There is so much confusion and misinformation related to gun laws in NC, including who can carry a gun, where and when a gun can be carried, and even what kind of guns are legal. We want to help you understand your rights, which is why our gun rights attorneys in Raleigh are providing an overview of firearm laws.
Who Can Legally Own a Gun in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, anyone over the age of 18 can purchase and own a rifle or a shotgun and can purchase and own a handgun if they are over 21. However, you are prohibited from possessing or carrying a handgun if you:
- Are not an American citizen;
- Have a felony conviction, misdemeanor assault by pointing a gun, or domestic violence conviction;
- Have a domestic violence protective order against you;
- Are awaiting trial for a crime that would prohibit you from owning or carrying a gun;
- Have a dishonorable discharge from the military;
- Are determined mentally ill by a court of law;
Open Carry and Concealed Carry Laws
Now that you know who can carry a gun in North Carolina, let’s look at the conditions of carrying a gun.
Open carry refers to carrying a firearm visibly in public, and in North Carolina, anyone who is over 18 and not prohibited from possessing a gun can legally openly carry.
Concealed carry in North Carolina is also legal, though there are more stipulations surrounding it. You must have a permit, which requires being 21 and over, taking a class, and paying a permit fee.
Where Are Guns Prohibited in NC?
Whether you have a permit or are legally allowed to carry a gun, there are certain places a firearm is not permitted. This includes:
- Schools, school buses, and school sponsored activities
- State and federal courthouses, correctional facilities, and many other government buildings.
- Picket lines and demonstrations;
- Private property where notices are posted prohibiting openly carried guns, concealed guns, or all firearms.
It’s also important to note that local governments can prohibit open carry in certain publicly owned areas, including parks and recreation buildings.
What Guns are Legal in NC?
When it comes to regulation of guns and ammunition, North Carolina has minimal law prohibiting these. However, certain guns and ammunition are prohibited except for when ATF guidelines are in place. Specific examples of prohibited items include:
- Fully automatic firearms, such as a fully automatic AK-47 (Semi-automatic versions are legal);
- Machine guns and parts for converting firearms into a machine gun;
- Short-barreled, or “sawed-off,” shotguns;
- Suppressors, including silencers;
More specifically to fully automatic weapons, NC General Statute 14-409 states, “It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to manufacture, sell, give away, dispose of, use, or possess machine guns, submachine guns, and other like weapons…” with the exception of:
- Banks, merchants, and recognized businesses who shall first apply to the county sheriff a permit to possess a weapon in order to defend the business;
- US Army members, when in discharge of their official duties;
- Officers of NC (including county, city, or town officials) who are acting in the discharge of their official duties;
- Use or possession for approved scientific purposes;
- Resident of NC who owns a machine gun used in former wars;
Any other possession of fully automatic weapons in North Carolina is illegal.
Speak to a Gun Rights Attorney Today About Getting Your Rights Restored
Because gun laws are often in the works, if you’re needing your gun rights restored, speak with an attorney today. To schedule a consultation, reach out to us at [phone] or fill out the form below to get started.
Information presented on this website should not be construed as formal legal advice or the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Additionally, any email sent to Kirk, Kirk, Howell, Cutler & Thomas, L.L.P. or any of its lawyers at the email addresses set forth in this website will not create an attorney-client relationship.
Blog Post - Case Review