The laws that govern the use and ownership of firearms in Concord and the surrounding areas are among the least restrictive in the nation. However, people who legally own guns must responsibly store, transport, and use them. Violations of the state’s gun laws could lead to severe criminal penalties and the loss of a license to carry.
In addition, the use of a firearm as an aid in committing any other offense makes those underlying offenses much more serious. Convictions here are usually felonies that can result in a multiple-year prison sentence.
Whether you are facing allegations that you improperly carried or possessed a firearm or a separate criminal allegation has become much more serious because of the alleged presence of a gun, our Concord gun lawyers may be able to help you. Our criminal defense attorneys could work with you to understand your perspective, evaluate the strength of the prosecutor’s case, and develop a strategy designed to protect your rights.
For the most part, adults in Concord and throughout New Hampshire have the right to bear arms. New Hampshire is a “constitutional carry” state, meaning that as long as you are not a “prohibited person” under the law, you have a right to carry a firearm. While you do not need a concealed carry license (or “pistol permit” as it is termed under New Hampshire law), it is still advisable to obtain one. Having a concealed carry license provides several additional benefits that most people are not aware of. One of these is “reciprocity,” meaning that certain other states will recognize your N.H. concealed carry license if you travel there. There are currently at least 30 states that will recognize a New Hampshire concealed carry license. A concealed carry license will also exempt you from the federal “Gun Free School Zone Act” which prohibits possession of a firearm within 1000 feet of a school. Without a concealed carry license, you could be charged with a crime for simply driving through a school zone while otherwise lawfully armed.
However, it is important to note that having a N.H. concealed carry license does not mean that a person can bring a gun anywhere they choose. Courtrooms, federal buildings (including post offices and national park visitor centers)and airports are common examples of restricted areas where even a with a concealed carry license, having a firearm on your person is illegal.
Finally, certain people may not legally possess handguns. Under NH RSA159:3, convicted felons can never legally possess pistols or revolvers anywhere in the state. Federal law contains several other disqualifiers that will prohibit a person from owning a gun including, but not limited to, the use of marijuana or other drugs, misdemeanor domestic violence convictions, and dishonorable discharge from the military. A skilled attorney could provide more information about the laws that prohibit firearm possession under both New Hampshire and Federal Law and help defend the rights of legal firearm owners.
Firearms are deadly weapons under the language of the law, and unsafely using them can create legal complications. This is especially true when police or prosecutors allege that a defendant brandished a firearm in connection with a crime.
For example, assault is a relatively minor accusation that is a misdemeanor under the state’s criminal code. However, NH RSA631:1 says that using a firearm to inflict harm on another makes an assault a Class A felony. Convictions here can bring a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. Similar concepts apply to robberies, burglaries, and making threats that involve a firearm.
In addition, NH RSA 650-A:1 creates a separate criminal offense related to the use of a firearm as an aid in committing a crime. Under this statute, it is a Class B felony for a person to commit a crime while armed with a pistol, revolver, shotgun, or any other type of firearm. As a Class B felony, courts can sentence a guilty party to up to seven years. This penalty is in addition to any sentence handed down for the underlying offense. A motivated gun lawyer in Concord could help build a defense against serious accusations involving the use of a firearm to commit a crime.
Allegations of the illegal possession or use of a gun are among the most serious in the state’s criminal code. In many cases, these are felony accusations where a conviction carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence and loss of your right to bear arms in the future. Even in misdemeanor cases, improperly possessing or carrying a firearm could result in the payment of heavy fines or the loss of a handgun license.
If you are facing allegations related to firearms, reach out to a Concord gun lawyer now. They could explain your rights under the law, evaluate the prosecutor’s case, and prepare to defend your freedoms in court.