NH Pending Firearms-related Legislation

NH Firearms-related Legislation

Updated: 03Apr2021

Summary of NH law creation process

Draft bills must have a sponsor from among either of the 400 House or the 24 Senate members.

When a bill is introduced to the House or Senate, it is assigned to a standing committee for deliberation and a report reflecting the majority decision of the committee. NH requires a public hearing on all bills, unless the requirement is suspended by 2/3 of members present.

A bill is killed when the House or Senate votes to adopt a committee report of “inexpedient to legislate” or when a motion from the floor to “indefinitely postpone” is adopted. Bills passing in the legislative body of origin are sent to the other body for deliberation and a report. Once passed and signed by both the House and Senate, bills are sent to the governor. If the legislature has not adjourned, the governor has 5 days to sign, veto, or allow the bill to pass without signature. If the legislature has adjourned, the governor has 5 days to sign or veto the bill (either by active veto or by not signing the bill – a “pocket veto”).

Bills pending in the House or Senate (in alphanumeric order)

The following information on NH firearms-related House bills (HB) and Senate bills (SB) is from the Citizens Count website https://www.citizenscount.org/issues/gun-laws and the NH statehouse website http://gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/

CACR 8 (2021) Constitutional amendment banning gun restrictions

https://www.citizenscount.org/bills/cacr-8-2021

Summary: Prohibits the Legislature from enacting any law restricting the right to own, carry, or use firearms or firearm accessories

Status: Originated in and introduced to the House 06Jan2021; public hearing 10Feb2021. Due out of committee 01Apr2021

Sponsor: Terry Roy

HB 195 (2021) Displaying a firearm exception from reckless conduct

https://www.citizenscount.org/bills/hb-195-2021

Summary: States, “Displaying a firearm shall not constitute reckless conduct” under the state’s reckless conduct law.

Status: Originated in and introduced to the House 06Jan2021; public hearing 10Feb2021. Due out of committee 01Apr2021

Sponsor: Michael Yakubovich

HB 196 (2021) Adding trespass as an exception to the charge of criminal threatening

https://www.citizenscount.org/bills/hb-196-2021

Summary: Revises the exceptions to the law against criminal threatening. In particular, this bill allows displaying a firearm to warn off someone criminally trespassing or who is likely to cause property damage over $1,500.

Status: Originated in and introduced to the House 06Jan2021; public hearing 03Mar2021. Due out of committee 01Apr2021

Sponsor: Michael Yakubovich

HB 197 (2021) Allow deadly force defending a person in a vehicle

https://www.citizenscount.org/bills/hb-197-2021

Summary: Allows the use of deadly force when a person is “likely to use any unlawful force in the commission of riot.” The House amended the bill to instead allow deadly force when a person is “likely to use any unlawful force in the commission of a felony against a person in a vehicle, dwelling or its curtilage.”

Status: Originated in passed in the House; introduced to the Senate 04Mar202; public hearing 06Apr2021.

Sponsor: Michael Yakubovich

HB 307 (2021) Prohibit local/school gun bans

https://www.citizenscount.org/bills/hb-307-2021

Summary: Prohibits any “public entity,” from school districts to local governments, from regulating the sale, use, or possession of firearms, knives, and related accessories.

Status: Originated in and introduced to the House 06Jan2021; public hearing held 10Feb2021. Due out of committee 01Apr2021

Sponsor: Norm Silber

HB 334 (2021) Allow carrying a pistol on OHRVs and snowmobiles

https://www.citizenscount.org/bills/hb-334-2021

Summary: Allows anyone who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm to carry a pistol or revolver on an OHRV or snowmobile.

Status: Originated in and introduced to the House 06Jan2021; public hearing held 10Feb2021. Due out of committee 01Apr2021

Sponsor: John A. Burt

HB 1379 (2020) Expand background checks for firearms

https://www.citizenscount.org/bills/hb-1379-2020

Summary: Requires commercial sales and transfers of firearms to take place through licensed dealers. Those dealers are required to perform background checks. Also requires private sales or transfers to go through a licensed firearm dealer, if it’s not absolutely clear that both the owner and the recipient are allowed to own guns.

