New Hampshire has established the offense of “negligent storage of firearms.” However, a person may be guilty of this offense only if the firearm was used in a reckless or threatening manner, used during the commission of any misdemeanor or felony, or negligently or recklessly discharged.1 In addition, ALL of the following statements must be true for a person to be guilty of this offense:
- The person stored or left a loaded firearm on premises under that person’s control;
- A person under the age of 16 gained access to the firearm; and
- The adult knew or should have known that a person under the age of 16 was likely to gain access to the firearm without the permission of that child’s parent or guardian.2
See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 650-C:1. Moreover, a person is not guilty of the offense of negligent storage of a firearm if the: 1) child has completed a firearm safety or hunter safety course; 2) firearm is kept in a secure locked space or is secured with a trigger lock or similar device that prevents the firearm from discharging; 3) firearm is carried on the person or close enough that the person can readily retrieve the firearm; 4) child obtains the firearm in lawful self-defense or defense of another; 5) person has no reasonable expectation that a child is likely to be on the premises; or 6) child obtains the firearm due to illegal entry of the premises or illegal taking of the firearm from the premises. Id.