North Carolina Gun Law
The laws governing the legal use, storage and carrying of firearms are constantly changing. Below are the applicable laws in the State of North Carolina as of 2/27/2013. The below information is designed to be a guide and not the final word. If you have specific questions, please refer to the State of North Carolina legislation at ncleg.net. Another great resource is the North Carolina Department of Justice ncdoj.com.
§ 14 415.11. Permit to carry concealed handgun; scope of permit.
(a) Any person who has a concealed handgun permit may carry a concealed handgun unless otherwise specifically prohibited by law. The person shall carry the permit together with valid identification whenever the person is carrying a concealed handgun, shall disclose to any law enforcement officer that the person holds a valid permit and is carrying a concealed handgun when approached or addressed by the officer, and shall display both the permit and the proper identification upon the request of a law enforcement officer. In addition to these requirements, a military permittee whose permit has expired during deployment may carry a concealed handgun during the 90 days following the end of deployment and before the permit is renewed provided the permittee also displays proof of deployment to any law enforcement officer.
(b) The sheriff shall issue a permit to carry a concealed handgun to a person who qualifies for a permit under G.S. 14 415.12. The permit shall be valid throughout the State for a period of five years from the date of issuance.
(c) Except as provided in G.S. 14 415.27, a permit does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun in any of the following:
(1) Areas prohibited by G.S. 14 269.2, 14 269.3, and 14 277.2.
(2) Areas prohibited by G.S. 14 269.4, except as allowed under G.S. 14 269.4(6).
(3) In an area prohibited by rule adopted under G.S. 120 32.1.
(4) In any area prohibited by 18 U.S.C. § 922 or any other federal law.
(5) In a law enforcement or correctional facility.
(6) In a building housing only State or federal offices.
(7) In an office of the State or federal government that is not located in a building exclusively occupied by the State or federal government.
(8) On any private premises where notice that carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited by the posting of a conspicuous notice or statement by the person in legal possession or control of the premises.
(c1) Any person who has a concealed handgun permit may carry a concealed handgun on the grounds or waters of a park within the State Parks System as defined in G.S. 113 44.9.
(c2) It shall be unlawful for a person, with or without a permit, to carry a concealed handgun while consuming alcohol or at any time while the person has remaining in the person's body any alcohol or in the person's blood a controlled substance previously consumed, but a person does not violate this condition if a controlled substance in the person's blood was lawfully obtained and taken in therapeutically appropriate amounts or if the person is on the person's own property.
(c3) As provided in G.S. 14 269.4(5), it shall be lawful for a person to carry any firearm openly, or to carry a concealed handgun with a concealed carry permit, at any State owned rest area, at any State owned rest stop along the highways, and at any State owned hunting and fishing reservation.
(d) A person who is issued a permit shall notify the sheriff who issued the permit of any change in the person's permanent address within 30 days after the change of address. If a permit is lost or destroyed, the person to whom the permit was issued shall notify the sheriff who issued the permit of the loss or destruction of the permit. A person may obtain a duplicate permit by submitting to the sheriff a notarized statement that the permit was lost or destroyed and paying the required duplicate permit fee. (1995, c. 398, s. 1; c. 507, s. 22.1(c); c. 509, s. 135.3(e); 1997, c. 238, s. 6; 2000 140, s. 103; 2000 191, s. 5; 2005 232, s. 3; 2011 268, s. 14.)
§ 14 415.12. Criteria to qualify for the issuance of a permit.
(a) The sheriff shall issue a permit to an applicant if the applicant qualifies under the following criteria:
(1) The applicant is a citizen of the United States and has been a resident of the State 30 days or longer immediately preceding the filing of the application.
(2) The applicant is 21 years of age or older.
(3) The applicant does not suffer from a physical or mental infirmity that prevents the safe handling of a handgun.
