NH RSA:159 Public Safety & Welfare

TITLE XII
PUBLIC SAFETY AND WELFARE

CHAPTER 159
PISTOLS AND REVOLVERS

Section 159:1

    159:1 Definition. – Pistol or revolver, as used herein, means any firearm with barrel less than 16 inches in length. It does not include antique pistols, gun canes, or revolvers. An antique pistol, gun cane, or revolver, for the purposes of this chapter, means any pistol, gun cane, or revolver utilizing an early type of ignition, including, but not limited to, flintlocks, wheel locks, matchlocks, percussions and pin-fire, but no pistol, gun cane, or revolver which utilizes readily available center fire or rim-fire cartridges which are in common, current use shall be deemed to be an antique pistol, gun cane, or revolver. Nothing in this section shall prevent antique pistols, gun canes, or revolvers from being owned or transferred by museums, antique or arms collectors, or licensed gun dealers at auctions, gun shows, or private premises provided such ownership or transfer does not conflict with federal statutes.

Source. 1923, 118:1. PL 149:1. RL 179:1. RSA 159:1. 1967, 220:1. 1992, 273:1, eff. July 17, 1992.

Section 159:2

    159:2 Carrying by Offenders. – [Repealed 1977, 403:3, eff. Sept. 3, 1977.]

Section 159:3

    159:3 Convicted Felons. –
    I. A person is guilty of a class B felony if he:
       (a) Owns or has in his possession or under his control, a pistol, revolver, or other firearm, or slungshot, metallic knuckles, billies, stiletto, switchblade knife, sword cane, pistol cane, blackjack, dagger, dirk-knife, or other deadly weapon as defined in RSA 625:11, V; and
       (b) Has been convicted in either a state or federal court in this or any other state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States of:
          (1) A felony against the person or property of another; or
          (2) A felony under RSA 318-B; or
          (3) A felony violation of the laws of any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or any territory or possession of the United States relating to controlled drugs as defined in RSA 318-B.
    I-a. A person is guilty of a class B felony if such person completes and signs an application for purchase of a firearm and the person is a convicted felon under the provisions of paragraph I.
    II. The state shall confiscate to the use of the state the weapon or weapons of persons convicted under this section.
    III. It is an affirmative defense to a charge under this section that a felony of which a defendant has been convicted in another jurisdiction would not have constituted a felony in the state of New Hampshire at the time such felony was committed.

Source. 1923, 118:3. PL 149:3. RL 179:3. RSA 159:3. 1973, 405:1; 528:83. 1981, 553:4. 1993, 157:1. 2001, 189:1; 214:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Section 159:3-a

    159:3-a Armed Career Criminals. –
    I. No person who has been convicted of any combination of 3 or more felonies in this state or any other state under homicide, assault, sexual assault, arson, burglary, robbery, extortion, child pornography, or controlled drug laws, shall own or have in his possession or under his control, a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, or any other firearm.
    II. Any person who violates paragraph I shall be guilty of a felony and, notwithstanding RSA 651:2, II, shall be sentenced to a minimum mandatory term of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than 40 years and shall be fined not more than $25,000.
    III. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, neither the whole, nor any part of the minimum mandatory sentence provided under paragraph II shall be served concurrently with any other term, nor shall the whole or any part of such additional term of imprisonment be suspended or deferred. No action brought to enforce sentencing under this section shall be continued for sentencing, nor shall the provisions of RSA 651:20 relative to suspensions or RSA 651-A relative to parole apply to any sentence of imprisonment imposed.

Source. 1989, 295:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 159:4

    159:4 Repealed.

Source. 1923, 118:4. PL 149:4. RL 179:4. 1951, 151:1. RSA 159:4. 1967, 220:3. 1973, 528:84. 1994, 48:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1995, eff Feb. 22, 2017.

Section 159:5

    159:5 Exceptions. – The provisions of RSA 159:3 and 4 shall not apply to marshals, sheriffs, policemen or other duly appointed peace and other law enforcement officers, or bailiffs and court officers responsible for court security; nor to the regular and ordinary transportation of pistols or revolvers as merchandise, nor to members of the armed services of the United States when on duty; nor to the national guard when on duty; nor to organizations by law authorized to purchase or receive such weapons; nor to duly authorized military or civil organizations when parading, or the members thereof when at, or going to or from, their customary places of assembly.

