North Carolina Gun Permit

North Carolina Gun Permit: Laws, Cost, Restrictions, & FAQs

In North Carolina, possessing a firearm is a constitutional right, but it comes with responsibilities. To legally possess firearms and carry them in states that recognize North Carolina permits, you must obtain a North Carolina gun license. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to obtaining a gun permit in North Carolina and understanding the state’s firearm laws.

North Carolina Gun Permit Summary

North Carolina is a “shall-issue” state, meaning that if you meet all the requirements, the county sheriff’s office must issue you a gun permit. The application process is overseen by the sheriff’s office, and there are specific regulations for purchasing handguns and other firearms in the state.

How to Get a Gun Permit in North Carolina

To apply for a gun permit in North Carolina, you must be at least twenty-one years old and a resident of the state. The permit is specifically for concealed carry. Here’s a step-by-step guide to obtaining a gun permit:

a. Complete a Firearm Course

Before applying for the permit, you must complete an eight-hour state-approved firearm training course with a licensed instructor.

b. Obtain the Application

You can either download the application online or visit your local county sheriff’s office to apply, depending on your county of residence.

c. Submit the Necessary Documents

When submitting your application, you will need the following documents:

  • Firearm training certificate
  • North Carolina state ID card or driver’s license and proof of residence
  • Proof of active duty or discharge from duty (for military personnel)
  • Proof of naturalization or a United States passport (for naturalized citizens)
  • Documentation from the State Department (for citizens born outside the U.S. to American parents)
  • Permanent resident card (for permanent residents)

Additionally, you will be required to provide fingerprints and sign a release disclosure for mental health records.

d. Receive Notification

After submitting your application, you will receive a mail notification indicating approval or denial of the permit.

See also  North Carolina Hunting

North Carolina Gun Permit Laws

In North Carolina, you do not need a pistol permit to possess a firearm if you are eighteen years old or older and are not prohibited from using weapons. However, certain restrictions apply to the possession, sale, manufacturing, and transfer of machine guns and devices that can turn firearms into machine guns. The use of Teflon-coated ammunition is also prohibited.

North Carolina Pistol Permit Requirements

To ensure a successful application for a gun permit in North Carolina, you must meet several requirements, including:

  • Being at least twenty-one years old
  • Completing North Carolina firearms training (exceptions for military and law enforcement personnel)
  • Being a legal U.S. citizen and a resident of North Carolina for at least thirty days
  • Residing in the county where you are applying for the permit
  • Not having any felony convictions or active arrest warrants
  • Not being physically or mentally disabled in a way that affects firearm handling
  • Not being dishonorably discharged from the military
  • Not being a narcotic or unlawful user of controlled substances
  • No violent crime or misdemeanor convictions in the past three years
  • No convictions relating to the assault of law enforcement, medical personnel, or emergency responders
  • No convictions for certain driving offenses in the past three years
  • Meeting all federal laws for the CCW permit application

Different Types of Gun Permits in North Carolina

North Carolina issues different types of permits for firearms:

  • State permit to purchase long guns: Not issued in North Carolina
  • State permits to purchase handguns: Required to buy handguns
  • State permit to open carry: Not required, as North Carolina is a permissive open carry state
  • State permits to conceal carry long guns: Not issued in North Carolina
  • State permits to conceal carry handguns: Required for concealed carry of handguns in the state

Cost of Getting a Gun License in North Carolina

The cost of the initial and renewal permit applications in North Carolina is typically ninety dollars for the initial application and seventy-five dollars for renewals. However, fees may vary from county to county.

See also  North Carolina Gun Laws

Gun Permit Application and Renewal Law in North Carolina

The application process for a gun permit in North Carolina involves completing a firearm course, submitting the required documents to the county sheriff’s office, and awaiting approval or denial. The processing period is forty-five days.

For permit renewals, you can apply at least forty-five days before your current permit expires. If you apply within this period, your permit remains valid until renewed or replaced.

Gun Permit Reciprocity with North Carolina

North Carolina accepts pistol permits from all jurisdictions within the United States. Some states recognize North Carolina permits for firearm possession, while others have restricted reciprocity, requiring specific criteria for carrying firearms within their territory.

Relevant Gun Laws, Permits, and Legislature in North Carolina

Possession of Firearms in Private Vehicles

To conceal carry firearms in a private vehicle, you must have a North Carolina gun license. If you do not have a permit, the firearm must either be in plain view or locked away in a case or trunk of the vehicle, unloaded.

Possession of Firearms in Roadside Areas

Permit holders in North Carolina can conceal carry firearms in roadside areas.

Possession of Firearms in State Parks, Forests, or Wildlife Management Areas

With a pistol permit issued in North Carolina, you can possess firearms in state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas.

Possession of Firearms in Restaurant and Bar Areas

Permit holders can conceal carry firearms in restaurant and bar establishments, except where prohibited or under the influence of alcohol.

Possession of Firearms in Hotels

Hotels may have their privacy policies against the possession of firearms on their premises. It’s essential to check with the hotel’s website for more information.

States That Recognize Pistol Permits From North Carolina

Some states where you can possess firearms with your North Carolina gun license include:

  • Alabama
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
  • Puerto Rico
See also  North Carolina Constitutional Carry

States That Have Restricted Reciprocity

These states have partial reciprocity with North Carolina and may require additional criteria for carrying firearms:

  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Michigan
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina

States That Have Permitless Carry Policy

In these states, you can possess firearms without a permit, but some may have specific age limits for possession:

  • Arizona
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia


Obtaining a North Carolina gun permit is essential for legal firearm possession and concealed carry in the state. By following the outlined application process and understanding the state’s firearm laws, you can exercise your Second Amendment rights responsibly and lawfully.


Q1: Do I Need a Permit to Conceal Carry Firearms in North Carolina?

Yes, you must have a gun license to conceal carry firearms in North Carolina.

Q2: For How Long Is a North Carolina Gun Permit Valid?

A North Carolina gun permit is valid for five years, after which you must apply for a renewal.

Q3: Can Non-Residents Apply for North Carolina Firearm Permits?

No, North Carolina gun licenses are only available to residents of the state and military members posted for duties within the state.

Q4: How Can I Change the Name and Address on My North Carolina Gun License?

To update your gun license details, visit your county sheriff’s office, as requirements may vary between counties. Some counties may allow you to do this at no cost.

Q5: What Can I Do If I Lost My Permit or It Gets Stolen?

If your permit is lost or stolen, you can get a duplicate permit for a fee of fifteen dollars. Visit your county office for more information.

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