North Carolina Gun Laws
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
North Carolina CCW Dashboard
North Carolina CCW Reciprocity
NORTH CAROLINA 2018
How Reciprocity Works in North Carolina
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
Districts & Territories
District of Columbia, New York City, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
North Carolina Concealed Carry Permit
- North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit Requirements
- How to Apply for a North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit
- North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit Renewals
- North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit Fee's
- 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
Permit Issued To
North Carolina CCW Permit Forms
Download Your Forms
North Carolina: Places Off-Limits for CCW
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
- 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...
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.
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
Learn North Carolina's Gun History
1919 - Purchase Permit
1995 - Shall Issue Policy
2004 - Concealed Carry Permit To Purchase
2011 - Reciprocity Law
2012 - Emergency Powers Limited
2013 - Off-Limit places Relaxed
2015 - Preemption Laws
2017 - Permit-less Carry Bill
North Carolina Concealed Carry Laws
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.
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.
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.
YESIt 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)
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.
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.
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
Other CCW Statutes
North Carolina CCW FAQ's
North Carolina CCW Contacts
Mecklenburg County Sheriff
Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm
Address 700 E. Fourth Street
Phone (704) 336-3665