North Carolina Gun Laws

north carolina state seal

North Carolina gun laws are considered permissive with a “Shall Issue” policy. There are no restrictions on calibers or magazine size and limited restrictions on open carry. Concealed carry permits are only issued to residents who must be 21 or older and have completed a firearms training course. Exceptions are made for military personnel who are posted in the state. A permit to purchase a firearm is required if you do not have a concealed carry permit. Applications are processed at the county level by the local sheriff’s office.

North Carolina CCW Quick Facts

Carry In Vehicle YES
Must Notify Officer YES
Carry In State Parks Allowed YES
No Weapons Signs Enforced YES
Open Carry Permitted YES
Carry In Liquor Establishments YES
Constitutional Carry NO
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Gun Laws

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states not
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North Carolina CCW Dashboard

total active ccw
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Gun Laws

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North Carolina CCW Reciprocity

NORTH CAROLINA 2018

  • Permit Honored
  • Permit not honored
  • Residential permits only
  • Issuing state

How Reciprocity Works in North Carolina

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.

North Carolina Reciprocity Agreements

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 Reciprocity State's

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STATES
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
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states & Districts

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Districts & Territories
District of Columbia, New York City, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
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states
California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island

14.145.24 - Reciprocity Laws

North Carolina Concealed Carry Permit

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

  • Must be at least 21 years old.
  • You have completed an approved firearms training class, (minimum 8 hours).
  • Be a resident of North Carolina for 30 days preceding the filing of the application.
  • Be a resident of the County application is filed in.
  • Be a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident alien.
  • Does not suffer from a physical or mental infirmity that prevents the safe handling of a handgun.
  • Has not been convicted of an impaired driving offense within three years prior to the date on which the application is submitted.
  • Has not had judgment continued for or free on bond or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a disqualifying criminal offense.
  • Is not currently or has not been adjudicated or administratively determined to be lacking mental capacity or mentally ill.
  • Federal Law Requirements

North Carolina Gun Policy

Shall Issue

Permit Issued To

Residents
Minimum
0
age required
cost of
$0
CCW permit
Years Permit
0
is valid

North Carolina CCW Permit Forms

Download Your Forms

North Carolina: Places Off-Limits for CCW

north carolina state flag
North Carolina state flag

Places Off-Limits in North Carolina

  • 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.

Places Allowed in North Carolina

  • State parks
  • State and national forests
  • Road side rest areas
  • Vehicle
  • 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.

Pointers: North Carolina CCW

North Carolina Gun Sales...

Private Sales
A background check is required for private handgun sales but not for long guns. To purchase a handgun a person must present either a pistol purchase permit or concealed carry permit and be at least 18 years old. The pistol permit can only be obtained from the local sheriffs office in the county the applcant resides in. Before issuing the permit the sheriffs office will conduct a background check on the person requesting the permit. 

The conditions can vary between the 100 or so counties in North Carolina with some requiring waiting periods, proof of moral character, a reason the permit is required (self defense, hunting, collecting or target shooting) or a limit on the number of permits applied for. A fee of around $5 is usually charged for the permit.

Purchase permits were originally introduced as a way to prevent minorities from obtaining handguns and are a relic of the past which has never been removed from the law books.

Dealer Sales
Handgun sales through dealers are the same as above with a pistol permit or concealed carry permit being required. The main difference is you would need to be at least 21 years old to buy a handgun. You can still purchase a rifle or shotgun if at least 18 years old from a licensed dealer.

History Of North Carolina Gun Laws

1760 pocket pistol
Pocket Pistol from 1760's by Joseph Barbar, London

Learn North Carolina's Gun History

1919

The Pistol Purchase Permit law was slightly modified in 2004 to allow anyone with a valid concealed carry permit to use that to purchase firearms.

1995

In 1995 North Carolina changed from a May Issue state to Shall Issue.

2004

The Pistol Purchase Permit law was slightly modified in 2004 to allow anyone with a valid concealed carry permit to use that to purchase firearms.

2011

A new law passed in December, 2011 saw North Carolina honor all permits from other states.

2012

In March, 2012 a US Federal Court declared North Carolina's ban on concealed carry when emergency powers are in force as unconstitutional. Hence, you can now carry a firearm if emergency laws have been activated.

2013

October, 2013 saw places that were off-limits become legal for persons with a valid concealed carry permit. You can now carry into a place that serves alcohol or attend a parade or funeral with a firearm if you have a permit to carry. You can also enter school grounds with a weapon provided it remains locked in a vehicle.

2015

In 2015, the ability of local authorities to regulate gun laws was restricted with a new preemption law which gave the state full control over gun laws. Local authorities were left with a few limited situations where they could still issue ordinances directed at firearms.