Status: Originated in and passed in the House;introduced to the Senate 11Mar2020; in committee

Sponsor: Katherine D. Rogers

SB 141 (2021) Replace state “gun line” with FBI background check system

https://www.citizenscount.org/bills/sb-141-2021

Summary: Authorizes the FBI to conduct all National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) searches concerning the purchase, sale, and transfer of firearms through Federal Firearm Licensees operating in New Hampshire. This bill then abolishes the “gun line” in the State Police and repeals the state’s partial point of contact system for handguns, allowing the authority to remain exclusively with the FBI. Lastly, this bill authorizes county sheriffs to conduct background searches using NICS for the purpose of approving or denying the return of firearms to individuals who are subject to a protective order for domestic violence or stalking.

Status: Originated in and introduced to Senate 04Feb2021; public hearing held 16Feb2021. Passed with amendment 01Apr2021

Sponsor: Bob Giuda

SB 154 (2021) Block enforcement of executive orders on firearms

https://www.citizenscount.org/bills/sb-154-2021

Summary: Prohibits the state from enforcing any presidential executive order “which has the purpose or effect of restricting or regulating the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

Status: Originated in and introduced to Senate 04Feb2021; public hearing16Mar2021. Passed with amendment 01Apr2021

Sponsor: Jeb Bradley

Bills with other status: non-pending

HB 81 (2021) Expand right to use deadly force in the home

Summary: Permits the use of deadly force in defense of another person if someone is “likely to use any unlawful force in the commission of a felony” in your home.

Status: Introduced to the House 06Jan2021; public hearing 05Feb202. Tabled in the House 25Feb2021

Sponsor: Chris True

HB 101 (2019) An act relative to regulating possession of firearms in a school district

Summary: Allows a school district, school administrative unit (SAU), or charter school to ban or limit firearms and other weapons on school grounds.

Status: Introduced to the House 02Jan2019. Died on the table 09Jan2020

Sponsor: Jacqueline Cali-Pitts

HB 109 (2019) An act requiring background checks for commercial firearms sales

Summary: Requires commercial sales and transfers of firearms to take place through licensed dealers. Those dealers are required to perform background checks. Also requires private sales or transfers to go through a licensed firearm dealer, if it’s not absolutely clear that both the owner and the recipient are allowed to own guns.

Status: Vetoed by Governor Sununu 09Aug2019; veto sustained 18Sep2019

Sponsor: Katherine D. Rogers

HB 145 (2021) Expand right to use deadly force

Summary: Repeals the instances when using deadly force to defend oneself or another person is not legally justifiable. For example, this bill repeals the duty to retreat before using deadly force outside the home.

Status: Introduced to the House 06Jan2021; public hearing 05Feb202. Killed in the House 24Feb2021

Sponsor: Max Abramson

HB 687 (2019) Establish extreme risk protection order (“red flag law”)

Summary: Establishes “extreme risk protection orders,” based on evidence that there is “a significant risk of causing bodily injury to himself or herself or others,” which would require the subject of the order to surrender any firearms to law enforcement.

Note the Statement of Purpose: The general court finds that allowing family or household members or law enforcement officers to petition for a court order to temporarily restrict access to firearms by individuals who are found to pose an immediate risk to themselves or others would advance public safety. This act shall not apply in cases of domestic abuse or stalking where the petitioner is eligible to petition for relief under RSA 173-B or RSA 633:3-a.

In addition to other applicable charges and penalties, a person shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor if such person knowingly files a petition under this chapter containing false allegations, or if such person files a petition with intent to harass the respondent.

Status: Vetoed by Governor Sununu 07Aug2020; veto sustained 16Sep2020

Sponsor: Debra Altschiller

HB 1101 (2020) Three-day waiting period for a firearm

Summary: Establishes a three day waiting period for the delivery of a firearm. There are some exceptions for rifle or shotgun purchases by hunters, law enforcement officers, and members of the armed forces. The House amended the bill to also waive the waiting period for a person who fears for their personal safety and contacts law enforcement or obtains a restraining order.

Status: Introduced to the Senate 11Mar2020. Tabled in the Senate 16Jun2020

Sponsor: Katherine D. Rogers

HB 1115 (2020) An act relative to the discharge of a firearm in the compact part of a city or town

Summary: Under current state law, it is a violation to discharge a firearm within the “compact” part of a town, which includes any six or more residences within 300 feet of each other, non-residential buildings, and outdoor public gathering spaces, plus a 300 foot perimeter around any buildings. This bill amends the definition of compact to include other property designated “for public recreational use.” The bill also expands the perimeter around non-residential buildings from 300 to 900 feet.