Source. 1923, 118:5. PL 149:5. RL 179:5. 1951, 151:2. RSA 159:5. 1985, 258:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.

Section 159:5-a

    159:5-a Exceptions and Exemptions Not Required to be Negated. – In any complaint, information, or indictment, and in any action or proceeding brought for the enforcement of any provision of this chapter, it shall not be necessary to negate any exception, excuse, proviso, or exemption contained herein, and the burden of proof of any such exception, excuse, proviso or exemption shall be upon the defendant.

Source. 1987, 181:2, eff. May 12, 1987.

Section 159:6 

159:6  License to Carry.

I.(a)  The selectmen of a town, the mayor or chief of police of a city or a full-time police officer designated by them respectively, the county sheriff for a resident of an unincorporated place, or the county sheriff if designated by the selectmen of a town that has no police chief, upon application of any resident of such town, city, or unincorporated place, or the director of state police, or some person designated by such director, upon application of a nonresident, shall issue a license to such applicant authorizing the applicant to carry a loaded pistol or revolver in this state for not less than 5 years from the date of issue, if it appears that the applicant has good reason to fear injury to the applicant’s person or property or has any proper purpose, unless the applicant is prohibited by New Hampshire or federal statute from possessing a firearm.  Hunting, target shooting, or self-defense shall be considered a proper purpose.  The license shall be valid for all allowable purposes regardless of the purpose for which it was originally issued.

(b)  The license shall be in duplicate and shall bear the name, address, description, and signature of the licensee.  The original shall be delivered to the licensee and the duplicate shall be preserved by the people issuing the same for 5 years.  When required, license renewal shall take place within the month of the fifth anniversary of the license holder’s date of birth following the date of issuance.  The license shall be issued within 14 days after application, and, if such application is denied, the reason for such denial shall be stated in writing, the original of which such writing shall be delivered to the applicant, and a copy kept in the office of the person to whom the application was made.  The fee for licenses issued to residents of the state shall be $10, which fee shall be for the use of the town or city granting said licenses; the fee for licenses granted to out-of-state residents shall be $100, which fee shall be for the use of the state.  The director of state police is hereby authorized and directed to prepare forms for the licenses required under this chapter and forms for the application for such licenses and to supply the same to officials of the cities and towns authorized to issue the licenses.  The form shall require no more information than was required on the state of New Hampshire application for pistol/revolver license, form DSSP 85, as revised in December 2009.  No other forms shall be used by officials of cities and towns.  The cost of the forms shall be paid out of the fees received from nonresident licenses.

II.  No photograph or fingerprint shall be required or used as a basis to grant, deny, or renew a license to carry for a resident or nonresident, unless requested by the applicant.

III.  The availability of a license to carry a loaded pistol or revolver under this section or under any other provision of law shall not be construed to impose a prohibition on the unlicensed transport or carry of a firearm in a vehicle, or on or about one’s person, whether openly or concealed, loaded or unloaded, by a resident, nonresident, or alien if that individual is not otherwise prohibited by statute from possessing a firearm in the state of New Hampshire.

Source. 1923, 118:6. PL 149:6. 1941, 172:1. RL 179:6. 1951, 151:3. RSA 159:6. 1959, 100:1. 1967, 220:4. 1977, 563:76. 1979, 355:1. 1993, 27:1; 203:1. 1994, 257:1; 257:2. 1996, 167:2, eff. Aug. 2, 1996. 2003, 90:1, eff. July 29, 2003. 2009, 144:194, eff. July 1, 2009. 2012, 255:1, eff. Aug. 17, 2012, eff Feb. 22, 2017.

Section 159:6-a

    159:6-a Confidentiality of Licenses. – Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 91-A:4 or any other provision of law to the contrary, all papers and records, including applications, pertaining to the issuance of licenses pursuant to RSA 159:6 and all licenses issued pursuant to said section are subject to inspection only by law enforcement officials of the state or any political subdivision thereof or of the federal government while in the performance of official duties or upon written consent, for good cause shown, of the superior court in the county where said license was issued.

Source. 1979, 106:1, eff. July 10, 1979.