2017

A bill to introduce permit-less carry was passed in the lower house in June, 2017. It is now up to the Senate as to whether this will become law.

North Carolina Concealed Carry Laws

north carolina state capitol building
North Carolina state capitol building

North Carolina Gun Laws To Know

YES – Without a permit

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.

YES – Without a permit

Open carry is legal in North Carolina. 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

YES – Must Inform Officer

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

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 so we are still waiting to see if it actually becomes law.

YES
It is legal to carry in the following areas;

  • State Parks: YES14-415.11(c1) (Concealed handguns only)
  • State/National Forests: YES
  • State Wildlife Management Areas: YES14-415.11(c3)
  • Road Side Rest Areas:  YES14-415.11(c3)
YES

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

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.

GunsToCarry recommends that you do not enter a property displaying a “No Weapons” sign whether the law is for or against signage. If asked to leave a property and you refuse to do so then you are breaking the law and put yourself at risk of being charged.

The Law
14-415.11 – Scope of Permit
14-415.21 – Punishable as Infraction

“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 shall 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.”
Art. 1 § 30

no weapons sign in north carolina

Off-Limits Statutes

Other CCW Statutes

North Carolina CCW FAQ's

frequently asked questions on north carolina gun laws

North Carolina CCW Contacts

Mecklenburg County Sheriff

Hours


Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed


Contact


Address 700 E. Fourth Street

CityCharlotte, NC28202

Phone (704) 336-3665

 

Updates & Data Sources

Disclaimer

The information contained on this page is not legal advice but is merely a starting point for your own research. It is up to you to decide what the best course of action is for your circumstances. We are not lawyers, if you'd like individualized legal advice, we'd be happy to refer you to some law practices with known firearm specializations. It is crucial that you understand the law before you carry a firearm. Also, remember that just because a statute may clearly say one thing or another, that doesn't mean all members of law enforcement know it. That also goes for lawyers and even judges too.

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Mike
Guest
Mike

I will be visiting for about 3 weeks traveling the western part of the state. Can I open carry being from out of state?

Jesse Adams
Guest
Jesse Adams

In NC anyone, fom here or another state, can open carry a firearm (notice i said firearm because yes you can carry long guns though I do not recommend) in nc given you are 18 and not a fellon.
So to answer your question yes you can open carry.

John
Guest
John

Hello, I live in CT and I’m looking to move to NC in the next few years. I have held my CC permit for years. What I’m reading in some of the posts is that I need to take a safety coarse in NC. Is this true? Isn’t gun safety common in all states? I cant believe that it would vary from state to state and I would need to spend $$ on safety coarse that I passed years ago. I’m already going to have to pay for a new state permit.

Steve
Guest
Steve

Yes you will have to take a CCW class it’s 8 hours. The class goes over safety and State laws. You will also have to go to the range and qualify.

Ary
Guest
Ary

I have a better idea. Stay in CT and spare us all.

TIM
Guest
TIM

Left out the part I was was asking about meant to ask for purchasing a long gun was the purchase permit valid or do they still need to do the background check

Mike
Guest
Mike

No background check will be done as long as you use your purchase permit.

TIM
Guest
TIM

In NC if you have a pistol purchase permit do the dealer still have to do the background check or does the purchase permit suffice?

Dave Burford
Guest
Dave Burford

Purchase permit issued by sheriff will suffice. Background check is done prior to issuing.

Bob Buttons
Guest
Bob Buttons

I have been told for years that it is illegal to transport a loaded long gun in NC (i.e. to and from gun range). I have had several people recently say thats not true. Has anyone else heard this?

Jesse Adams
Guest
Jesse Adams

I carry a loaded ar15 in my rear floorboard and have been pulled for speeding, informed the officer of my rifle, as well as my handgun and he didn’t make a deal about it. Told me to drive slower and let me roll.

Billy
Guest
Billy

I took the ccw class and got the certificate but I never applied for my license. Can I still apply for it

MAC GUN WORX
Guest
MAC GUN WORX

Your CERTIFICATION is valid for one year from issue date.
You must attend and apply for the PERMIT in your current state of residency.
We offer $50 NC CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUN PERMIT CERTIFICATION CLASSES for all qualified NC residents! Register in our store or online! Saturday and Sunday 1 day classes available to earn your PERMIT CERTIFICATION at MAC GUN WORX!
Hope this helps answer your question!

