How Do I Select a Gun Trust And Firearms Attorney In New Hampshire ?
Before choosing a gun trust or firearms attorney in New Hampshire, clients should question their potential attorney about the attorney’s prior experience with gun laws.
At a minimum, they should ask the following questions:
1) Where did you learn about the gun laws?
2) Do you have any gun-related criminal law background?
3) Have you written any articles or taught gun law classes?
4) What estate or business gun-law related issues have you resolved for your former clients?
If your estate or business involves firearms in New Hampshire, make sure your attorney is well-versed in both state and federal gun laws. After all, there are thousands of gun laws on the books, and without some prior experience, you should question the attorney’s ability to protect you. Remember, each attorney’s particular knowledge and experience that they can offer to their clients is different, and not all gun trusts are created equal.
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Gun Trust In New Hampshire For Firearms That Are Subject To The National Firearms Act
Gun owners in New Hampshire who are considering adding an NFA firearm (firearms subject to the National Firearms Act) to their collection should consider creating a gun trust before they make the acquisition.
The most popular NFA firearms in New Hampshire are suppressors, short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, and fully automatic firearms. The National Firearms Act was passed by Congress in 1934. The NFA imposed a special tax on NFA firearms, and restricts the possession and transfer of NFA firearms to the person who has paid the tax. If you are considering acquiring or building an NFA firearm, you need to know the laws that pertain to these special firearms. Readers are encouraged to read Alexandria Kincaid’s book, “Infringed” to more fully understand the laws, including the NFA, and avoid committing an accidental felony.
What Special Laws Apply to NFA Firearms In New Hampshire ?
The National Firearms Act (NFA) regulates the possession, use, and transfer of several different types of firearms in New Hampshire. These firearms are commonly referred to as “Title II” firearms and include machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, suppressors, destructive devices, and “any other weapons” (AOWs). State laws may also further restrict the possession and use of these weapons. In many states, it is legal to own and use
suppressors, destructive devices, and AOWs as long as the NFA regulations are followed.
Gun owners in New Hampshire wishing to acquire Title II firearms can do so by registering the firearm in their own name or in the name of an entity. If you choose to acquire the NFA firearm in your own name, you must submit fingerprints, a photograph, pay a $200 application fee/tax, and obtain the signature of the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) in the jurisdiction where you live. In some cities and counties, the CLEO signature is very hard, if not impossible, to obtain.
The Best Way To Own Title II Firearms In New Hampshire
Even when you can obtain the CLEO signature, individual ownership is not the best way to own Title II firearms in New Hampshire. Only the individual in whose name the firearm is registered will be entitled to possess the NFA firearms. Leaving these firearms accessible to other people living in your home can be a crime.
As a result of the drawbacks of individual ownership, combined with the CLEO non-participation in the application process, many gun owners in New Hampshire have resorted to forming an entity to purchase and hold Title II firearms. There are several advantages to using an entity to purchase and hold NFA items:
• No fingerprints are required.
• No photographs are required.
• No CLEO signature is required.
• In contrast to individual ownership, multiple people may possess the firearms.
The question then becomes which type of entity is best to hold Title II firearms In New Hampshire. The answer is usually a firearms trust
Business entities such as corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) in New Hampshire can be used to obtain Title II firearms. The problem with these entities is that they all require fees and a public record with the state. You must pay an initial fee to form the entity and in many states, a yearly fee to maintain it. Further, these types of entities are designed to earn money rather than to hold, share, and distribute firearms.
Business entities in region~ rarely address what will happen to the firearm when the creator of the entity becomes incapacitated or dies. Despite these drawbacks, some gun owners choose to use a business entity due to the ability to obtain asset protection of the firearms with such an entity. When gun owners create an LLC to hold firearms, the LLC is still often combined with a gun trust, so the gun owner receives the best of both worlds: asset protection and estate planning combined.
