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North Carolina Constitutional Carry

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North Carolina is not a constitutional carry state. You need a gun permit to carry firearms within the state. North Carolina is a shall-issue or shall carry state, so if you meet all gun requirements, you will be issued a permit. The process for a permit application is overseen by a county’s local sheriff.

Unlike most states in the country, you will need either a purchase permit or a carry license to purchase firearms from private dealers, gun shows, and federally licensed dealers. Application of a purchase permit will require you to give reasons why you need to buy a firearm. Processing such a permit can last for about a month. Only North Carolina residents are allowed to apply for a purchase permit in the state.

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Possession of Firearms in North Carolina

Even though permit-less carry in North Carolina is not legal, you do not need a permit or gun license to open carry firearms in the state. But there are regulations for various places where you are not allowed to open carry firearms and this could vary from one county to another. North Carolina will allow anyone that is at least eighteen years old to open carry firearms within the state.

Concealed carry is quite different as you will need a North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit before concealing a firearm. Only residents of North Carolina can conceal carry with the state’s gun permit. Nonresidents, on the other hand, will be able to conceal carry with a permit as long as it is a valid gun license or permit because North Carolina will accept a gun license from any state in the USA.

Military personnel that are stationed in the state for official duties can also apply for North Carolina concealed handgun permits. Also, spouses or eligible family members of military personnel can apply. The age requirement to apply for the permit is twenty-one years, and you must undergo any of the state-approved firearm training before you apply. For military personnel, the age requirement to apply is a minimum of eighteen years old.

Unlike other states where the gun permit will be valid for other weapons, the North Carolina permit is only valid for handguns.

Places where you Cannot Possess Firearms in North Carolina

North Carolina gun laws prohibit firearm possession in certain locations. This means that:

  • You cannot conceal carry-in, vehicles used by schools, university campuses, and other areas used by an educational institution such as sports fields and recreational centers.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry during a program or event organized by a school.
  • You cannot conceal carry-in buildings used by law enforcement agencies or offices used by law enforcement employees.
  • You cannot conceal carry in detention and correctional facilities in the state.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry-in buildings that contain offices of federal or state government officials.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry on any private building or property that has a post prohibiting the possession of a firearm in their premises.
  • You are not allowed to conceal carry in places like the New Carolina Capitol Building, executive mansions, on the western residence of the state governor, and within the premises of these buildings. However, if you have a North Carolina CCW permit, you can lock your firearm away in your vehicle.
  • You cannot conceal carry in public places of municipalities and counties such as a playground, sports field, swimming pool, etc., as long as these places have signage prohibiting the possession of firearms in their premises.
  • You cannot conceal carry in the fairground of North Carolina.
  • You cannot conceal carry in places where they sell alcoholic drinks if they have a post restricting firearms, or if you are under the influence of alcohol, the only exception to this is the owner of such a venture.
  • You cannot conceal carry in any place prohibited by federal laws.

Application for North Carolina Gun Permit

Application for North Carolina Gun Permit is done at the county level in the office of a local sheriff closest to your home of residence. Together with the application, you will be required to swear and sign an oath that the sheriff gives you. Other requirements to apply for a North Carolina gun permit include a fee of $80 for the permit fee which is non-refundable, your fingerprints, the original certificate you obtained from your firearm training course, and any document concerning records of mental health issues.

As a permit holder in North Carolina, the state requires you to carry your permit together with any form of valid identification, like your driver’s license. Also whenever law enforcement of a peace agent in the state stops you, you are obligated to tell them that you are a permit holder and you are in possession of your firearm.

North Carolina gun permit is valid for a period of 5 years from the day that was issued. You must renew the permit when it becomes invalid, and you have a minimum of the one-month period to apply for a renewal permit. To renew the permit, you need a notarized affidavit showing that you are still qualified to possess firearms in the state. A renewal permit in North Carolina costs $75, and you may have to retake a firearm training course to renew, but this is mainly based on the discretion of your county’s sheriff. You will also need to provide new fingerprints, and in case you have changed your name or address, you must notify the sheriff prior to renewal.

Also, it is the duty of the sheriff to notify you about the expiration date of your permit, and this must be within 45 days of the permit expiring. The sheriff will send in a written notification explaining that the permit will soon retire, and the details and requirements for you to renew.

The sheriff will send the expiration notice to the last address on your about-to-be expired permit. It is important to update your address whenever you change residence because not receiving a renewal notification is not an excuse for using an invalid permit.

If you apply for a renewal permit 3 months before the expiration of a current permit, your permit will remain valid beyond the expiration date, until the sheriff department issues you the new one. If you apply for a renewal permit within 2 months after its expiration, the sheriff may not require you to take another firearm training course.

North Carolina allows the issuance of temporary or emergency permits, especially for people who need one urgently due to a safety risk of the person’s life or that of a family member. A temporary permit will only be valid for 3 months and it is unrenewable. Also, the sheriff can choose to revoke the permit at any time, and without the permission of the applicant.

Requirements to Apply for North Carolina Gun License

Before you apply for a North Carolina gun permit, you must fulfill all requirements stated by the gun laws. They include:

  • You must be at least twenty-one years old.
  • You must complete North Carolina concealed carry permit course for firearms training. The only exceptions to this are members of the military and law enforcement officers.
  • You must be a legal citizen of the United States of America.
  • You must be a resident of North Carolina for at least thirty days before application.
  • You must be a resident of the county you are applying from.
  • You must not be a felony or under any indictment whatsoever.
  • You must not be a fugitive or have an arrest warrant in your name.
  • You must not be physically or mentally disabled in such a way that it can affect your handling or firearm.
  • You must not be a dishonorably discharged member of the military.
  • You must not be a narcotic or an unlawful user of marijuana or any controlled substance.
  • You must not be guilty of any crime involving violence or misdemeanor three years before application.
  • You must not be guilty of crimes such as assault, stalking, child abuse, battery, or have a protection order from any law court.
  • You must not be guilty or sentenced for a crime relating to the assault of a law enforcement officer, a probation officer, medical personnel, an emergency responder, or a parole officer.
  • You must not be a convict for any driving offense three years before the application.
  • You must meet all federal laws for the CCW permit application.

Is Constitutional Carry Allowed in Some Parts of North Carolina?

North Carolina preemption law states that counties, municipalities, and sub-political regions need the state’s permission statute to regulate any ordinance or enact any law that concerns the sales, possession, registration, taxation, purchasing, and licensing of firearms, ammunition, and their components.

However, local ordinances can regulate the possession of sales of firearms in certain locations for safety reasons.

This implies that permitless carry North Carolina regulation is the same in every part of the state, and you are not allowed to use a firearm without a permit.

Additional Resources

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