Revising Trade and Commerce Statutes: Sales of Specific Items

A Study of New Hampshire’s RSA Chapter 339
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1213-08
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chapter 339 of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes (RSA) regulates the sale of specific items in the state and can be found under Title XXXI: Trade and Commerce. The chapter contains many laws enacted in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that are outdated and not actively enforced. This report provides an assessment of the statutes in Chapter 339 and considers which statutes might be considered for repeal. The report begins with a description of the methodology we employed. Using a set of key questions as a guide for analysis, we developed criteria and created a codebook to evaluate each statute in Chapter 339. The next section identifies the criteria required for a statute to be recommended for repeal and provides comprehensive analyses of several of the statutes. Each statute is coded and identified as still relevant, legally irrelevant, or empirically irrelevant. Next, the report provides possible policy options based on the evaluations of the statutes. Finally, it closes with a section on recommendations for future research, interviews, and improvement methods. Ultimately, we find that when we apply these standards some statutes might be considered for repeal while others are still relevant to New Hampshire trade and commerce. The appendices include the codebook and an analysis of each of the 339 statutes repealed to date.