Summary of North Carolina Gun Laws
North Carolina is a shall-issue state with concealed handgun permits issued at the county level by the local sheriff’s office.
In order to buy a handgun from a private individual or dealer, the buyer will need either a pistol purchase permit or a concealed handgun permit. Purchase permit applications include a question regarding the reason for acquiring the permit, such as protection or collecting and may take up to 30 days to process. There is no firearms registry in the state. Only residents are allowed to purchase handguns.
Open carry is legal in North Carolina without a permit. Counties may regulate the display of firearms on public roads, sidewalks, alleys or other public property. The minimum age is 18 years old. Some areas are off-limits, including schools and the State Capitol grounds.
Concealed carry is legal with a license/permit. North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permits (CHP) are issued to residents only and require a firearms training course that has been approved by the state. The minimum age is 21 years old. There are exceptions for members of the military permanently posted in North Carolina. In terms of reciprocity, North Carolina recognizes permits from all states.
North Carolina is a Castle Doctrine state and has a “stand your ground” statute. A person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat in any place a person has the lawful right to be if they reasonably believe that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another; or if a person is in their home, vehicle or workplace and provided that the person against whom the defensive force was used was an unlawful intruder or was attempting to forcibly and unlawfully enter.
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