Posted on January 1, 2012
Last updated December 9, 2013
In our publication 2013 State Scorecard: Why Gun Laws Matter, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 30 different firearms-related policy areas. New Hampshire ranked 23rd out of 50 – having enacted few gun violence prevention laws.
In 2013, New Hampshire did not enact any new laws regarding firearms.
- Requires handgun dealers (but not dealers in rifles and shotguns) to obtain a state license; and
- Performs its own background checks for handgun sales (but not sales of rifles or shotguns) from licensed dealers.
However, New Hampshire does not, among other things:
- Require a background check prior to the sale of any firearm from an unlicensed individual;
- Prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50 caliber rifles or large capacity ammunition magazines;
- Require that mental health information be reported for use in firearm purchaser background checks;
- Require firearm owners or purchasers to obtain a license;
- Require the registration of firearms;
- Allow local governments to regulate firearms or ammunition; or
- Provide local law enforcement with discretion to deny a license to carry firearms.
In 2010, New Hampshire had the 25th highest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. Based on data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, in 2009, New Hampshire exported more than three times as many crime guns as it imported, and was the top supplier of crime guns to Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont.
New Hampshire Firearms Laws
For details about specific firearms laws in New Hampshire, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.