With the incredible numbers of the large and small game available in North Carolina, locals and visitors alike enjoy the hunting, fishing, and trapping opportunities our state has to offer. In order to hunt on North Carolina land, one must possess a license and understand the requirements and restrictions they may face in obtaining an NC hunting license legally.
Not everyone will need a lawyer to help them to secure a hunting license in North Carolina– however, for residents of the state who have been convicted of a felony and had their gun rights revoked, one of our dedicated professional gun rights attorneys at Kirk, Kirk, Howell, Cutler, and Thomas can help restore your licenses so you can return to the activities you enjoy.
What Kinds of Hunting Licenses are Available in NC?
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission offers a few types of NC hunting licenses for our state depending on where and when you plan to hunt, what kind of hunting activity is taking place, and where you reside.
License types available in North Carolina:
- Hunting license: short-term licenses of non-big game animal hunting for visitors, and long-term licenses for N.C. residents who may hunt big and small game animals. There are restrictions for both residents and visitors, not allowing for hunting of the state waterfowl and federal duck stamp.
- Fishing license: short-term for non-residents and long-term for residents, licensing includes fishing in Public Mountain Trout Waters, on game lands, and fishing in joint waters. Fishing in coastal waters is prohibited unless under special circumstances.
- Hunting and fishing combination license: a combination license allowing for both hunting and fishing privileges.
- Trapping license: statewide trapping for the term of the license that allows for trapping on game lands.
- Lifetime licenses: licenses that allow for hunting and fishing in N.C. for life, even if you move out of state, including the sportsman license that allows for the hunting of the state waterfowl game.
- Other license types: other types of licenses and certifications are available for falconry hunting, disabled hunters, fur distributors, and taxidermy allowance.
Requirements to Get an NC Hunting License
Residents of North Carolina who are aged 16 or older need a license in order to hunt on game land. There are two instances where this restriction does not apply:
- A person owns or leases the land, eliminating the need for a license for themselves and their family.
- United States Armed Forces members serving out of state who return to the state on leave may hunt as long as they hold official documentation that can prove their status in the military.
If a licensed adult is accompanying a minor, the minor may hunt in accordance with the provisions of the license held by the adult.
All other persons, including non-residents, may purchase a hunting, fishing, or trapping license for recreation by the following protocol to secure a license. The steps you must take in order to properly get a license for hunting in North Carolina are:
- Completion of an approved hunter education course.
- A passing grade on the test for the approved hunter education course.
Who is Not Eligible for an NC Hunting License
Anyone convicted of a felony– whether violent or non-violent, loses their right to gun ownership in the state of North Carolina. The following groups are legally restricted from owning firearms for hunting, target shooting, self-defense, or any other purpose:
- Convicted felons
- Any individual found guilty of certain violent crimes, notably those convicted of domestic violence
- People labeled by the court system as being mentally ill
- Anyone under indictment or free on bond and awaiting trial or sentencing for a crime that would keep them from carrying a gun
Even if you just plan to use your gun for the purpose of hunting, there are obstacles to overcome before you may be granted the right to bear arms again.
Is it Possible to Get Gun Rights Restored to Obtain an NC Hunting License?
Many people are kept from hunting and fishing activities in North Carolina because they are no longer eligible for the right to bear arms. For someone to have been stripped of their 2nd Amendment rights, they would have had to commit a felony crime that justified this loss. The good news is that it IS possible to have your North Carolina gun rights restored so you can apply for an NC hunting license.
Our law firm believes that if you have served time and been rehabilitated for your past crimes in the eyes of the state, you have the right to restore your ability to own a gun. That’s where our Raleigh-based gun rights attorneys can help navigate the process to get your gun rights back, allowing you to get outdoors and enjoy the recreational or sport hunting you love.
How Can You Get Your Gun Rights Restored?
The NC statute GS 14-415.4 outlines the ways to petition for your gun ownership rights to be restored. In order to be eligible for gun restoration rights to obtain an NC hunting license, you must meet one of these two criteria:
- Expungement of a non-violent felony conviction that occurred 15 or more years ago.
- Completion of a 20-year wait period following your felony conviction if ineligible for expungement.
You will NOT eligible for the restoration of your 2nd Amendment rights to obtain an NC hunting license if:
- You have been convicted of a Federal offense
- The offense for which you were convicted was a violent crime
- Your conviction did not occur in North Carolina and there is no evidence or documentation for the restoration of your rights in the jurisdiction where the offense took place
- You are currently under investigation for a felony
- You are considered a current fugitive from justice
- You have been dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Services
- You have a history of addiction or are an unlawful user of controlled substances
- You have intentionally provided false information pertinent to your case of restoration of gun rights
If you do not qualify for expungement or if you have not completed the 20-year wait period, that should not make you lose hope. With dedicated and knowledgeable legal representation, there may be other ways to restore your rights and obtain an NC hunting license.
Contact Our Attorneys to Restore Your Gun Rights!
Our team of lawyers understands the importance of gun ownership. Many of our Raleigh residents and people living in North Carolina enjoy hunting, but because of past experiences may not be able to lawfully own a gun.
If you have been convicted of a felony and are uncertain of your eligibility to restore your gun ownership rights, give our gun rights attorneys in Raleigh a call. We have provided extensive representation to many North Carolina residents over the years and are ready to help you. Call (919) 615-2473 or complete the online contact form to speak with one of our gun rights attorneys about restoring your right to bear arms.
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