MAC GUN WORX
356 W. FRANKLIN BLVD.
GASTONIA NC 28052
CALL OR TEXT (704)865-7779
Macgunworx.net
MacGunWorxLLC@gmail.com

Billy
Guest
Billy

Can I carry a gun concealed on property that I rent for business without a concealed carry permit

Dave Burford
Guest
Dave Burford

You cannot carry a concealed weapon anywhere without a permit.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Hey Dave, Sorry, but that is not accurate. As per https://ncja.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/ab0e2cc3-2d53-4ceb-b4e9-eef22c607e71/North-Carolina-Firearms-Laws.aspx, III. POSSESSING AND CARRYING FIREARMS A. Carrying Concealed Weapons North Carolina law strictly controls the ability of individuals to carry weapons concealed. Except under the limited concealed handgun permit provisions of State law, described in Sections III. B. and C. below, and the exemptions set out below, it is unlawful for any person in this State, **except when on his/her own premises** A. MAY I CARRY A CONCEALED WEAPON IN NORTH CAROLINA? ANSWER: No. As a general rule, North Carolina law forbids private citizens from carrying a concealed weapon,… Read more »

Johnathan
Guest
Johnathan

On your own personal property, you can carry concealed without a CCW premit, but the question asked here, he can not as he does not own that property.

christopher
Guest
christopher

Johnathan, that is also incorrect. Unless it is in his lease that he may not have a weapon on the property, he has all rights to carry on property that he pays for.

Justin
Guest
Justin

2 part question;
-i can open carry my rifle unless it’s in a federal building, school or a place that displays a ‘no firearms’ sign, right?
-what are the specific exemptions for military members stationed in NC?

Averagejoewithmunitiontoblow
Guest
Averagejoewithmunitiontoblow

I would recommend against it, however there is no regulation against it. Open carry draws attention to the weilder. Which is precisely what I personally wouldn’t want. If I ever hadn’t to use my weapon, I would want the shooter not to know what hit him, rather than put a big fat 6 pound 11 ounce, 35.5 inch target strapped to my back.

Averagejoewithmunitiontoblow
Guest
Averagejoewithmunitiontoblow

However idk if there’s is a regulation against it***

butch
Guest
butch

can I open carry me pistol in sc if I am from nc. my pistol is An ar15 pistol

MAC GUN WORX
Guest
MAC GUN WORX

NO ONE can open carry in S.C., Open Carry is ILLEGAL in S.C., Only Legal CONCEALED CARRY is allowed in S.C. Residents (and non-residents in states with recripocal agreements with S.C.) who are legal Concealed Carry Handgun Permit holders can CONCEAL CARRY in S.C. only. NC-CCH Permit Holders may CONCEALED CARRY in S.C. * Side Note: Due to people trying to use HANDGUN laws in their defense when using various weapons, the laws were changed: no longer referred to as NC-CCW (NC-CONCEALED CARRY WEAPON) due to a change in the law. This law only pertains to handguns, therefore this was… Read more »

Mikel
Guest
Mikel

I received a 8hr CC Training Certificate on 06/28/14 in North Carolina. I’ve been a MO resident since 07/14/14. Do I have to attend an 8hr Missouri Training Certificate to received CC Permit?

MAC GUN WORX
Guest
MAC GUN WORX

Yes, you must attend and apply for the PERMIT in your current state of residency.
Hope this helps answer your question!
MAC GUN WORX
356 W. FRANKLIN BLVD.
GASTONIA NC 28052
CALL OR TEXT (704)865-7779
Macgunworx.net
MacGunWorxLLC@gmail.com

Donnie D Norton
Guest
Donnie D Norton

Hi there, I have a question. I have a concealed weapons permit from Florida but I have lived in North Carolina for several months, is my permit legal in North Carolina or do I need to purchase a North Carolina permit?
Thank you

MAC GUN WORX
Guest
MAC GUN WORX

You must attend and apply for the PERMIT in your current state of residency.
We offer $50 NC CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUN PERMIT CERTIFICATION CLASSES for all qualified NC residents! Register in our store or online! Saturday and Sunday 1 day classes available to earn your PERMIT CERTIFICATION at MAC GUN WORX!
Hope this helps answer your question!

MAC GUN WORX
356 W. FRANKLIN BLVD.
GASTONIA NC 28052
CALL OR TEXT (704)865-7779
Macgunworx.net
MacGunWorxLLC@gmail.com

Robert Anthony
Guest
Robert Anthony

Yes I had a concealed permit,,but they took it for misdemeanor charge,assault on a female about 25year’s after I had them for 5year’s when renew them they took them@ my$80.00 should I appeal

Jeffery Ward
Guest
Jeffery Ward

What if a concealed carry permit holder is committed for psychiatric observation? And then held longer than 3 days. Will this affect their permit?

