North Carolina allows the use of firearms within the state territory.

But just like other jurisdictions of the USA, the state has statutes to regulate and restrict how to use firearms.

To open carry in North Carolina, you must understand the gun laws of the state that relates to the practice.

North Carolina Gun Laws Summary

North Carolina issues concealed firearm permits for the possession of handguns and pistols in the state.

The local sheriff in a county is in charge of the permit application, and the state is a shall-issue state.

You also need a purchase permit to buy firearms in North Dakota. This permit certifies that you underwent the statutory criminal record background check.

North Carolina permits are only for residents of the state and members of the military posted there.

You must be at least twenty-one years old to apply for a North Carolina concealed carry permit.

Is Open Carry In North Carolina Legal?

Yes. You can open carry in North Carolina if you are eighteen years old or more, and you are not a felon or have any federal or state restriction to possess firearms.

Open Carry Laws In North Carolina

North Carolina is a permissive open carry state in the USA. Therefore, you do not need a permit to open carry in the state.

There are also restrictions for places where the state prohibits open carry and the general possession of firearms.

North Carolina bans machine guns and semi-automatic weapons in the state. Also, you cannot make use of Teflon coated ammunition.

The only exceptions to this are law enforcement officers and military members.

 North Carolina Open Gun Law Quick View

Law/PolicyLong GunsHandgunsComments
State permit for open carry.NoNoYou do not need a permit to open carry firearms in North Carolina.
Firearm registrations for open carry.NoNoThere are no firearms registrations for open carry in North Carolina.
Assault weapon for open carry.NoNoNorth Carolina prohibits the manufacturing and possession of machine guns, semi-automatic firearms, and any other firearm that is convertible to such.
Magazine limitNoNoThere are no firearm magazine limits in North Carolina, and the state does not ban the possession of large-capacity firearms.
License for the owner of a firearm.Not requiredNot requiredNorth Carolina does not issue any permit for firearm owners in the state.
Red flag lawNoNoNorth Carolina does not have red flag laws or issue an extreme risk protection order.
Castle doctrine lawYesYesNorth Carolina is a castle doctrine state with stand your ground policy in places where you have legal rights to be.
Background check for private dealersYesYesThe criminal record background check is compulsory for all dealers in the state.
PreemptionYesYesIn North Carolina, the state law supersedes local counties or municipalities. However, local governments can restrict or prohibit firearms in places such as parks, playgrounds, recreational areas, etc.
Concealed carry permit.YesYesTo conceal a firearm in North Carolina, you need a concealed firearm permit
Concealed carry in personal vehicleYesYesYou can conceal carry in a private vehicle as long as you keep the firearm out of sight, and you have your permit.
Open carry in SchoolsNoNoNorth Carolina prohibits the open carry of firearms in schools, colleges, universities, other educational institutions, and their facilities.

Where Is It Legal To Open Carry In North Carolina?

You can open carry your firearms in the following areas of North Carolina.

  • Restaurants and bars: you can open carry in restaurants areas except you are under the influence, or there is a post prohibiting such.
  • Personal vehicle: You can open carry in your private car, but the firearm must be visible.
  • Roadsides: You can open carry in roadside areas if permitted by the county you are in.
  • Parks and forests: You can open carry in parks, forests, and wildlife management areas of the state.
  • Places of worship: You can open carry in places of worship as long as there is no post prohibiting the possession of firearms on the premises.

Where Is It Illegal To Open Carry In North Carolina?

Open carry of firearms in North Carolina is illegal in the following areas of the state:

  • Schools: You cannot open carry in schools, either privately or publicly owned, colleges, universities, and any of their facilities.
  • Law enforcement offices: You are not allowed to open carry in law enforcement offices or any building they use for their operations.
  • Prisons: You cannot open carry firearms in state prisons, jails, or any other detention facility.
  • State and federal buildings: You cannot open carry in any building owned by the state or federal government.
  • Private buildings and property: You cannot open carry in any state private building that has signage prohibiting the possession of firearms on the premises.
  • Public recreational areas: You cannot open carry in any field, pool, or playground in North Carolina that has signage prohibiting firearms.
  • Bars: You cannot open carry in bars or any place licensed for consumption of alcohol, except if the owner of the place prohibits such.
  • Prohibited places: You cannot open carry in any place prohibited by federal or state laws.

FAQs About Open Carry North Carolina

North Carolina open carry most frequently asked questions include the following:

Do I Need A Firearm Permit To Open Carry In North Carolina?

No. You do not need a firearm permit to open carry in the state.

Must I Apply For A Concealed Carry Permit Before I Conceal Firearms In North Carolina?

Yes. To conceal carry in North Carolina, you must obtain the state’s concealed firearm permit.

What Is The Age Requirement For Open Carry In North Carolina?

You must be eighteen years old or more to open carry in North Carolina.

At What Age Can I Conceal Carry In North Carolina?

The age for concealed carry of firearms in North Carolina is twenty-one years old.

At What Age Can I Apply For North Carolina Concealed Firearm Permit?

You must be at least twenty-one years old to apply for the state’s firearm permit.

