North Carolina Gun Laws

North Carolina is considered one of the most gun-friendly states in the nation. However, there are certain rules that residents need to adhere to in order to avoid criminal charges.

Open carry is allowed without a permit, if the individual can own a firearm legally. Additionally, there no limits to calibers or magazine size regarding open carry.

On the other hand, concealed carry requires a permit. In order to obtain a permit, you must be at least 21 years of age, lived in the state for 30 days, be a resident in the county where you applied for the permit, complete a training course (minimum eight hours), either be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident alien, not have a mental or physical disability that prevents safe handling of a firearm, and not have been convicted of a felony, certain violent crimes, a DUI within three years prior to the application date. Anyone who possesses a concealed carry permit from another state can also be allowed to do so in the state.

Concealed carry is allowed in vehicles, parks, forests, rest areas, funerals (with a special permit from police), parades (with a special permit from police), school campus (as long as they are locked in a vehicle and not on school grounds), and even bars and restaurants (if permit carriers don’t consume alcohol and the firearm remains hidden the entire duration of the visit). Open carry is also permitted in most of the same locations as concealed carry.

The following are individuals who are not allowed to carry a gun in North Carolina:

  • Convicted felons
  • Individuals who have been received acquittals after pleading insanity
  • Individuals who lack the capacity to proceed in criminal court

If a felon carries a gun, it is considered a Class G felony which is punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 31 months. If the other two types of individuals carry a gun, it is a Class H felony which carries a maximum prison sentence of 25 months.

If a person carries a concealed gun without a permit, a first offense is a Class 2 misdemeanor—unless he/she is in his/her own property. A subsequent offense is a Class H felony.

Carrying a gun into a courthouse, funeral, parade, demonstration, or certain state property without a permit is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Carrying a gun on a school campus is a Class I felony.

If you have been arrested for a gun crime in North Carolina, contact our Raleigh criminal defense attorneys at Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh today.


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