North Carolina Gun Laws

north carolina gun laws

North Carolina Gun Laws are based on the State Constitutional Provision that reads, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and, as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they shall not be maintained, and the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power. Nothing herein shall justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons, or prevent the General Assembly from enacting penal statutes against that practice.”

Validity of Permits Issued Under North Carolina Gun Laws in Other Jurisdictions

Permits issued under North Carolina Gun Laws are recognized by the following states:

  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. Arizona
  4. Arkansas
  5. Colorado
  6. Delaware
  7. Florida
  8. Georgia
  9. Idaho
  10. Indiana
  11. Iowa
  12. Kansas
  13. Kentucky
  14. Louisiana
  15. Michigan
  16. Mississippi
  17. Missouri
  18. Montana
  19. Nebraska
  20. Nevada
  21. New Hampshire
  22. New Mexico
  23. North Dakota
  24. Ohio
  25. Oklahoma
  26. Pennsylvania
  27. South Carolina
  28. South Dakota
  29. Tennessee
  30. Texas
  31. Utah
  32. Vermont
  33. Virginia
  34. Washington
  35. West Virginia
  36. Wisconsin
  37. Wyoming

On the other hand, permit issued from these states are honored by North Carolina Gun Laws:

  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. Arizona
  4. Arkansas
  5. California
  6. Colorado
  7. Connecticut
  8. Delaware
  9. Florida
  10. Georgia
  11. Hawaii
  12. Idaho
  13. Indiana
  14. Iowa
  15. Kansas
  16. Kentucky
  17. Louisiana
  18. Maine
  19. Maryland
  20. Massachusetts
  21. Michigan
  22. Minnesota
  23. Mississippi
  24. Missouri
  25. Montana
  26. Nebraska
  27. Nevada
  28. New Hampshire
  29. New Jersey
  30. New Mexico
  31. New York
  32. North Dakota,
  33. Ohio
  34. Oklahoma
  35. Oregon
  36. Pennsylvania
  37. Rhode Island
  38. South Carolina
  39. South Dakota
  40. Tennessee
  41. Texas
  42. Utah
  43. Virginia
  44. Washington
  45. West Virginia
  46. Wisconsin
  47. Wyoming

Key Provisions of North Carolina Gun Laws

The following are the rules and regulations provided by North Carolina Gun Laws:

1. A permit to purchase is not needed when buying a rifle, shotgun or ammunition. Citizens of the State are allowed to purchase rifles, shotguns or ammunition in states contiguous to North Carolina.

2. Buying, selling, transferring, inheriting or acquiring a handgun requires a license or permit. The license or permit will be issued by the sheriff of the place where the person resides or the location where he is receiving the handgun. Such license or permit shall be valid for five years from its date of issuance and it is only good for one purchase. Antique firearms are exemptions to this rule.

3. If an applicant of handgun permit to purchase wishes to make more than one purchase of handgun, he must secure a separate permit and he should be able to justify his need to purchase another handgun with the issuing authority.

4. A permit to purchase a handgun is only given to an applicant with good moral character. He should pass the complete criminal background history check and be able to show that his desire to own a handgun is for lawful means.

5. A person who possesses the following disqualifying factors is prohibited from getting a permit to purchase handgun:

  • Convicted of a felony or prohibited under the Felony Act from possessing a handgun. He may be allowed to purchase or own a handgun once he gets pardoned.
  • A fugitive from justice.
  • Illegal or controlled substance abuser.
  • Mentally incompetent and committed to a mental treatment facility.
  • Dishonorably discharged from the armed forces.
  • Not a US citizen.
  • A subject to a court restraining order for an offense related to violence.
  • Not allowed by federal laws to possess a gun.

6. A person denied of a permit to purchase can appeal his case to the Chief Judge of the District Court of the place where his application was filed.

7. A person under 18 years of age is not permitted to possess or carry a handgun unless he is a member of the US Armed Forces discharging his official duties, participating in an educational or recreational activity involving gun with a direct supervision of an adult, or lawfully hunting or trapping with a written permission from his legal guardian or parent.

8. A child under the age of 12 is prohibited from possessing or using any type of gun unless he is within the direct supervision of his parent or guardian.

9. It is illegal for a person to possess a handgun outside his own premises without a permit to carry and a valid ID.

10. Even with a permit to carry, a person is not allowed to carry a concealed handgun in schools, assemblies wherein only a few were charged for admission, buildings used by the court, buildings housing government offices, financial institutions, State Capitol Building, Executive Mansion, Western Residence of the Governor, parades, funeral processions, picket lines, demonstrations, areas where signs barring the possession of guns are conspicuously placed, or places wherein the owner has expressly stated that carrying a gun is prohibited.

11. The possession of a machine gun or any of its components is illegal unless the sheriff issues a permit for it. Under North Carolina Gun Laws, federal laws do not automatically legitimize the possession of such gun in various counties of the state. In addition, the a federal permit does not automatically compel the sheriff to issue a permit for it.

Concealed Carry Permit Requirements

Any individual who wishes to apply for a permit to carry must be able to fulfill these conditions:

  1. At least 21 years old.
  2. A US citizen and a resident of North Carolina for at least 30 days.
  3. Has no physical or mental issues that prevent him from safely using a handgun.
  4. Does not possess any of the disqualifying factors set forth by law (refer to the disqualifying factors enumerated under the permit to purchase item above).
  5. Has successfully completed the firearms safety course and traning course required by the State.
  6. Not convicted of an impaired driving offense for the past three years.
  7. Must be able to submit to the sheriff of his county the required documents and pay the necessary fees.

It shoud be noted that the sheriff may issue a temporary permit in special cases wherein there is an emergency situation that constitutes a risk to the safety of a person of his household. It can also be revoked by the sheriff any time.


North Carolina Gun Laws reserve the right to regulate firearms or ammunition only to the state legislature.

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