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Basic Carry Laws: North Carolina

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Carrying a firearm for self-defense comes with a lot of responsibility. Knowing the laws where you carry is just one important task you must undertake as an armed American. To help with that, we will be providing you with a summary of basic carry laws for several states. Learn about the most important things to know when carrying in North Carolina below.

Permitting in North Carolina

Open carry is legal in North Carolina without a permit. Concealed carry is legal with a North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) or a concealed carry permit from any state. North Carolina CHPs are issued to residents and members of the military permanently posted in North Carolina. Permits require a firearms training course that has been approved by the state. The minimum age is 21 years old.

Stun guns and Tasers are legal for anyone at least 18 years old to purchase without a permit. However, concealed carry of these devices is legal only on an individual’s own premises. The state also specifically prohibits carrying a stun gun on school property. Possession and use of self-defense sprays is lawful for use by individuals who have not been convicted of a felony and for self-defense purposes only.

A permit to purchase a handgun or a concealed handgun permit is required when purchasing a handgun in North Carolina — whether a private or commercial sale. There is no firearms registration, waiting period or maximum magazine capacity for handguns. A purchaser must be at least 18 years old to purchase a handgun.

Where Can One Carry?

Anyone with a valid concealed carry permit can carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in North Carolina. Without a permit, a weapon cannot be both concealed and readily accessible to a person. Therefore, a handgun would need to be either openly displayed or in a locked glove box, a locked console or the trunk. Carriers are required to inform a law enforcement officer upon contact when carrying a concealed firearm.

Locations where a concealed handgun may be carried include:

  • Restaurants that serve alcohol, unless posted
  • State/national parks
  • State/national forests
  • Wildlife Management Areas
  • Roadside rest areas
  • Places of worship (unless posted)

Locations where carry is prohibited, even for permit holders, include:

  • Schools, public or private, including universities
  • Any public or private school building, premises or bus
  • Any activity sponsored by a school
  • Law enforcement office, detention or correctional facility
  • A state or federal building or office of the state or federal government
  • On any private premises bearing a notice that carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited
  • State Capitol Building, the Executive Mansion, the Governor’s Western Residence or on the grounds of any of these buildings
  • Any posted municipal or county playground, athletic field, swimming pool or athletic facility
  • State fairgrounds
  • Any place alcohol beverages are consumed, if posted, and the individual is consuming or under the influence of controlled substances or alcohol
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal or state law or regulation

Visit the USCCA North Carolina gun laws page now…


The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and, as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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