Section 159:6-b

    159:6-b Suspension or Revocation of License. –
    I. The issuing authority may order a license to carry a loaded pistol or revolver issued to any person pursuant to RSA 159:6 to be suspended or revoked for just cause, provided written notice of the suspension or revocation and the reason therefore is given to the licensee. A licensee whose license has been suspended or revoked shall be permitted a hearing on such suspension or revocation if a hearing is requested by the licensee to the issuing authority within 7 days of the suspension or revocation.
    II. When the licensee hereunder ceases to be a resident of the community in which the license was issued he shall notify in writing the issuing authority at his new place of residence that he has a current license. Such license shall remain in effect until it expires pursuant to RSA 159:6.

Source. 1979, 355:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.

Section 159:6-c

    159:6-c Appeal From Denial, Suspension, or Revocation. – Any person whose application for a license to carry a loaded pistol or revolver has been denied pursuant to RSA 159:6 or whose license to carry a loaded pistol or revolver has been suspended or revoked pursuant to RSA 159:6-b may within 30 days thereafter, petition the district or municipal court in the jurisdiction in which such person resides to determine whether the petitioner is entitled to a license. The court shall conduct a hearing within 14 days after receipt of the petition. During this hearing the burden shall be upon the issuing authority to demonstrate by clear and convincing proof why any denial, suspension, or revocation was justified, failing which the court shall enter an order directing the issuing authority to grant or reinstate the petitioner's license. The court shall issue its decision not later than 14 days after the hearing on whether the petitioner is entitled to a license.

Source. 1979, 355:2. 1998, 380:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.

Section 159:6-d

    159:6-d Reciprocity.  The director of the division of state police shall negotiate and enter into reciprocal agreements with other jurisdictions to recognize in those jurisdictions the validity of the license issued under RSA 159:6.  The director shall apply to every jurisdiction with which New Hampshire does not have a reciprocity agreement, at least once every 5 years to obtain recognition in those jurisdictions of the license issued under RSA 159:6.  Any such agreement executed shall not expire unless an expiration date is required under the statutes of the reciprocal jurisdiction..

Source. 1993, 130:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994, eff Feb. 22, 2017.

Section 159:6-e

    159:6-e Violation. – Any person aggrieved by a violation of the licensing sections of this chapter by a licensing entity may petition the superior court of the county in which the alleged violation occurred for injunctive relief. The court shall give proceedings under this chapter priority on the court calendar. Such a petitioner may appear with or without counsel. The petition shall be deemed sufficient if it states facts constituting a violation of the licensing sections of this chapter by the licensing entity, and may be filed by the petitioner or the petitioner's counsel with the clerk of court or the justice. The clerk of court or any justice shall order service by copy of the petition on the licensing entity or a person employed by the entity. If the justice finds that time is of the essence, the justice may order notice by any reasonable means, and shall have authority to issue an order ex parte when the justice reasonably deems such an order necessary to insure compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

Source. 1996, 122:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.

Section 159:6-f

    159:6-f Remedies. –
    I. If any licensing entity or employee or member of the city council or board of selectmen, in violation of the provisions of this chapter, refuses to comply with this chapter, such entity or person shall be liable for reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in a lawsuit under this chapter to enforce the terms of this chapter, provided that the court finds that such lawsuit was necessary in order to obtain compliance with this chapter by the licensing authority. Fees shall not be awarded unless the court finds that the entity or person knew or should have known that the conduct engaged in was a violation of this chapter or when the parties, by agreement, provide that no such fees shall be paid. In any case in which fees are awarded under this chapter, upon a finding that an employee, or other official of a licensing entity has acted in bad faith in refusing to comply with this chapter, the court may award such fees personally against such employee or other official.
    II. The court may invalidate an action of a licensing entity taken in violation of the provisions of this chapter, if the circumstances justify such invalidation, and may require the licensing entity to issue a license or otherwise comply with the provisions of this chapter.
    III. In addition to any other relief awarded pursuant to this chapter, the court may issue an order to enjoin future violations of this chapter.

Source. 1996, 122:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.

Section 159:7

    159:7 Sales to Felons. – No person shall sell, deliver, or otherwise transfer a pistol, revolver or any other firearm, to a person who has been convicted, in any jurisdiction, of a felony. Whoever violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a class B felony.

Source. 1923, 118:8. PL 149:7. RL 179:7. RSA 159:7. 1973, 405:2; 528:85. 1981, 553:5, eff. Aug. 29, 1981.

