How to Sell a Gun in New Hampshire: A Comprehensive Guide

Guns are popular and in the Live-Free-or-Die state, laws governing the sale and possession of firearms are minimalist by any standard. However, things can get complicated when interpreting the legal text and applying that when buying, selling and transferring firearms in the state. Those looking to become a gun owner or those who already own firearms should want to be informed of the current legislation in place in order to be complaint with both federal and state laws. Dunlap Gun buyers has compiled an overview of the gun regulations in place for the uniformed.

The following information was complied from a memorandum on New Hampshire State Laws and Published Ordinances from the New Hampshire Office of Attorney General to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

What Selling Options do Gun Owners Have in New Hampshire?

There are a few ways gun owners can sell a firearm in a legal transaction:

  • Gun owners can sell their firearm to a local dealer. This is a good way to help ensure gun owners are complying with gun laws in New Hampshire for firearm sales. However, sellers may be leaving money on the table by selling for much less than the gun’s actual market value.
  • Gun owners can sell a firearm through a private transaction. In the state of New Hampshire, there are no laws requiring a background check to buy or sell a firearm in a private transaction between two private individuals. However, there are penalties for buyers and sellers if the firearm was sold to an ineligible person, selling a defaced firearm or selling a restricted firearm (explosive weapon, machine gun), which can result in different criminal charges including and up to a felony criminal charge. 
  •  Here is the legal text:§ Sec. 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.Here is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives guidance on the transfer of a firearm by private sellers.
  • Another option if simply wanting to legally dispose of a firearm is surrendering it to local law enforcement. However, by doing this, gun owners potentially lose on hundreds or even thousands of dollars those guns could be worth in a sale.
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What is the Process of Buying a Firearm from a Dealer in New Hampshire?

In order to purchase a firearm legally, the buyer must be 18 years old to purchase rifles, shotguns and ammunition. Buyers looking to purchase handguns must be at least 21 years old. No permits or registration are required to own a firearm in this state.

Anyone purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer must complete a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms form 4473 (firearms transaction form).  A firearms purchaser must, under the permanent provisions of the Federal Brady Law, also undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System check, which will be performed by the firearms dealer. The department of safety may become the point of contact for the federal government for the purposes of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

This check will indicate to the dealer whether the purchaser’s background allows for the person to complete the purchase of the firearm. If the check disallows the sale for no warranted reason, there is an appeal process the purchaser can pursue to receive the necessary clearance to complete the purchase.

New Hampshire Firearm Ownership Restrictions

§ Sec. 159:3 Convicted Felons.

  1. 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, … 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.
    1-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 1.
  2. The state shall confiscate to the use of the state the weapon or weapons of persons convicted under this section.
  3. 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.

§ Sec. 159:3-a Armed Career Criminals.

  1. 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 sexual abuse images, or controlled drug laws, shall own or have in his or her possession or under his or her control, a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, or any other firearm.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

§ Sec. 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

§ Sec. 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.

§ Sec. 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.

§ Sec. 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.

§ Sec. 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.

§ Sec. 159:12. Sale to Minors.

  1. Any person who shall sell, barter, hire, lend or give to any minor any pistol or revolver shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
  2. This section shall not apply to:
    (a) Fathers, mothers, grandparents, guardians, administrators or executors who give a pistol or 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.


  • Conviction (felony or misdemeanor) where the crime has a maximum imprisonment term exceeding 1 year (even if a buyer did not receive actual imprisonment exceeding 1 year).
  • Warrant (felony or out-of-state misdemeanor).
  • Felony pre-trial release.
  • Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence restraining/stalking/protection order mental health adjudication or commitment.
  • Unlawful use or addicted to a controlled substance (including marijuana).
  • Dishonorable discharge from the armed forces.
  • Renounced U.S. citizenship.
  • Illegal alien.

Save the Hassle, Sell your Gun to Dunlap Gun Buyers

If the hassle of navigating New Hampshire’s gun laws seems overwhelming, we’re excited to tell you that there’s a better way!

You can safely, easily and legally sell your handgun or long gun to Dunlap Gun Buyers and be 100% compliant with New Hampshire’s gun laws.

We have a Federal Firearms Licensee, who is licensed by the U.S. Government to help people with selling and transferring of firearms. We take care of the hard part and make the process safe, quick and hassle-free. The reality is you can sell your gun without leaving the house.

Just tell us which gun(s) you’d like to sell, we’ll make you an offer, and once we agree on a price, you’ll mail us your gun(s) with all expenses paid by us. When we receive your gun(s), we get you paid with a check in your hand within a few days.

When you use Dunlap Gun Buyers, you get the following unbeatable benefits!

Free gun appraisal  –  Fair price for your gun –  Free shipping

Easy shipment tracking throughout the whole process. Speedy payment!

Begin our safe and discrete process here.

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The information contained on this website has been prepared as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice. has used reasonable efforts in collecting, preparing, and providing quality information and material, but does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, adequacy, or currency of the information contained in or linked to this website. Users of information from this website or links do so at their own risk and should consult their local firearm law resources and/or an attorney when engaging in selling a firearm. The cited information in this article was obtained on 09/13/23 from

© 12/1/20