What to Know About North Carolina Gun Laws

What do you think is more important — the Second Amendment or limiting gun ownership? Recent surveys reveal some surprising findings. Only 44% of Americans think the 2nd Amendment takes priority. 46% valued limiting gun ownership.

Regardless of your stance, you need to adhere to North Carolina gun laws if you live in or visit the state. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. If you want to avoid potential criminal penalties, then you need to get informed.

Read on to learn laws surrounding buying, possessing, and carrying guns in NC.

Purchasing Firearms in NC

Despite what you’ve heard about the 2nd Amendment, not everyone has a right to get a gun. State laws restrict who can buy firearms. First of all, you must be at least 18 years old. You must be 21 to buy a handgun from a dealer.

Next, you must undergo a background check. You can’t get a gun if you’re a felon or found mentally incompetent. You can buy a firearm if you’re an out-of-state resident. You’ll still need to get a background check, though.

North Carolina Gun Laws: Possession and Open Carry

Are you hoping to carry your firearm out in the open in public? If so, then you’re in luck. You don’t need a permit in NC to open carry. You do have to be in a lawful area, though. Weapons aren’t permitted in schools, state buildings, or at public events.

North Carolina has strict laws when it comes to concealed carry. For the most part, it’s not legal to be willful and intentional with concealing a firearm in public. There are exceptions to this rule, though.

If you seek out a valid concealed handgun permit, you can carry a concealed handgun. If you’re an out-of-state resident, then you need to have a permit in your state. Here’s what you’ll need to do to apply:

  • Complete an application
  • Pay an $80.00 application fee
  • Document your fingerprints with the local Sheriff’s office
  • Complete a handgun safety course

Do you have more questions? Get certified or learn more at

Restricted Weapons in NC

Like anywhere else in the nation, both federal and state laws restrict your right to own certain guns. Here’s an overview of some restricted weapons in NC:

  • Grenades
  • Bombs
  • Rockets
  • Mines
  • Automatic fire weapons
  • Any silencer or muffler attachments
  • Any rifle with a barrel less than 16 inches
  • Machine guns
  • Teflon-coated bullets

There’s no excuse for anyone to have these items. If you do, then you’ll face significant criminal penalties.

Remain Compliant With the Law

Remaining compliant with North Carolina gun laws is necessary if you visit or live in the state. A failure to do so will likely lead to criminal penalties. From imprisonment to a seizure of your property, consequences may vary.

Don’t risk it! Follow the laws above to remain in the clear.

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James McNeal

The author James McNeal