(4) The applicant has successfully completed an approved firearms safety and training course which involves the actual firing of handguns and instruction in the laws of this State governing the carrying of a concealed handgun and the use of deadly force.The North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission shall prepare and publish general guidelines for courses and qualifications of instructors which would satisfy the requirements of this subdivision. An approved course shall be any course which satisfies the requirements of this subdivision and is certified or sponsored by:
The North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission shall prepare and publish general guidelines for courses and qualifications of instructors which would satisfy the requirements of this subdivision. An approved course shall be any course which satisfies the requirements of this subdivision and is certified or sponsored by:
- The North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission
- The National Rifle Association, or a
- law enforcement agency, college, private or public institution or organization, or firearms training school, taught by instructors certified by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission or the National Rifle Association.
Every instructor of an approved course shall file a copy of the firearms course description, outline, and proof of certification annually, or upon modification of the course if more frequently, with the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission.
(5) The applicant is not disqualified under subsection (b) of this section.
(b) The sheriff shall deny a permit to an applicant who:
(1) Is ineligible to own, possess, or receive a firearm under the provisions of State or federal law.
(2) Is under indictment or against whom a finding of probable cause exists for a felony.
(3) Has been adjudicated guilty in any court of a felony, unless: (i) the felony is an offense that pertains to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraints of trade, or (ii) the person's firearms rights have been restored pursuant to G.S. 14 415.4.
(4) Is a fugitive from justice.
(5) Is an unlawful user of, or addicted to marijuana, alcohol, or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance as defined in 21 U.S.C. § 802.
(6) Is currently, or has been previously adjudicated by a court or administratively determined by a governmental agency whose decisions are subject to judicial review to be, lacking mental capacity or mentally ill. Receipt of previous consultative services or outpatient treatment alone shall not disqualify an applicant under this subdivision.
(7) Is or has been discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States under conditions other than honorable.
(8) Is or has been adjudicated guilty of or received a prayer for judgment continued or suspended sentence for one or more crimes of violence constituting a misdemeanor, including but not limited to, a violation of a misdemeanor under Article 8 of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes, or a violation of a misdemeanor under G.S. 14 225.2, 14 226.1, 14 258.1, 14 269.2, 14 269.3, 14 269.4, 14 269.6, 14 276.1, 14 277, 14 277.1, 14 277.2, 14 277.3A, 14 281.1, 14 283, 14 288.2, 14 288.4(a)(1) or (2), 14 288.6, 14 288.9, former 14 288.12, former 14 288.13, former 14 288.14, 14 288.20A, 14 318.2, 14 415.21(b), 14 415.26(d), or former G.S. 14 277.3.
(9) Has had entry of a prayer for judgment continued for a criminal offense which would disqualify the person from obtaining a concealed handgun permit.
(10) Is free on bond or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a crime which would disqualify him from obtaining a concealed handgun permit.
(11) Has been convicted of an impaired driving offense under G.S. 20 138.1, 20 138.2, or 20 138.3 within three years prior to the date on which the application is submitted.
(c) An applicant shall not be ineligible to receive a concealed carry permit under subdivision (6) of subsection (b) of this section because of involuntary commitment to mental health services if the individual's rights have been restored under G.S. 122C 54.1. (1995, c. 398, s. 1; c. 509, s. 135.3(d); 1997 441, s. 4; 2007 427, s. 5; 2008 210, s. 3(b); 2009 58, s. 1; 2010 108, s. 5; 2011 2, s. 1; 2011 183, s. 16; 2012 12, s. 2(bb).)
§ 14 415.12A. Firearms safety and training course exemption for qualified sworn law enforcement officers and certain other persons.
(a) A person who is a qualified sworn law enforcement officer, a qualified former sworn law enforcement officer, or a qualified retired probation or parole certified officer is deemed to have satisfied the requirement under G.S. 14 415.12(a)(4) that an applicant successfully complete an approved firearms safety and training course.
(b) A person who is licensed or registered by the North Carolina Private Protective Services Board under Article 1 of Chapter 74C of the General Statutes as an armed security guard, who also has a firearm registration permit issued by the Board in compliance with G.S. 74C 13, is deemed to have satisfied the requirement under G.S. 14 415.12(a)(4) that an applicant successfully complete an approved firearms safety and training course. (1997 274, s. 1; 2005 211, s. 2; 2010 104, s. 2.)