Jesse
Guest
Jesse

Not if you don’t say anything. Don’t ask don’t tell kinda thing.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

As Jim John as stated, the “Places Off-Limits in North Carolina” is incorrect when it says “Any place alcohol beverages are consumed or sold”. You can carry in a bar or any place alcohol is sold and consumed. Even if it doesn’t serve any food.

Jim John
Guest
Jim John

This is incorrect. You are permitted to carry a weapon to a facility that provides alcoholic beverages (provided there is no sign) as long as you do not consume any alcohol.

Chase K
Guest
Chase K

“If we have indicated a “Yes” then it should be legal to have a meal without drinking alcohol.” This is stated in the restaurant drop down menu.

MAC GUN WORX
Guest
MAC GUN WORX

This is correct but the law also states you may not consume alcohol or illegal substance nor have it remaining in your body. Therefore, this applies for a period of time after consumption, which allows your body to dissipate the illegal substance before carrying again.

Hope this helps answer your question!

MAC GUN WORX
356 W. FRANKLIN BLVD.
GASTONIA NC 28052
CALL OR TEXT (704)865-7779
Macgunworx.net
MacGunWorxLLC@gmail.com

Ramon L
Guest
Ramon L

In the state of North Carolina, if you are active duty in the military, can you apply for a conceal carry permit under the age of 21?

Evan D
Guest
Evan D

Does a NC CCW only allow concealment of a handgun or can you conceal a rifle or shotgun as well? I am referencing concealing a AR under the rear seat of my truck.

MAC GUN WORX
Guest
MAC GUN WORX

NC-CCH: NC CONCEALED CARRY HANDGUN PERMIT CERTIFICATION
This law pertains to handguns only.
Hope this helps answer your question!

MAC GUN WORX
356 W. FRANKLIN BLVD.
GASTONIA NC 28052
CALL OR TEXT (704)865-7779
Macgunworx.net
MacGunWorxLLC@gmail.com

Kadee Lee
Guest
Kadee Lee

Question. With young children in the home, must the gun stay in a safe? Or does the top of the fridge count as away from kids? Tired of arguing and looking for the answer via NC laws.

Andy
Guest
Andy

When you buy a firearm you are notified that it is your responsibility to ensure that minors do not have access to the said firearm and that you are legally responsible if gain access because you failed to properly secure it. While there is not yet a law requiring a safe the law would look at storing on top of a fridge as improper storage as young children are capable of climbing counters or using chairs to stand on. This storage aspect with minors usually doesn’t come into any until a minor commits suicide with said firearm. The parents in… Read more »

Santi
Guest
Santi

Comon cuz Even a 3 years old child can clim on tap of refrigerator locked it homy

MAC GUN WORX
Guest
MAC GUN WORX

When you purchase a HANDGUN, you must sign an ATF form – The Youth Handgun Safety Act, which requires you be responsible for your HANDGUN, you must secure it in a manner to protect minors and yourself. The top of your refrigerator doesn’t meet this requirement and doesn’t safely secure your handgun away from minors. ☆ We have locked storage boxes in stock from only $7.99 & up! Don’t risk your children’s lives! It’s very inexpensive to keep your children safe. It’s not worth the risk, don’t take a chance! Keep your children safe! Hope this helps answer your question!… Read more »

Kameron
Guest
Kameron

I’m 21 from South Carolina I’m going to be visiting Charlotte North Carolina soon. I don’t have my CWP yet . But I do own a pistol am I still allowed to open carry in Charlotte or other legal parts of NC

BoyfromNC
Guest
BoyfromNC

Yes you’ll be fine big daddy

Jesse
Guest
Jesse

You’re fine. But remember you’re in Charlotte so don’t be surprised by the double looks you’ll be getting. But it’s all good. I live in the mountains but work in charlotte. Open carry every day.

Ellen
Guest
Ellen

Can someone have loaded handguns in their home if considered mentally ill by a family member? If not, should they report it to the police for removal?

Larry
Guest
Larry

I believe that should be determined by a licensed professional or court. Sometimes I would say half my family has mental problems. Just because a person in the family thinks so does not make it so

Concearned citizen
Guest
Concearned citizen

what a dumb question! REALLY??? You must be the “ill” one to ask a dumb question like that.

Meme
Guest
Meme

No question is dumb rude ass….
The only stupid question is 1 thts not asked or the 1 thinking it’s a stupid question. …. HOW else do u know if u don’t ask?!?!? Oooo now who’s stupid

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

If a mentally ill person has ever in their entire life either voluntary or involuntarily been checked into a mental health treatment center then North Carolina will not issue any concealed carry permit to this person or you can’t legally buy a gun of any kind. If you decide to lie on your application and you do find yourself in a hairy situation one day and you use your firearm and the state does find out that you have in fact been in a mental hospital or a mental health floor then you will be held liable for not only… Read more »