Section 159:8

    159:8 License to Sell. – The selectmen of a town and the chief of police of a city may grant licenses, the form of which shall be prescribed by the director of the division of state police, effective for not more than 3 years from date of issue, permitting the licensee to sell at retail pistols and revolvers subject to the following conditions, for breach of any of which the licensee shall be subject to forfeiture:
    I. The business shall be carried on only in the building designated in the license or at any organized sporting show or arms collectors' meeting sponsored by a chartered club or organization.
    II. The license or a copy thereof, certified by the issuing authority, shall be displayed on the premises where it can easily be read.
    III. No pistol, revolver, or other firearm shall be delivered to a purchaser not personally known to the seller or who does not present clear evidence of his identity; nor to a person who has been convicted of a felony.

Source. 1923, 118:10. PL 149:8. RL 179:8. RSA 159:8. 1967, 220:5. 1979, 44:1. 1981, 553:6. 1991, 254:2. 1996, 167:1, eff. Aug. 2, 1996.

Section 159:8-a

    159:8-a Sales to Nonresidents; Attorney General. – No person holding a license issued under the provisions of RSA 159:8 shall sell a pistol or revolver to a nonresident unless such nonresident has authority under the laws of the state of his residence, to purchase a pistol or revolver in the state of his residence, or unless the director of the division of state police, for good cause shown, has issued to such nonresident a permit for the purchase of a pistol or revolver. The attorney general shall, at least once annually, file with the secretary of state a summary of the laws of each state of the United States relative to the purchase of pistols and revolvers in such states; and a licensee may rely upon such summary in determining if a nonresident offering to purchase a pistol or revolver has authority to make such purchase under the laws of the state of his residence.

Source. 1967, 220:6, eff. Aug. 21, 1967.

Section 159:8-b

    159:8-b Penalties. – If a licensee shall in any court be found guilty of a violation of any of the provisions of RSA 159:8-a, such court shall, for each such violation, order the suspension of his license for a period of 3 months, and may, in addition, impose a fine not in excess of $100.

Source. 1967, 220:6, eff. Aug. 21, 1967.

Section 159:9

    159:9 Record of Sale. – [Repealed 1996, 116:1, I, eff. July 14, 1996.]

Section 159:10

    159:10 Sale Without License. – Any person who, without being licensed as herein provided, sells, advertises or exposes for sale, or has in his possession with intent to sell, pistols or revolvers shall be guilty of a class B felony if a natural person, or guilty of a felony if any other person.

Source. 1923, 118:9. PL 149:10. RL 179:10. RSA 159:10. 1967, 220:7. 1973, 528:86, eff. Oct. 31, 1973 at 11:59 p.m.

Section 159:11

    159:11 False Information. – Any person who, in purchasing or otherwise securing delivery of a pistol, revolver, or other firearm, gives false information or offers false evidence of his identity, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor for the first offense, and be guilty of a class B felony for any subsequent offense.

Source. 1923, 118:11. PL 149:11. RL 179:11. RSA 159:11. 1967, 220:8. 1981, 553:7, eff. Aug. 29, 1981.

Section 159:12

    159:12 Sale to Minors. –
    I. Any person who shall sell, barter, hire, lend or give to any minor any pistol or revolver shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
    II. This section shall not apply to:
       (a) Fathers, mothers, grandparents, guardians, administrators or executors who give a revolver to their children or wards or to heirs to an estate.
       (b) Individuals instructing minors in the safe use of firearms during a supervised firearms training program, provided the minor's parent or legal guardian has granted the minor permission to participate in such program.
       (c) Licensed hunters accompanying a minor while lawfully taking wildlife.
       (d) Individuals supervising minors using firearms during a lawful shooting event or activity.

Source. 1923, 118:7. PL 149:12. RL 179:12. RSA 159:12. 1973, 528:87, eff. Oct. 31, 1973 at 11:59 p.m. 2006, 73:2, eff. April 28, 2006.

Section 159:13

    159:13 Changing Marks. – No person shall change, alter, remove or obliterate the name of the maker, model, manufacturer's number or other mark of identification on any pistol or revolver. Possession of any such firearms upon which the same shall have been changed, altered, removed or obliterated shall be presumptive evidence that such possessor has changed, altered, removed or obliterated the same. Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Source. 1923, 118:12. PL 149:13. RL 179:13. RSA 159:13. 1973, 528:88, eff. Oct. 31, 1973 at 11:59 p.m.

