A Postcard From Southern NH
I was wandering by and saw this discussion. As a resident of southern NH, and almost within commuting distance from Boston, I thought that I would offer some info on the local landscape and gun attitudes.
As background, my town borders the Peoples Republic of Taxachusetts. And I am myself a Massachusetts refugee. As most folks who post here might guess, the attitudes about life and firearms are very different across the border. Day and night.
The only "license" issued for firearms in NH is the $10 Pistol/Revolver License. Allows the concealed carry of a loaded firearm. NH is shall issue by statute. Many PD's encourage the residents to get the license and some will waive the $10 for older residents. The fee is set by state statute and appears to be optional.
NH allows open carry, and some of the more aggressive advocates made a fuss at the Manchester PD a couple of years ago that I understand got that department up to speed on what they must respect as legal. There are some video's on the internet of that group visiting Manchester PD and the desk staff being very professional.
The Gun Owners of NH and Pro Gun NH organizations don't always agree, but they are very active. The legislature hears from them a lot.
Mass is entirely different and depends on what town we are talking about. The Chief of Police gets to decide who gets a permit and what type. If you want to move to a Mass town, check out this aspect. But if you are a NH resident looking for a Mass non-resident permit you deal with the Col of the State Police and the permit will be a Class A (highest) and shall issue. The down side is that a non-resident permit is $100 per year and you must interview at the Criminal Records facility in Chelsea, next to Boston, every year. My wife goes through this drill every spring.
The state of NH encourages land owners to be open to hunting, hiking, snowmobiles, and ATV's. I have a neighbor who encourages all of his friends to shoot on his 200 acre parcel. Not uncommon. But part of his motivation is to make sure that the recent immigrants from the People's Republic get acclimated to the full "New Hampshire experience." Some of the new folks don't embrace the sound of the full range of woods activities, but the locals who have been in town for 3 generations or so view that as the new folks problem, not theirs.
That said, there are some good fish and game clubs across southern NH. Nashua Fish & Game has the NH 600yd range as well as smaller ranges for rifle, shotgun, action pistol, BB gun, and archery. Pelham F&G has ranges for all of the shotgun games. I hear that there might be a 1000yd range over in Vermont.
My town is a couple of towns west of the Merrimack River. I have neighbors that commute to the I95/RT128 circumferential highway just outside Boston. Not an easy commute, but some of them have done it for years. If the young lady in questions actually works in the suburbs of Boston then a commute from southern NH is very do-able.
The main commuter routes from NH to the jobs around Boston are Rt3 and I93. Both get slow if there is bad weather or an accident. If you are in high tech though you can telecommute some or most of the time. Mass has an income tax of 6+% while NH has no income or sales tax. Since folks who live in NH and work in MA have to pay MA tax for the days that they sit in MA, many ask their employer to work from home a couple of days a week to avoid the tax.
The further east along the MA-NH border you go the closer you are to Boston, but the more populated and expensive it is.
Back to firearms, there are a number of gun shows during the year in Manchester, Concord, and West Lebanon. The exhibitors are evenly split between actual firearms and other stuff like militaria. The MA gun shops even get tables and work out a deal with a NH FFL at the shows to do the transfers. Oh, in NH, the State Police does the "instant" check.
If it is relevant for the Boston woman, the NH Fish & Game dept is an active sponsor of the Becoming an Outdoor Woman program. My wife participated and the Sig Academy folks donate their time to teach shooting fundamentals. She also did a game tracking class and maybe kayaking. She came home with a bunch of flash cards for the scat of various critters that live in the woods.
From my place I can be at the beach surfing in a hour, skiing or snowboarding in maybe 1 1/2 hours. Or walk 5 minutes out into the woods to the spot where we all do our weekly handgun exercises.
Considering the movement of population into southern NH, the wildlife has adapted very well. We have flocks of wild turkeys that wander across the property, deer that trim the flower beds, and the occasional near sighted moose that wanders through. And if you put out sun flower seed in your bird feeders, you may get to have a nose-to-nose conversation with a local bear about their place in the grand scheme of things. We have eastern Black Bears, so as long as you respect that they are wild animals, you can explain that you are higher on the food chain and point them (literally) back into the woods.
All of the above may be hunted at different times of the year. And the cluster of houses are far enough apart that lots of hunting goes on. But then there is the bear that decided to visit the porch of the guy who had a permit and it was bear season. Opened the window, drew his bow, and his hunt was done. Not to far from what passes from downtown.
Anyway, if you really really are interested in Ms Boston, southern NH might have enough of everything you want. Even if Ms Boston doesn't work out.
Best of luck,
Last edited by NH_Pilot; November 26, 2012 at 09:18 PM.