Open carry in NH

Aug 09, 2018

BY: Citizens Count

In New Hampshire it is generally legal to carry a handgun openly or concealed without a license. However, there are some restrictions on open carry.

Open carry in schools

Federal law bans firearms on school property. However, there is an exception for licensed gun owners. In New Hampshire, gun owners can apply for a concealed carry license for that purpose.

State law does not allow towns to ban firearms on school grounds or other public property, although some towns have nonetheless passed ordinances to that effect.

Click here to learn more about the debate over local gun bans

State law does prohibit any pupil from carrying a firearm on school property.

The state university system has a different legal status than K-12 public schools. The university system has a rule that bans firearms on campus. Students that own a firearm must store the gun with campus police.

Click here to learn more about the debate over guns on campus

Open carry at government buildings

Federal law prohibits firearms – whether carried openly or concealed – on most federal property, such as post offices and courts.

New Hampshire law prohibits firearms in court buildings, whether carried openly or concealed.

In the past the New Hampshire Legislature has voted to ban firearms in parts of the capitol building, although no such rule is currently in effect.

Open carry at the polls

In 2016 some voters expressed concern that firearms would be allowed at polling stations, including some schools. There is no New Hampshire law prohibiting firearms at polling locations.

Click here to learn more about the debate over guns at polling places

Open carry at private businesses

Private businesses have the right to prohibit firearms on their private property. They may ask anyone carrying a firearm to leave. If the person does not leave, the person may be charged with trespassing.

Private businesses include hospitals, restaurants, and other public accommodations.

Any time a resident leaves New Hampshire, all bets are off – these open carry laws vary from state to state.

Click here to learn more about gun laws in New Hampshire


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