See our Prohibited Purchasers policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law prohibits certain persons from purchasing or possessing firearms, such as felons, certain domestic abusers, and certain people with a history of mental illness.

Similarly, New Hampshire has incorporated the federal prohibition against selling firearms to felons as a state offense.1 New Hampshire also prohibits any person who has been convicted of a felony against the person or property of another, or a felony under New Hampshire’s Controlled Drug Act, or a similar law in another jurisdiction, from owning, possessing or controlling a firearm.2 New Hampshire state law also prohibits any person from purchasing, receiving, or possessing a firearm while subject to a protective order.3

For information on the background check process used to enforce these provisions, see the New Hampshire Background Checks section.

New Hampshire has no laws preventing firearm purchase or possession by, among others:

  • Violent misdemeanants;
  • Persons with mental illness;
  • Persons convicted of drug or alcohol misdemeanors; or
  • Juvenile offenders.
Notes
  1. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 159:7. ⤴︎
  2. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 159:3. There are greater penalties for possession of a firearm by a person convicted of three or more of certain felonies outlined by state law. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 159:3-a. New Hampshire also prohibits a licensed dealer from delivering a firearm to a person convicted of a felony. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 159:8(III). ⤴︎
  3. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 173-B:5(II). ⤴︎