someone in fear of physical injury or imminent death is criminal threatening.

The only exception to this is why carrying out legal duties or while exercising self-defense.

Open Carry While Hunting

You can open carry while hunting in New Hampshire, but you cannot use the firearm to take games like deer.

During a licensed bow hunting session, you must adhere to the following law:

The license will only be for possession of firearms while bow hunting, except the state or federal government, withdraws the permit.

Nobody hunting deer can shoot or attempt to shoot at a deer with a firearm during bow hunting.

New Hampshire has hunter harassment laws in the state for the protection of hunting activities.

The law states that:

  • Nobody should deliberately prevent or interfere with anybody that is taking part in a licensed hunting activity such as trapping of fishing.
  • Nobody shall intentionally disturb or prevent anybody from carrying out a legal hunting activity.
  • Nobody shall knowingly take part in any activity that disturbs or alerts games in the wild in such a way that it will affect a legal hunting activity.
  • Nobody shall make use of a drone or any other type of surveillance device to monitor legal hunting in the state, without getting the appropriate consent from those taking part in hunting.
The information provided on the Website is for general information purposes only and is not an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer. This post may contain references to products and services from our partners. We may receive commissions from our partners when you click on some of the links. Learn More
crossmenuchevron-down