Open Carry in North Carolina seems to be a confusing topic for many people that I encounter in the world of #FirearmsSafetyTraining.
I’m never surprised at the many students that drive to class with their firearm that don’t know the laws of Open Carry. North Carolina Open Carry law provides ONLY two options when transporting a handgun.
In the State of North Carolina, your handgun must be: Fully Visible, meaning in plain sight if approached by an officer. Recommended locations include the passenger seat or dashboard. As soon as the officer approaches the vehicle, immediately notify the officer that there is a handgun in the vehicle and where it is located. This protects both yourself and the law enforcement officer and keeps you both safe from an accidental firing of a handgun to fear for life.
The second option requires locking the firearm in the dashboard, trunk, or gun case that is securely affixed to the vehicle. Pistol cases are sold with a cable that can be affixed to the seat post or other permanent fixture in a vehicle. There are a variety of pistol cases available and they vary in size and in style. If you are looking to purchase a pistol case, they are available locally in places like Walmart, Academy Sports, Gander World, Field & Stream and other retailers. You can only purchase pistol cases online saving quite a bit of money.
It is EXTREMELY important to research firearm laws in every state that you will cross when traveling. Many assume that firearm laws are the same in every state but would be shocked to find that they differ greatly from one state to another regarding both open and concealed carry.
Obtaining a concealed carry handgun permit in North Carolina is a fairly stringent process. You must first take an 8-hour handgun certification course approved by the North Carolina Justice Academy. In addition, an on-range shooting qualification firing 10 rounds at 3, 5, 7 yards for a total of 30 rounds.
A certificate showing that you have completed an 8-hour course is required at the time that you apply for your concealed carry handgun permit. You must submit your application in the county in which you reside.
Due to long wait times in larger counties, I recommended that you set your appointment at your local Sheriff’s department as soon as your class is scheduled.
Many local sheriff’s departments allow you to walk in to apply for your state issued concealed carry handgun permit while other Sheriff’s departments require that you set up an appointment online. In Forsyth county, it takes three months to obtain an appointment to submit your application. In Guilford county, it takes two and a half months to obtain an appointment to submit your application.
Guilford County allows you to download the application and bring it to the Sheriff’s department while Forsyth County requires that you complete the application on site.
On average, it takes up to 90 days after submitting your application to receive your state-issued permit. Wait times can be longer depending on how many are in the queue. This can result in a total time of attaining your state-issued concealed carry handgun permit of six months at a minimum depending on the wait time in your County?
Click here to view the requirements of Piedmont Triad counties.
We want to know, what County do you reside in, does your county require an appointment, and how long was the process?
Are you looking to purchase a handgun in North Carolina for sport or personal defense but confused about the process. Keep reading to learn the requirements to purchase a handgun in North Carolina.
To purchase a handgun in North Carolina, the purchaser must provide a valid photo ID along with a valid North Carolina-issued pistol purchase permit or concealed handgun permit to the seller
If the handgun purchase is made at a retail establishment, the purchaser is required complete and sign Firearms Transactions Record Form 4473. If you are buying with a NC-issued pistol purchase permit, the retailer is required to retain the original NC-issued pistol purchase permit for their records.
If the handgun is purchase is made through a private transaction, the transfer of handguns also requires that the transferee show proof of a state-issued pistol purchase permitor possesses a valid North Carolina issued concealed carry permit. In North Carolina you are only allowed to buy one handgun per state issued pistol purchase permit. The permit must be relinquished to the seller.
It is highly recommend that you complete a bill of sale showing transfer of ownership. The bill of sale should include name of both buyer and seller, handgun serial number, make and model, date of sale, verified id credentials and signature of both buyer and seller. The bill of sale showing transfer of ownership protects both the buyer and the seller in the event the firearm is used for self-defense. Bill of sale templates can be easily downloaded on Google.