§ 14 415.13. Application for a permit; fingerprints.
(a) A person shall apply to the sheriff of the county in which the person resides to obtain a concealed handgun permit. The applicant shall submit to the sheriff all of the following:
(1) An application, completed under oath, on a form provided by the sheriff.
(2) A nonrefundable permit fee.
(3) A full set of fingerprints of the applicant administered by the sheriff.
(4) An original certificate of completion of an approved course, adopted and distributed by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, signed by the certified instructor of the course attesting to the successful completion of the course by the applicant which shall verify that the applicant is competent with a handgun and knowledgeable about the laws governing the carrying of a concealed handgun and the use of deadly force.
(5) A release, in a form to be prescribed by the Administrative Office of the Courts, that authorizes and requires disclosure to the sheriff of any records concerning the mental health or capacity of the applicant to be used for the sole purpose of determining whether the applicant is disqualified for a permit under the provisions of G.S. 14 415.12. This provision does not prohibit submitting information related to involuntary commitment to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
(b) The sheriff shall submit the fingerprints to the State Bureau of Investigation for a records check of State and national databases. The State Bureau of Investigation shall submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as necessary. The sheriff shall determine the criminal and background history of an applicant also by conducting a check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The cost of processing the set of fingerprints shall be charged to an applicant as provided by G.S. 14 415.19. (1995, c. 398, s. 1; c. 507, ss. 22.2(a), 22.1(b); 2006 39, s. 2; 2011 268, s. 15.)
§ 14 415.14. Application form to be provided by sheriff; information to be included in application form.
(a) The sheriff shall make permit applications readily available at the office of the sheriff or at other public offices in the sheriff's jurisdiction. The permit application shall be in triplicate, in a form to be prescribed by the Administrative Office of the Courts, and shall include the following information with regard to the applicant: name, address, physical description, signature, date of birth, social security number, military status, law enforcement status, and the drivers license number or State identification card number of the applicant if used for identification in applying for the permit.
(b) The permit application shall also contain a warning substantially as follows:
(c) Any person or entity who is presented by the applicant or by the sheriff with an original or photocopied release form as described in G.S. 14 415.13(a)(5) shall promptly disclose to the sheriff any records concerning the mental health or capacity of the applicant who signed the form and authorized the release of the records. (1995, c. 398, s. 1; 1997 274, s. 3; 2000 140, s. 103; 2000 191, s. 3; 2011 268, s. 16.)
§ 14 415.15. Issuance or denial of permit.
(a) Except as permitted under subsection (b) of this section, within 45 days after receipt of the items listed in G.S. 14 415.13 from an applicant, and receipt of the required records concerning the mental health or capacity of the applicant, the sheriff shall either issue or deny the permit. The sheriff may conduct any investigation necessary to determine the qualification or competency of the person applying for the permit, including record checks.
(b) Upon presentment to the sheriff of the items required under G.S. 14 415.13 (a)(1), (2), and (3), the sheriff may issue a temporary permit for a period not to exceed 45 days to a person who the sheriff reasonably believes is in an emergency situation that may constitute a risk of safety to the person, the person's family or property. The applicant may submit proof of a protective order issued under G.S. 50B 3 for the protection of the applicant as evidence of an emergency situation. The temporary permit may not be renewed and may be revoked by the sheriff without a hearing.
(c) A person's application for a permit shall be denied only if the applicant fails to qualify under the criteria listed in this Article. If the sheriff denies the application for a permit, the sheriff shall, within 45 days, notify the applicant in writing, stating the grounds for denial. An applicant may appeal the denial, revocation, or nonrenewal of a permit by petitioning a district court judge of the district in which the application was filed. The determination by the court, on appeal, shall be upon the facts, the law, and the reasonableness of the sheriff's refusal. The determination by the court shall be final. (1995, c. 398, s. 1; 2005 343, s. 1; 2011 268, s. 17.)
§ 14 415.16. Renewal of permit.