Is North Carolina A Red Flag State?

No. The state gun laws do not talk about extreme risk protection orders or any red flag petition.

Is North Carolina Concealed Firearm Permit Available For Non-residents Of The State?

No. The permit is only valid for residents of the state and members of the military posted for duties in the state.

However, non-residents can make use of firearm permits from other states since North Carolina reciprocates other states in the USA.

Is North Carolina A Constitutional Carry State?

No. North Carolina is not a constitutional carry state.

Does North Carolina Accept The Open Carry Of Knives In The State?

No. You can open carry knives and every other type of weapon in North Carolina, as long as your intention is not to commit a crime with it or cause apprehension.

However, you cannot open carry knives in school premises, courthouses, or any federally or state-owned building.

Other places where North Carolina prohibits the use of firearms include parades, burials, hospitals, or any healthcare home.

Can I Conceal Carry Knives In North Carolina?

No. The state prohibits concealed carry of knives and other dangerous weapons such as daggers, razors, dirks, etc., except you are in your home of residence.

Does North Carolina Have Firearm Restrictions?

Yes. It is a prohibition to buy, sell, possess or manufacture machine guns or any firearm convertible to machine guns in the state.

Do I Need A Purchase Permit To Buy Firearms In North Carolina?

You need to obtain a purchase permit before you buy handguns or pistols in the state.

Must I Complete A Criminal Record Background Check Before Buying Firearms In North Carolina?

Yes. It is a prohibition to sell a firearm to anyone who is yet to obtain a purchase permit that signifies that the person completed a criminal record background check.

Note that your concealed firearm permit does not exempt you from completing a criminal record background check in the state.

When Will My North Carolina Concealed Firearm Permit Expires?

The permit is valid for five years, after which you have to apply for a renewal permit.

How Long Will It Take To Process North Carolina Concealed Firearm Permit?

The processing period for the permit is forty-five days.

Am I Obliged To Inform A Law Enforcement Officer About My Possession Of Firearms In North Carolina?

Yes. You must notify a law enforcement officer that you are in possession of a firearm if you come across one.

Is North Carolina A Castle Doctrine State?

Yes, you do not have a duty to retreat in any place where you have legal rights to be, such as in your home, in your car, place of work

Is The Use Of Deadly Force Permitted For Self-defense In North Carolina?

Yes, you can make use of deadly or excessive force if you think that an attack can lead to a severe bodily injury or an imminent death, as long as you are in a place where you can exert your self-defense right.

The state will provide you immunity against civil liability for a deadly force used during self-defense.

Am I Required To Complete A Firearm Training Before Concealed Carry In North Carolina?

Yes, you must complete one of North Carolina firearm safety training with at least eight hours of duration.

A state-certified instructor must be in charge of the training.

Must I Register My Firearm Before Use In North Carolina?

No, there are no state law requirements for the registration of firearms in North Carolina.

What Is The Age Requirement To Buy Firearms In North Carolina?

You must be at least eighteen years old to qualify for firearms purchase in North Carolina.

Relevant Open Carry Law And Legislature In North Carolina

Some of North Carolina gun statutes that concern open carry in the state include the following:

Ammunition Restriction

North Carolina prohibits the use, production, purchase, and sales of Teflon-coated ammunition in the state.

No Weapon Sign

The state also enforces the no weapon sign.

Even with a permit, no one should open carry or possess a firearm on any private building or property that prohibits the possession of firearms, with signage displaying the information.

In North Carolina, violation of this law is a class two misdemeanor.

Preemption Law

North Carolina preempts all local laws in the state. With the state government having all authority to regulate firearms.

However, counties and municipalities can restrict firearms in public places like fairgrounds and public pools.

Brandishing Of Firearms

It is a crime in North Carolina to point your firearm at another person, either jokingly or seriously. Also, it does not matter if the firearm is loaded or not.

Anybody who makes use of a firearm in violent conduct or during a fight is guilty of improper conduct.

The exception for this is during the lawful use of a firearm or while carrying out self-defense rights.

Open Carry While Under The Influence

You cannot open carry while drinking alcohol, or while still under the influence of alcohol or any other controlled substance.

This law does not include controlled substances lawfully obtained or used for medical or therapeutic reasons.

Open Carry While Hunting

You can open carry during hunting activities in North Carolina, and this includes state government land or any other privately owned lands as long as you have the license to hunt there.

You can also open carry during bow hunting, but to conceal carry, you must own a state concealed firearm permit.

However, it is unlawful to use a firearm for game-taking during bow hunting or any other hunting session that does not permit the use of firearms.

North Carolina also has hunter harassment laws in the state, and this includes the following:

  • It is illegal to interfere or disturb any lawful hunting activity in wildlife by deliberately impeding any of the wildlife resources.
  • It is illegal to tamper with any property or hunting dogs used for a licensed hunting activity in the state.
  • An exception to this section of the law is someone who deliberately impacts wildlife, by using the land for other legal activities like mining, agriculture, or recreation.

Additional Resources

North Carolina Gun Laws
North Carolina Concealed Carry Laws
North Carolina Gun Permit Laws

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