Can You Shoot on Your Property in New Hampshire?

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Since February 2017, New Hampshire became a permitless carry state, meaning that you will not require a permit to either open carry or concealed carry a firearm. But even with the right to bear arms in New Hampshire, how conversant are you with the state and federal gun laws?

Read on to learn a thing or two about the purchase, possession, and use of firearms in the good state of New Hampshire.

Can You Shoot on Your Property in New Hampshire?

Yes, shooting on one’s property is permissible in the beautiful state of New Hampshire. In this day and age, guns are a common possession in the state. Residents rely on firearms for self-defense, target shooting, and hunting activities.

a private property in new hampshire

The state of New Hampshire allows residents to defend themselves when faced with serious danger. If you have a situation that threatens your life or the safety of your property, then the law allows you to use deadly force to defend yourself or your property.

I cannot deny that target shooting is one of the most celebrated sports in the state. This means that guns will be involved, with the most common being air rifles, shotguns, and pistols. And because such a sport can be dangerous, the state only authorizes target shooting on certified shooting ranges in New Hampshire.

For the purposes of hunting, the state allows residents to engage in hunting activities. However, before you can use a firearm for hunting in a bait site, you must obtain a bait license (permit) from the state. The bait permit, however, is not a requirement if you are placing the baits on your own land or property.

How Far Away Do I Need to Be in Order to Shoot?

As per the state gun laws, it is illegal to shoot within 5 yards of any roads or within the city limits. It is also illegal to shoot your guns within 5 yards of any permanently occupied building without authorization to do so from the occupants of the building.

man aiming with a firearm in smoke

There are no set limitations for anyone discharging a firearm on their backyard. However, it is advisable that you stay mindful of your neighbors when shooting on your property.

It is also important to keep your firearms pointed in a safe direction to avoid serious injuries or harm in the event of unintentional shooting. In general, know how to safely handle your firearm.

Are There Gun Ownership Restrictions in New Hampshire?

Yes. Although there is no age limit for gun possession in New Hampshire, the state requires the presence of a parent or guardian when someone below the age of 18 is in possession of a firearm.

a hand holding a shotgun with painted nails

In addition, the federal law prohibits purchase, possession or use of firearms by a number of persons. In New Hampshire, it is illegal to buy, use or own a gun if you:

  • If you are on domestic violence protective order
  • If you have been accused of stalking
  • If you are in residing in the state illegally
  • If you are considered to be mentally ill
  • If you have been convicted of a felony
  • If you have been convicted of drug and substance-related crimes
  • If you are below the age of 18 without the presence of a parent or guardian

That said, it is illegal for any persons to sell firearms to the above listed persons. Anyone who wants to purchase a gun in New Hampshire must undergo a background check.

Gun Laws in New Hampshire

Law Handguns Long Guns
State permit for purchase No No
Firearm registration No No
Assault weapon law No No
Magazine capacity restriction No No
Owner license No No
Concealed carry permit No N/A
Open carry permit No No
Castle Doctrine Yes Yes

Related Questions

What Guns Are Illegal in New Hampshire?

Antique guns are illegal in New Hampshire. This includes flintlock muskets, flintlock pistols, and firearms that use older types of ignition.

Can Anyone Own a Gun in New Hampshire?

No, not anyone can own a gun in New Hampshire. Check with your local Sheriff for gun laws. If you’re qualified, you don’t need a license to purchase a firearm in New Hampshire.

Can You Carry a Loaded Gun in Your Car in NH?

You can only carry a loaded handgun in your car even without a license. However, carrying loaded rifles or shotguns is not allowed unless you’re protecting your livestock or crops.


With New Hampshire being an open carry state, it is paramount that I understand the basic rules of handling, using, and storing my guns. Gun violence is taking away so many lives and this is something that I should try to mitigate at a personal level. I need to be armed but responsible citizens of the state.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.