(a) At least 45 days prior to the expiration date of a permit, the sheriff of the county where the permit was issued shall send a written notice to the permittee explaining that the permit is about to expire and including information about the requirements for renewal of the permit. The notice shall be sent by first class mail to the last known address of the permittee. Failure to receive a renewal notice shall not relieve a permittee of requirements imposed in this section for renewal of the permit.
(b) The holder of a permit shall apply to renew the permit within the 90 day period prior to its expiration date by filing with the sheriff of the county in which the person resides a renewal form provided by the sheriff's office, an affidavit stating that the permittee remains qualified under the criteria provided in this Article, a newly administered full set of the permittee's fingerprints, and a renewal fee.
(c) Upon receipt of the completed renewal application and the appropriate payment of fees, the sheriff shall determine if the permittee remains qualified to hold a permit in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 14 415.12. The permittee's criminal history shall be updated, including with another inquiry of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), and the sheriff may waive the requirement of taking another firearms safety and training course. If the permittee applies for a renewal of the permit within the 90 day period prior to its expiration date and if the permittee remains qualified to have a permit under G.S. 14 415.12, the sheriff shall renew the permit. The permit of a permittee who complies with this section shall remain valid beyond the expiration date of the permit until the permittee either receives a renewal permit or is denied a renewal permit by the sheriff.
(d) No fingerprints shall be required for a renewal permit if the applicant's fingerprints were submitted to the State Bureau of Investigation after June 30, 2001, on the Automated Fingerprint Information System (AFIS) as prescribed by the State Bureau of Investigation.
(e) If the permittee does not apply to renew the permit prior to its expiration date, but does apply to renew the permit within 60 days after the permit expires, the sheriff may waive the requirement of taking another firearms safety and training course. This subsection does not extend the expiration date of the permit. (1995, c. 398, s. 1; c. 507, s. 22.2(b); 2000 140, s. 103; 2000 191, s. 1; 2009 307, s. 1; 2011 268, s. 18.)
§ 14 415.16A. Permit extensions and renewals for deployed military permittees.
(a) A deployed military permittee whose permit will expire during the permittee's deployment, or the permittee's agent, may apply to the sheriff for an extension of the military permittee's permit by providing the sheriff with a copy of the permittee's proof of deployment. Upon receipt of the proof, the sheriff shall extend the permit for a period to end 90 days after the permittee's deployment is scheduled to end. A permit that has been extended under this section shall be valid throughout the State during the period of its extension.
(b) A military permittee's permit that is not extended under subsection (a) of this section and that expires during deployment shall remain valid during the deployment and for 90 days after the end of the deployment as if the permit had not expired. The military permittee may carry a concealed handgun during this period provided the permittee meets all the requirements of G.S. 14 415.11(a).
(c) A military permittee under subsection (a) or subsection (b) of this section shall have 90 days after the end of the permittee's deployment to renew the permit. In addition to the requirements of G.S. 14 415.16, the permittee shall provide to the sheriff proof of deployment. The sheriff shall renew the permit upon receipt of this documentation provided the permittee otherwise remains qualified to hold a concealed handgun permit.(2005 232, s. 2.)
§ 14 415.17. Permit; sheriff to retain and make available to law enforcement agencies a list of permittees.
The permit shall be in a certificate form, as prescribed by the Administrative Office of the Courts, that is approximately the size of a North Carolina drivers license. It shall bear the signature, name, address, date of birth, and the drivers license identification number used in applying for the permit. The sheriff shall maintain a listing, including the identifying information, of those persons who are issued a permit. The permit information shall be available upon request to all State and local law enforcement agencies.
Within five days of the date a permit is issued, the sheriff shall send a copy of the permit to the State Bureau of Investigation. The State Bureau of Investigation shall make this information available to law enforcement officers and clerks of court on a statewide system. (1995, c. 398, s. 1; 2011 268, s. 19.)
§ 14 415.18. Revocation or suspension of permit.
(a) The sheriff of the county where the permit was issued or the sheriff of the county where the person resides may revoke a permit subsequent to a hearing for any of the following reasons:
(1) Fraud or intentional and material misrepresentation in the obtaining of a permit.
