New Hampshire law provides that no civil liability action may be brought in any state court against a trade association, manufacturer, or seller of a “qualified product” for damages resulting from unlawful use of the product by the person bringing the action or by a third party. A “qualified product” is defined as “a firearm or ammunition or a component part of a firearm or ammunition, manufactured in compliance with federal and state law, that has been shipped or transported in intrastate, interstate, or foreign commerce.” An action may still be brought “against a manufacturer, seller, or trade organization convicted of a felony under state or federal law, by a party directly harmed by the felonious conduct.”1 Federal law contains a similar provision.
New Hampshire law also limits state and local regulation of shooting ranges.2
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- N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 508:21.
- N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 159-B:1 through 159-B:8 limit state and local regulation of shooting ranges. The owners, operators, or users of a shooting range may not be subject to civil liability or criminal prosecution, a nuisance action, or an action to enjoin the use of operation of the range, on the basis of noise or noise pollution, provided that the owners of the ranges are in compliance with any applicable noise control laws or ordinances in existence at the time the range was established, was constructed, or began operations. Sections 159-B:1, 159-B:2. Subsequent physical expansion of the shooting range or change in the types of firearms in use at the range shall not establish a new date of commencement of operations for the portion or portions of the range in existence prior to the expansion. Section 159-B:3. In addition, a person whose property is in the vicinity of the shooting range may not bring an action for nuisance against the owners, operators or users of the shooting range, if the shooting range was established, constructed, or being used on a regular basis when the person acquired the property. Section 159-B:5. Section 159-B:6 provides that no state standards for limiting noise levels in the “outdoor atmosphere” shall apply to shooting ranges. Section 159-B:4 prohibits the retroactive application of any administrative rule, statute, or ordinance of the state or any of its political subdivisions to a shooting range in operation prior to the adoption, enactment, enforcement, or proposal of the rule, statute or ordinance. The owners of a shooting range have a right of action to enforce the provisions of sections 159-B:1 through 159-B:8. Section 159-B:7. A New Hampshire appellate court cited sections 159-B:2 and 159-B:5 in affirming the dismissal of a nuisance action against a shooting range in Sara Realty, LLC v. Country Pond Fish & Game Club, Inc., 972 A.2d 1038 (N.H. 2009).