Section 159:14

    159:14 Exemption. – None of the provisions of this chapter shall prohibit an individual not licensed under the provisions thereof who is not engaged in the business of selling pistols or revolvers from selling a pistol or revolver to a person licensed under this chapter or to a person personally known to him.

Source. 1967, 220:9, eff. Aug. 21, 1967.

Section 159:15

    159:15 Possession of Dangerous Weapon While Committing a Violent Crime. –
    I. A person shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor if that person uses or employs slung shot, metallic knuckles, billies, or other deadly weapon as defined in RSA 625:11, V during the commission or attempted commission of a violent crime.
    II. "Violent crime,'' for purposes of this section, means "violent crime'' as defined in RSA 651:5, XIII.

Source. 1973, 370:15. 1998, 373:1. 2001, 214:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.

Section 159:16

    159:16 Carrying or Selling Weapons. – Whoever, except as provided by the laws of this state, sells, has in his possession with intent to sell, or carries on his person any blackjack, slung shot, or metallic knuckles shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; and such weapon or articles so carried by him shall be confiscated to the use of the state.

Source. 1973, 370:16; 1992, 273:2, eff. July 17, 1992. 2010, 67:1, eff. May 18, 2010.

Section 159:17

    159:17 Exceptions. – The provisions of the preceding section shall not apply to officers of the law, to persons holding hunting or fishing licenses when lawfully engaged in hunting or fishing, to employees of express companies while on duty, to watchmen while on duty, to emergency medical technicians, firefighters, or military personnel while in the course of their duties, or to duly authorized military or civic organizations when parading, or to the members thereof when at, or going to or from, their customary places of assembly.

Source. 1973, 370:17, eff. Nov. 1, 1973. 2006, 227:1, eff. July 31, 2006.

Section 159:18

    159:18 Felonious Use of Teflon-coated, Armor-piercing and Exploding Bullets and Cartridges. –
    I. A person is guilty of a class B felony if he uses or attempts to use any teflon-coated or armor-piercing bullet or cartridge, or any bullet or cartridge which contains any explosive substance in the projectile and is designed to explode upon impact, in the course of committing any misdemeanor or felony.
    II. Neither the whole nor any part of a sentence of imprisonment imposed for a violation of this section shall be served concurrently with any other term of imprisonment.

Source. 1983, 311:1, eff. Aug. 17, 1983.

Section 159:19

    159:19 Courthouse Security. –
    I. No person shall knowingly carry a loaded or unloaded pistol, revolver, or firearm or any other deadly weapon as defined in RSA 625:11, V, whether open or concealed or whether licensed or unlicensed, upon the person or within any of the person's possessions owned or within the person's control in a courtroom or area used by a court. Whoever violates the provisions of this paragraph shall be guilty of a class B felony.
    II. Firearms may be secured at the entrance to a courthouse by courthouse security personnel.
    III. For purposes of paragraph I, "area used by a court'' means:
       (a) In a building dedicated exclusively to court use, the entire building exclusive of the area between the entrance and the courthouse security.
       (b) In any other building which includes a court facility, courtrooms, jury assembly rooms, deliberation rooms, conference and interview rooms, the judge's chambers, other court staff facilities, holding facilities, and corridors, stairways, waiting areas, and elevators directly connecting these rooms and facilities.
    IV. The provisions of this section shall not apply to marshals, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, police or other duly appointed or elected law enforcement officers, bailiffs and court security officers, or persons with prior authorization of the court for the purpose of introducing weapons into evidence and as otherwise provided for in RSA 159:5.
    V. It shall be an affirmative defense to any prosecution under paragraph I that there was no notice of the provisions of paragraph I posted in a conspicuous place at each public entrance to the court building.

Source. 1985, 258:2. 2000, 175:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2001.

Section 159:19-a

    159:19-a Criminal Use of Pistol Cane or Sword Cane. –
    I. Any person who uses a pistol cane or sword cane on another person with intent to commit a crime punishable as a misdemeanor shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
    II. Any person who uses a pistol cane or sword cane on another person with intent to commit a crime punishable as a felony shall be guilty of a class B felony.
    III. Neither the whole nor any part of a sentence of imprisonment imposed for a violation of this section shall be served concurrently with any other term of imprisonment.