(2) Misuse of a permit, including lending or giving a permit or a duplicate permit to another person, materially altering a permit, or using a permit with the intent to unlawfully cause harm to a person or property. It shall not be considered misuse of a permit to provide a duplicate of the permit to a vender for record keeping purposes.
(3) The doing of an act or existence of a condition which would have been grounds for the denial of the permit by the sheriff.
(4) The violation of any of the terms of this Article.
(5) The applicant is adjudicated guilty of or receives a prayer for judgment continued for a crime which would have disqualified the applicant from initially receiving a permit. A permittee may appeal the revocation, or nonrenewal of a permit by petitioning a district court judge of the district in which the applicant resides. The determination by the court, on appeal, shall be upon the facts, the law, and the reasonableness of the sheriff's refusal.
(b) The court may suspend a permit as part of and for the duration of any orders permitted under Chapter 50B of the General Statutes. (1995, c. 398, s. 1; 2011 268, s. 20.)
(a) The permit fees assessed under this Article are payable to the sheriff. The sheriff shall transmit the proceeds of these fees to the county finance officer to be remitted or credited by the county finance officer in accordance with the provisions of this section. Except as otherwise provided by this section, the permit fees are as follows:
Application fee............................................................................. $80.00
Renewal fee................................................................................. $75.00
Duplicate permit fee..................................................................... $15.00
The county finance officer shall remit forty five dollars ($45.00) of each new application fee and forty dollars ($40.00) of each renewal fee assessed under this subsection to the North Carolina Department of Justice for the costs of State and federal criminal record checks performed in connection with processing applications and for the implementation of the provisions of this Article. The remaining thirty five dollars ($35.00) of each application or renewal fee shall be used by the sheriff to pay the costs of administering this Article and for other law enforcement purposes. The county shall expend the restricted funds for these purposes only.
(a1) The permit fees for a retired sworn law enforcement officer who provides the information required by subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection to the sheriff, in addition to any other information required under this Article, are as follows:
Application fee............................................................................. $45.00
Renewal fee................................................................................. $40.00
(1) A copy of the officer's letter of retirement from either the North Carolina Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System or the North Carolina Local Governmental Employees' Retirement System.
(2) Written documentation from the head of the agency where the person was previously employed indicating that the person was neither involuntarily terminated nor under administrative or criminal investigation within six months of retirement.The county finance officer shall remit the proceeds of the fees assessed under this subsection to the North Carolina Department of Justice to cover the cost of performing the State and federal criminal record checks performed in connection with processing applications and for the implementation of the provisions of this Article.
(b) An additional fee, not to exceed ten dollars ($10.00), shall be collected by the sheriff from an applicant for a permit to pay for the costs of processing the applicant's fingerprints, if fingerprints were required to be taken. This fee shall be retained by the sheriff. (1995, c. 398, s. 1; c. 507, s. 22.1(a); 1997 470, s. 1; 2000 140, s. 103; 2000 191, s. 2; 2003 379, s. 1.)
§ 14 415.21. Violations of this Article punishable as an infraction.
(a) A person who has been issued a valid permit who is found to be carrying a concealed handgun without the permit in the person's possession or who fails to disclose to any law enforcement officer that the person holds a valid permit and is carrying a concealed handgun, as required by G.S. 14 415.11, shall be guilty of an infraction and shall be punished in accordance with G.S. 14 3.1. In lieu of paying a fine the person may surrender the permit.
(b) A person who violates the provisions of this Article other than as set forth in subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. (1995, c. 398, s. 1; 2011 268, s. 21(a).)
§ 14 415.22. Construction of Article.
This Article shall not be construed to require a person who may carry a concealed handgun under the provisions of G.S. 14 269(b) to obtain a concealed handgun permit. The provisions of this Article shall not apply to a person who may lawfully carry a concealed weapon or handgun pursuant to G.S. 14 269(b). A person who may lawfully carry a concealed weapon or handgun pursuant to G.S. 14 269(b) shall not be prohibited from carrying the concealed weapon or handgun on property on which a notice is posted prohibiting the carrying of a concealed handgun, unless otherwise prohibited by statute. (1995, c. 398, s. 1; 1997 238, s. 5.)
