Whether you’re new to owning a firearm or have had a gun for home defense for years, getting a concealed carry permit may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be. There are many reasons and ways to carry a concealed weapon, but the first step is knowing the laws. Applying for a CCW varies by state. Read about the process for getting a North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) below.

Similar to permit requirements, states vary greatly in their processes for how an applicant obtains a concealed carry permit, what their permits/licenses are called, whether permits include photographs, whether fingerprinting is required, permit duration, permit costs and turnaround times. Some states allow an applicant to complete an application online, while others require an in-person visit to the office of the respective issuing authority. There are even states that require the applicant to provide a list of non-related character references.

Concealed Carry Permit Basics

North Carolina is a shall-issue state with concealed handgun permits issued at the county level by the local sheriff’s office. Shall-issue means licensing authorities in North Carolina are compelled to issue a permit as long as an applicant meets the basic requirements set out by state law. A permit to purchase a handgun or a concealed handgun permit is required when purchasing a handgun in North Carolina. There is no established waiting period or firearms registration in the state.

Open carry is legal in North Carolina without a permit. Concealed carry is legal for residents with a North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) and for non-residents with any valid license/permit. North Carolina CHPs are issued to residents and members of the military permanently posted in North Carolina and require a firearms training course that has been approved by the state. The minimum age is 21 years old. In terms of reciprocity, North Carolina recognizes permits from all states, regardless of the age of the permit holder. A CHP is valid for five years.

Federally Prohibited Persons

The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Federal Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 make it illegal for a person who fits into any of the prohibited categories to ship, transport, receive or possess firearms or ammunition. These laws prevent a state from issuing a concealed carry permit/license as it would be illegal for people who fit in these categories, by federal law, to own or possess a gun.

What Are the Permit Requirements in North Carolina?

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have completed an approved firearms training class (there are exemptions for military veterans and law enforcement)
  • Be a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident alien
  • Be a resident of North Carolina for 30 days preceding the filing of the application
  • Be a resident of the county in which the application is filed
  • Not be under indictment for a felony or against whom a finding of probable cause exists for a felony
  • Not have been adjudicated guilty of a felony in any court, unless: the felony is an offense that pertains to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices or restraints of trade, or the person’s firearm rights have been restored pursuant to state law
  • Not be a fugitive from justice
  • Not suffer from a physical or mental infirmity that prevents the safe handling of a handgun
  • Not have been discharged from the Armed Forces under conditions other than honorable
  • Not be an unlawful user of or addicted to marijuana, alcohol or any depressant, stimulant or narcotic drug or other controlled substance
  • Not have been adjudicated guilty of or received a prayer for judgment continued or suspended sentence for one or more specified crimes of violence constituting a misdemeanor within three years of the date of application
  • Not have been adjudicated guilty of or received a prayer for judgment continued or suspended sentence for one or more crimes of violence constituting a misdemeanor for certain types of assault and battery, stalking, child abuse and domestic criminal trespass crimes, and a violation of a protective order
  • Not have been adjudicated guilty of or received a prayer for judgment continued or suspended sentence for one or more crimes involving an assault or a threat to assault a law enforcement officer, probation or parole officer, person employed at a state or local detention facility, firefighter, emergency medical technician, medical responder or emergency department personnel
  • Not have been convicted of an impaired driving offense within three years prior to the date on which the application is submitted
  • Not have had judgment continued for or free on bond or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal or sentencing for a disqualifying criminal offense
  • Not currently be or has not been adjudicated or administratively determined to be lacking mental capacity or mentally ill
  • Meet federal law requirements

*Consult with an attorney if you have any questions about your eligibility. If you don’t have an attorney, you can find one by contacting the State Bar of North Carolina.

Do I Need Firearms Training in North Carolina?

North Carolina concealed handgun permit applicants must complete a state-approved training course given by a state-certified trainer. The concealed carry handgun safety class is regulated to be a minimum of eight hours long and must include a written test on state laws pertaining to the use of deadly force and restrictions on the locations a handgun may be carried in a concealed fashion. In addition, the applicant must shoot a designated course of fire and obtain a passing score.

How Do I Get a Concealed Carry Permit in North Carolina?

Step 1: Complete a firearm training course if required.

Step 2: Download the application. Some counties have online applications.

Step 3: Take the application to your local sheriff’s office and complete it under oath. You will need the following documents:

  • The original certificate of completion from a firearms course
  • North Carolina driver’s license or ID card and proof of residence
  • Military personnel must bring forms 1380E (active duty) or DD-214 (discharged)
  • Naturalized citizens must bring your Naturalization Certificate or a valid U.S. Passport
  • S. citizens born outside of the U.S.A. to U.S. parent(s) must bring your documentation from the Department of State
  • Lawful permanent resident aliens must bring a valid U.S. Permanent Resident Card

The sheriff will take two sets of fingerprints.
Sign a release authorizing disclosure to the sheriff of any records relating to your mental health.
Pay the fee.

Step 4: You will be notified if your application has been approved.


For more information, 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.