Source. 1992, 273:3, eff. July 17, 1992.

Self-Defense Weapons

Section 159:20

    159:20 Self-Defense Weapons Defined. – In this subdivision:
    I. "Electronic defense weapon'' means an electronically activated non-lethal device which is designed for or capable of producing an electrical charge of sufficient magnitude to immobilize or incapacitate a person temporarily.
    II. "Aerosol self-defense spray weapon'' means any aerosol self-defense spray weapon which is designed to immobilize or incapacitate a person temporarily.

Source. 1986, 46:1. 1994, 139:2, eff. July 1, 1995.

Section 159:21

    159:21 Possession by Felons Prohibited. – Any person who has been convicted of a felony in this or any other state who possesses an electronic defense weapon away from the premises where he resides shall be guilty of a class B felony. Neither the whole nor any part of a sentence of imprisonment imposed for a violation of this section shall be served concurrently with any other term of imprisonment.

Source. 1986, 46:1, eff. May 5, 1986.

Section 159:22

    159:22 Restricted Sale. – Any person who knowingly sells an electronic defense weapon to a person under 18 years of age shall be guilty of a violation.

Source. 1986, 46:1, eff. May 5, 1986.

Section 159:23

    159:23 Criminal Use of Electronic Defense or Aerosol Self-Defense Spray Weapons. –
    I. Any person who uses an electronic defense or aerosol self-defense spray weapon on a law enforcement officer or another person with intent to commit a crime punishable as a misdemeanor shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
    II. Any person who uses an electronic defense or aerosol self-defense spray weapon on a law enforcement officer or another person with intent to commit a crime punishable as a felony shall be guilty of a class B felony.
    III. Neither the whole nor any part of a sentence of imprisonment imposed for a violation of this section shall be served concurrently with any other term of imprisonment.

Source. 1986, 46:1. 1994, 139:3, eff. July 1, 1995.

Martial Arts Weapons

Section 159:24

    159:24 Sale of Martial Arts Weapons. –
    I. "Martial arts weapon'' means any kind of sword, knife, spear, throwing star, throwing dart, or nunchaku or any other object designed for use in the martial arts which is capable of being used as a lethal or dangerous weapon.
    II. Any person who shall sell, deliver, or otherwise transfer any martial arts weapon to a person under the age of 18 without first obtaining the written consent of such person's parent or guardian shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
    III. Paragraph II shall not apply to fathers, mothers, guardians, administrators or executors who give a martial arts weapon to their children or wards or to heirs to an estate.

Source. 1986, 222:3, eff. Jan. 1, 1987.

Voluntarily Surrendered Firearms

Section 159:25

    159:25 Voluntarily Surrendered Firearms. – No state agency shall operate a firearms "voluntary surrender and destroy'' program. Firearms which are voluntarily surrendered to a state agency shall be sold at public auction or kept by the state agency for its own use. Proceeds from firearms sold at public auction by the state shall be deposited in the general fund.

Source. 1998, 380:1, eff. Aug. 25, 1998.

State Jurisdiction

Section 159:26

    159:26 Firearms, Ammunition, and Knives; Authority of the State. –
    I. To the extent consistent with federal law, the state of New Hampshire shall have authority and jurisdiction over the sale, purchase, ownership, use, possession, transportation, licensing, permitting, taxation, or other matter pertaining to firearms, firearms components, ammunition, firearms supplies, or knives in the state. Except as otherwise specifically provided by statute, no ordinance or regulation of a political subdivision may regulate the sale, purchase, ownership, use, possession, transportation, licensing, permitting, taxation, or other matter pertaining to firearms, firearms components, ammunition, or firearms supplies in the state. Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting a political subdivision's right to adopt zoning ordinances for the purpose of regulating firearms or knives businesses in the same manner as other businesses or to take any action allowed under RSA 207:59.
    II. Upon the effective date of this section, all municipal ordinances and regulations not authorized under paragraph I relative to the sale, purchase, ownership, use, possession, transportation, licensing, permitting, taxation, or other matter pertaining to firearms, firearm components, ammunition, firearms supplies, or knives shall be null and void.

Source. 2003, 283:2, eff. July 18, 2003. 2011, 139:1, eff. Aug. 6, 2011.

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