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Business Owners Can Regulate Firearms Possession on Premises in "Live Free or Die" State.

posted Apr 2, 2015, 11:44 AM by Christopher Vrountas

In New Hampshire, live free or die works both ways when it comes to carrying a gun on private property. As one would expect, New Hampshire has a fairly permissive gun permitting law, found at RSA c. 159.  At the same time, however, New Hampshire does not regulate how the owners or lessees of private property regulate the use of or possession of firearms or other weapons on their own property.  Thus a property owner or lessee, including stores, restaurants, theaters, etc., can set a “no guns” policy. 

 

If you post a “No Firearms” sign on your property, it will not carry the weight of law, meaning that someone carrying a firearm in violation of your policy does not commit a criminal act.  If you choose to set such a policy and post it, however, you can ask a patron in violation of the policy to leave your premises.  If the patron refuses to leave following your request, you can then call the police to have the offending patron arrested for trespassing.

 

New Hampshire state law also preempts local laws or ordinances that would regulate gun possession, except for zoning and hunting laws.  RSA 159:26.  Thus, it is highly unlikely that any locality could restrict a business-owner’s right to enact a no guns policy.

As one would expect, New Hampshire has a fairly permissive gun permitting law, found at RSA c. 159.  At the same time, however, New Hampshire does not regulate how the owners or lessees of private property regulate the use of or possession of firearms or other weapons on their own property.  Thus a property owner or lessee, including stores, restaurants, theaters, etc., can set a “no guns” policy. 

 

If you post a “No Firearms” sign on your property, it will not carry the weight of law, meaning that someone carrying a firearm in violation of your policy does not commit a criminal act.  If you choose to set such a policy and post it, however, you can ask a patron in violation of the policy to leave your premises.  If the patron refuses to leave following your request, you can then call the police to have the offending patron arrested for trespassing.

 

New Hampshire state law also preempts local laws or ordinances that would regulate gun possession, except for zoning and hunting laws.  RSA 159:26.  Thus, it is highly unlikely that any locality could restrict a business-owner’s right to enact a no guns policy.

 

So, at the end of the day, a property owner, including a restaurant owner, may restrict access to its property by banning guns on premises.  Gun carrying customers must either follow stated rules or leave the premises, but unless otherwise informed a licensed person my carry to the license the license allows. Clear and respectful communication will always be key for property owners managing their premises.

 

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