North Carolina is considered unrestrictive and operates on a “Shall Issue” basis.
There are limited restrictions for open carry, and there are no restrictions for magazine size or caliber.
You must be a resident of North Carolina, 21, and have completed a firearms training course to obtain a permit.
There are exceptions for military personal if they’re posted at the state.
As of March 29, 2023, there is no longer a requirement to have a permit to purchase a firearm. The North Carolina General Assembly decided to override the governor's veto of SB 41.
North Carolina Gun Laws Quick Facts
❌ No - North Carolina is not considered a constitutional carry state.
Open Carry Permitted?
✅ Yes - North Carolina allows for open carry without a license or permit for individuals 18 or older and who are legally allowed to own a firearm. It's important to mention though that counties within North Carolina have the right (and often do) regulate open carry within their borders. Some counties don't allow for open carry on public areas like sidewalks, public roads, or public buildings.
Carry In Vehicle?
✅ Yes - North Carolina allows for concealed carry within a vehicle if you have the North Carolina CHP. If you do not have a CHP, then you can only carry your handgun openly in your vehicle or in a locked container (which doesn't include your glovebox) that is away from your person.
Carry In State Park?
✅ Yes - North Carolina allows for concealed carry within their state parks if you have a North Carolina CHP. You cannot take your firearms into any visitor centers though. Any land owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prevents firearms also.
Carry In Restaurants?
✅ Yes - North Carolina allows for concealed carry within restaurants only if you have a CHP and you do not consume any alcohol whatsoever.
No Weapon Sign Enforced?
✅ Yes - North Carolina does recognize no weapons signs as having the force of law. You are not permitted to concealed carry into any establishment with a clear sign prohibiting firearms.
Must Notify Officer?
✅ Yes - We were able to find duty to inform language within the North Carolina statues. Upon interacting with an officer you must notify them that you're concealed carrying.
States Honoring CCW
* Restricted Reciprocity with North Carolina
* Restricted Reciprocity with North Carolina
States NOT Honoring CCW
Honors These States CCW Permits
North Carolina will honor concealed carry permits that have been issued in any other state. There are 38 states that will honor a North Carolina permit, 6 of these states will only honor the residential permit.
Reciprocity Agreements In North Carolina
North Carolina has signed reciprocity agreements with 36 other states. An official list of these states can be seen at the Attorney Generals website.
North Carolina: Where Is CCW Allowed?
- State parks
- State and national forests
- Road side rest areas
- Parade (with permit)
- Funeral (with permit)
- School campus (with permit) – must remain locked in vehicle, cannot be carried on school grounds.
- All areas of the state – except those listed as Off-Limits
Places Not Allowed
- Law enforcement office or facility
- Detention or correctional facility
- A building or part of building housing in which there are state offices.
- Any public or private school building or bus, campus, grounds, recreation area, athletic fields or other property used or owned by an educational institution.
- Schools, public or private, all levels including universities. Gun can remain locked in vehicle, if you have a permit.
- A curricular or extracurricular activity sponsored by a school
- Any places of assemblies such as a picket line, demonstration, parade or funeral procession. Carry at a parade or funeral is now allowed if you have a permit.
- On any private premises where notice that carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited
- State Capitol Building, the Executive Mansion, the Western Residence of the Governor, or on the grounds of any of these buildings
- Any place alcohol beverages are consumed or sold, – applies to restaurants if posted.
- Any person consuming alcohol or under the influence of controlled substances or alcohol.
- Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by Federal Law.
North Carolina: Conceal Carry Laws
Yes, open carry is legal in North Carolina without a permit/license. You may not carry in places listed as Off-Limit areas and local governments can place limited restrictions on open carry in some locations.
The Law 160A-189 – Firearms 153A-129 – Firearms
Carry In Vehicle
Yes, a person without a CCW permit can carry a loaded handgun in a vehicle if it is not concealed and visible, and they have no felony convictions. The current definition of concealed is if the handgun cannot be readily seen by a person approaching and the gun is readily accessible.
A handgun under the front seat or in an unlocked glove box or console is illegal. A handgun openly displayed or in a locked glove box, locked console, or in the trunk is lawful. If you have a permit from North Carolina you may carry a loaded concealed handgun within a vehicle.
Carry In State Parks
Yes, it is legal to carry in the following areas:
- State Parks: YES – 14-415.11(c1) (Concealed handguns only)
- State/National Forests: YES
- State Wildlife Management Areas: YES – 14-415.11(c3)
- Road Side Rest Areas: YES – 14-415.11(c3)
Carry In Restaurants
If the restaurant is not posted with a “No Weapons” sign then it is OK to enter. “Yes” or “No” states if you can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Some restaurants may be posted with “NO GUN” signs. Check with the staff if this means just the bar area. If we have indicated a “Yes” then it should be legal to have a meal without drinking alcohol.
The Law 14-269.3
No, North Carolina does not have constitutional carry yet. In 2017 a bill to introduce permit-less carry passed the lower stages of the house, but was not passed any further.
No Weapon Signs Enforced
Yes, North Carolina gun laws give “No Weapons” signs the force of law. There are legal penalties for entering a private property or business that has posted these signs.
Must Notify Officer
Yes, North Carolina gun laws state that you must inform a law enforcement officer you have a firearm when approached on official business. You are required to carry your permit at all times during which the permittee is in actual possession of a concealed handgun.
The Law 14-415.21