Law Enforcement Officials are exempt from completing both Form 4473 and are exempt from going through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Although exempt from NICS, law enforcement officials are required to provide a certificate signed by a designated authority. The signed certificate must state that the firearm is to be used for official duties. Law Enforcement Official must have no convictions for misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence.
A North Carolina Concealed Carry Handgun permit allows you to legally carry a handgun on your body or in a personal tote such as backpack, briefcase, or handbag. NORTH CAROLINA FIREARMS LAWS defines Concealed Carry “about the person” which means it must be concealed on the person or within arm’s reach of the person.
Proof of an eight-hour state-approved Firearm Safety training or Concealed Carry class is required by the State of North Carolina prior to applying for a state issued permit. Two of those hours must be dedicate to the Laws of Self Defense. In addition to the eight hours of mandatory classroom training that is required, you must complete a 20 question written exam on the Legal Issues of Self-Defense and Firearm Safety and Rules and shooting range qualification.
The course as taught by GIRLZ on F.I.R.E., L.L.C. includes instruction on North Carolina Common Law, North Carolina Statutory Law, Rules of Safety, Gun Handling, Handgun Nomenclature, and Marksmanship Fundamentals. NC Common Law teaches both justified and unjustified self-defense while knowledge of NC Statutory Law states the rights and rules you must abide by as a citizen. The course also includes Rules of Safety, Gun Handling, Storage of Handguns, Alcohol and Firearms and Ammunition Safety. There is added discussion on Handguns, specifically Revolvers versus Semiautomatic Pistols. Marksmanship Fundamentals includes topics on Grip, Follow-Through, Stance, Breath Control, Sight Alignment/Sight Picture, Shooting Rhythm, Trigger Control, and Shooting Positions. In addition, we cover Carrying Concealed Safety Issues and Presentation Techniques. Last, we cover Cleaning and Maintenance through demonstration of Proper Cleaning Procedures, Lubrication, Function Check, and a detailed discussion on Ammunition selection.
Obtaining your North Carolina Concealed Carry Handgun certification is a choice that requires mental preparedness. Keeping Safety at the front of your mind at all times is critical. By taking time to further your training and practicing firing drills both at home (dry-fire) and at the range is when you truly become a better and more skilled shooter. In addition, Sports and Competition shooting is fun when we practice safety first, so get out there and find a community of like-minded shooters to learn more about the sport.
I am often asked if you can obtain a North Carolina Concealed Carry Handgun Permit or Purchase Permit in North Carolina if you have a Criminal Record. My first advice is to seek legal representation. In North Carolina, if you have been convicted of a felony you may petition the district court where you reside to have your firearms rights restored. Your civil rights must have been restored for a period of at least 20 years and you must have been charged with a non-violent felony.
An offense that includes an assault.The term nonviolent felony does not include a felony classified a Class A, Class B1, Class B2, or a Class C through Class I felony that is one of the following:
An offense that includes the possession or use of a firearm or other deadly weapon.
An armed offense that includes a firearm or deadly weapon.A
An offense for which the offender must register under G.S. Article 27A of Chapter 14.
Prior to petitioning to have your firearm rights restored, you must meet the following criteria:
You must be a resident of North Carolina at least one year or longer.
You must have only one felony conviction, and, it must be for a nonviolent felony. Multiple felony convictions from the same event with consolidated sentencing count as one felony in the State of North Carolina.
Your rights of citizenship must have been restored pursuant to Chapter 13 of the General Statutes for a period of at least 20 years before filing the petition.
You have not been convicted under the laws of the United States, the laws of North Carolina, or the laws of any other state of a misdemeanor since the conviction of the nonviolent felony.
You agree to submit your fingerprints to the sheriff of the county in which you reside for a criminal background check
You are not disqualified under the conditions above.
As stated initially, you are strongly urged to seek legal counsel for fair representation as I am not a lawyer, affiliated with any legal agency or authorized to give legal advice regarding laws and the restoration of firearm rights in North Carolina.