§ 14 415.23. Statewide uniformity.
It is the intent of the General Assembly to prescribe a uniform system for the regulation of legally carrying a concealed handgun. To insure uniformity, no political subdivisions, boards, or agencies of the State nor any county, city, municipality, municipal corporation, town, township, village, nor any department or agency thereof, may enact ordinances, rules, or regulations concerning legally carrying a concealed handgun. A unit of local government may adopt an ordinance to permit the posting of a prohibition against carrying a concealed handgun, in accordance with G.S. 14 415.11(c), on local government buildings and their appurtenant premises. A unit of local government may adopt an ordinance to prohibit, by posting, the carrying of a concealed handgun on municipal and county recreational facilities that are specifically identified by the unit of local government. If a unit of local government adopts such an ordinance with regard to recreational facilities, then the concealed handgun permittee may, nevertheless, secure the handgun in a locked vehicle within the trunk, glove box, or other enclosed compartment or area within or on the motor vehicle. For purposes of this section, the term "recreational facilities" includes only the following: a playground, an athletic field, a swimming pool, and an athletic facility. (1995, c. 398, s. 1; 2011 268, s. 21(b).)
§ 14 415.24. Reciprocity; out of state handgun permits.
(a) A valid concealed handgun permit or license issued by another state is valid in North Carolina.
(b) Repealed by Session Laws 2011 268, s. 22(a), effective December 1, 2011.
(c) Every 12 months after the effective date of this subsection, the Department of Justice shall make written inquiry of the concealed handgun permitting authorities in each other state as to: (i) whether a North Carolina resident may carry a concealed handgun in their state based upon having a valid North Carolina concealed handgun permit and (ii) whether a North Carolina resident may apply for a concealed handgun permit in that state based upon having a valid North Carolina concealed handgun permit. The Department of Justice shall attempt to secure from each state permission for North Carolina residents who hold a valid North Carolina concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed handgun in that state, either on the basis of the North Carolina permit or on the basis that the North Carolina permit is sufficient to permit the issuance of a similar license or permit by the other state. (2003 199, s. 1; 2011 268, s. 22(a).)
§ 14 415.25. Exemption from permit requirement.
Law enforcement officers and qualified retired law enforcement officers authorized by federal law to carry a concealed handgun pursuant to section 926B or 926C of Title 18 of the United States Code, who are in compliance with the requirements of those sections, are exempt from obtaining the permit described in G.S. 14 415.11. (2007 427, s. 3.)
§ 14 415.26. Certification of qualified retired law enforcement officers.
(a) In lieu of obtaining a permit under this Article, a qualified retired law enforcement officer may apply to the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission for certification. The application shall include all of the following:
(1) Verification of completion of the firearms qualification criteria established by the Commission.
(2) Photographic identification indicating retirement status issued by the agency from which the applicant retired from service.
(3) Any other application information required by the Commission.
(b) The Commission shall include with the certification a notice of the limitations applicable under federal or State law to the concealed carry of firearms in this State. The failure to receive a notification under this subsection shall not be a defense to any offense or violation of applicable State or federal laws.
(b1) The Commission shall coordinate with local and State law enforcement officers and with the community college system to provide multiple firearms qualification sites throughout the State where a qualified retired law enforcement officer may satisfy the firearms qualification criteria required for certification under this section.
(c) The Commission shall not incur any civil or criminal liability as the result of the performance of its duties under this section.
(d) It shall be unlawful for an applicant, or any person assisting an applicant, to make a willful and intentional misrepresentation on any form or application submitted to the Commission. A violation of this subsection shall be a Class 2 misdemeanor, and shall result in the immediate revocation of any certification issued by the Commission. A person convicted under this subsection shall be ineligible for certification under this section, or from obtaining a concealed carry permit under State law.
(e) This section shall not exempt any individual engaged in the private protective services profession in this State from fulfilling the registration and training requirements in Chapter 74C of the General Statutes. (2007 427, s. 4; 2009 546, s. 1.)