Gun Trust In New Hampshire Can Be Kept Private
In contrast, a trust does not require any fees with the state and can be kept private. Because trusts in New Hampshire are primarily an estate-planning tool, they are designed to hold, share, and distribute assets. A proper gun trust will address what happens to the firearms when the creator of the trust becomes incapacitated or dies. While a person could use a free trust provided by a gun shop (which is the “unauthorized practice of law”) or downloads one from a discount online source, these products do not protect a person’s family and friends adequately.
A proper firearms trust is designed for owning, sharing, and eventually distributing firearms, ammunition, and accessories.
This Article Is Provided by Attorney Alex Kincaid
The New Hampshire State Constitutional Provision states: “All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property, and the state.”
New Hampshire is one of the safest states in the country which was ranked #1 in 2009 in a survey on state crime, yet the state has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the Country. There are no state licensing requirements for the possession of rifles, shotguns or handguns. In New Hampshire, approximately one in every three households contains at least one firearm, and typically two or more. Openly carrying a handgun is perfectly legal, and a license to carry concealed is easily obtained. Yet the homicide rate is just 1.1 per 100,000 residents, and the overall violent crime rate is 169.5 per 100,000. That's lower than in England!
New Hampshire is not unique in having high gun-ownership and low crime. Both Vermont and Wyoming have a high percentage of gun ownership and experience some of the lowest violent crime rates. Conversely, Chicago, New York, and Washington DC which all have the most restrictive gun laws have some of the highest violent crimes in the country.
New Hampshire is a "shall-issue state" for a license to carry a concealed handgun. The act of open carrying of firearms by non-felons is generally permissible. No license is required to openly carry a firearm while not in a vehicle, but carry of a loaded pistol or revolver in a motor vehicle, openly or concealed, does require a CCW license.
A person may carry a handgun openly upon his person or unloaded and exposed or locked up in a vehicle without a license to carry. To obtain a license to carry, a person must apply to the selectmen or mayor or chief of police of the town where he is a resident. The selectmen or mayor or chief of police shall issue a license to the applicant authorizing him to carry a handgun if he is a suitable person to be licensed and has good reason to fear an injury to his person or property or has any other "proper purpose." Hunting, target shooting or self-defense shall be considered proper purposes. The license shall be valid for all allowable purposes regardless of the purpose for which it was originally issued.
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It is federal law that a person buying any type of firearm must be 21 years old. However, in New Hampshire, there are no age restrictions for owning a gun. This means that a 21-year-old individual can legally buy a firearm and give it to their younger sibling as a gift. There are no licenses whatsoever in New Hampshire for purchasing of a gun. This means if one brings identification that proves they are 21 years or older, they can buy a gun. It is up to the dealer whether or not to do background checks. The only license and/or permit that someone can buy in New Hampshire is a concealed carry license, CCW. Anyone can carry an unloaded gun with them in New Hampshire.
As the debate over gun control rages in Washington and across the country, a look at New Hampshire's laws shows that the state has a mostly hands-off approach. When it comes to gun rights versus gun control, New Hampshire falls in the middle of the pack compared with the other 50 states. Unlike in California or New York, there is no permitting process for purchases and no state registration or licensing of firearms. But strong Second Amendment backers said New Hampshire doesn't enjoy the same scope of freedom as states such as Wyoming or Vermont. "There's a lot of people who think New Hampshire is this incredibly firearm-friendly state, and we're somewhat firearm-friendly, but not nearly as firearm-friendly as people think we are," said a New Hampshire resident and gun-rights advocate.
You need a license to carry a loaded gun either in your car, or concealed on your body, in the state of New Hampshire. To carry a loaded gun out in the open, you don’t need a license at all. That makes New Hampshire one of 28 states that allow “open carry” to just about anyone, no permit or license needed. People have been free to carry a loaded gun openly in NH since statehood. That is to say, there’s never been a law that prohibits or regulates it. It’s the same with many other states across the country.
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