Status: Introduced to the House 08Jan2020; public hearing 18Feb2020. Killed in the House 12Mar2020

Sponsor: David Doherty

HB 1143 (2020) An act repealing limited liability for manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition

Summary: Repeals limited liability for manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition

Status: Introduced to the Senate 16Jun2020. Tabled in the Senate 16Jun2020

Sponsor: Andrew Bouldin

HB 1285 (2020) Ban firearms on school grounds

Summary: Makes it a misdemeanor to carry a firearm on school property. There are exceptions for adults picking up and dropping off students (so long as the firearm stays in the vehicle), law enforcement officers and members of the military, and anyone authorized by the school board. The school board may only give permission for a person to carry a firearm after holding a public hearing.

Status: Introduced to Senate 16Jun2020. Tabled in the Senate 16Jun2020

Sponsor: Mary Heath

HB 1313 (2018) An act relative to prohibitions on carrying a loaded firearm on an OHRV or snowmobile

Summary: Repeals the prohibition on carrying a loaded handgun on an OHRV or a snowmobile.

Status: Introduced to Senate 22Mar2018. Tabled in the Senate 03May2018

Sponsor: John A. Burt

HB 1337 (2020) An act permitting parents or guardians to opt out of armed assailant drills in their child’s school

Summary: Requires schools to give 2 weeks notice to parents before any armed assailant drill other than a discussion-based drill. This bill then gives parents the right to opt his or her child out of participation in the drill.

Status: Introduced to House 08Jan2020; public hearing 30Jan2020. Tabled in the House 12Mar2020

Sponsor: Timothy Horrigan

HB 1349 (2020) An act establishing a committee to study firearms incidents involving children with access to unsecured firearms

Summary: Establishes a committee to study firearms incidents involving children with access to unsecured firearms

Status: Introduced to Senate 16Jun2020. Tabled in the Senate 16Jun2020

Sponsor: David Meuse

HB 1350 (2020) An act requiring a locking safety device be provided for commercial firearm sales and transfers

Summary: Requires all firearms sold in New Hampshire to be accompanied by an approved safety device, such as a trigger lock or lockbox.

Status: Introduced to House 08Jan2020. Killed in the House 11Mar2020

Sponsor: David Meuse

HB 1374 (2020) An act relative to voluntarily surrendered firearms

Summary: Repeals the state law that prohibits any state program that destroys voluntarily surrendered firearms.
Status: Introduced to Senate 16Jun2020. Tabled in the Senate 16Jun2020

Sponsor: Robert “Renny” Cushing

HB 1608 (2020) Ban large capacity firearm magazines

Summary: Makes it a misdemeanor to manufacture, possess, transfer, offer for sale, purchase, receive, or import a large capacity ammunition feeding device. There are some exceptions, for example to allow owners to keep items they already own.

Status: Introduced to the Senate 16Jun2020. Tabled in the Senate 16Jun2020

Sponsor: Casey M. Conley

SB 469 (2020) An act relative to shooting ranges

Summary: Modifies the law governing shooting ranges, so that shooting ranges must follow newly adopted noise ordinances.

Status: Introduced to the Senate 08Jun2020; public hearing 23Jan2020. Killed in the Senate 05Mar2020

Sponsor: Jeanne Dietsch

SB 624 (2020) Establishng a school marshals program

Summary: Permits a school to establish an armed school marshal program. This bill also requires the Police Standards and Training Council to develop a curriculum for training school marshals.

Status: Introduced to the Senate 08Jan2020; public hearing 21Jan2020. Killed in the Senate 30Jan2020

Sponsor: Jon Morgan

SB 719 (2020) An act relative to lost or stolen firearms

Summary: Requires a person who owns a firearm that is lost or stolen, or an individual who discovers an abandoned firearm, to report it to local law enforcement or state police within 72 hours. The bill carries a violation or misdemeanor penalty, depending on the circumstances.

Status: Introduced to the Senate 08Jan2020; public hearing 04Feb2020. Killed in the Senate 05Mar2020

Sponsor: David H. Watters