State Seal of /application/themes/uscca/images/state_seals/nc.png

North Carolina Concealed Carry Reciprocity Map & Gun Laws

Updated: 05/24/2019
Carry allowed with my North Carolina permit?
Yes
Yes, Permitless Carry
Yes, Selected State
No

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 with several restrictions. 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.

641k
Permits Issued
10.4M
State Population
6.17%
Permit Percentage
50
States Honored
38
Reciprocating States.
21
Minimum Age to CC

North Carolina Gun Laws at a Glance

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Constitutional Carry?

Does North Carolina allow constitutional carry?

No.

Open Carry Permitted?

Is open carry permitted in North Carolina?

Yes, without a permit.  However, counties may regulate the display of firearms on public roads, sidewalks, alleys or other public property. [N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 160A-189N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 153A-129]

Gun Permit Licensure?

If North Carolina requires a permit to carry a concealed firearm, how are those permits issued?

Shall Issue.

Minimum Age for Concealed Carry?

What is the minimum age in North Carolina to get a concealed carry permit?

21

Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?

Can you conceal carry weapons other than handguns in North Carolina with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?

No.

Non-Resident Permitting?

Does North Carolina issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?

Only for members of the military permanently posted in North Carolina.

Public Access to Concealed Carry Registry?

Does North Carolina allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?

No, however the information is available for law enforcement.

Carry Locations

Carry in Vehicle?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in a vehicle in North Carolina?

Yes, with a permit. 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, otherwise in a locked glove box, locked console or in the trunk is lawful with or without a concealed carry permit. [N.C. Dept. of Public Safety FAQs]

Carry at Roadside Rest Areas?

Can you carry a concealed firearm at roadside rest areas in North Carolina?

Yes.

Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?

Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in North Carolina?

Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol?

Can you carry a firearm in restaurants that serve alcohol in North Carolina?

Yes, unless posted. [N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14-269.3]

Store in a Vehicle in an Employee Parking Lot?

Does North Carolina have laws relating to storing firearms in private vehicles in an employee parking lot?

North Carolina statutes address specific employees only.

(4c)      Detention personnel or correctional officers employed by the State or a unit of local government who park a vehicle in a space that is authorized for their use in the course of their duties may transport a firearm to the parking space and store that firearm in the vehicle parked in the parking space, provided that: (i) the firearm is in a closed compartment or container within the locked vehicle, or (ii) the firearm is in a locked container securely affixed to the vehicle;

§ 120-32.1. (c1) No rule adopted under this section shall prohibit the transportation or storage of a firearm in a closed compartment or container within a person's locked vehicle or in a locked container securely affixed to a person's vehicle. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a legislator or legislative employee who parks a vehicle in a State-owned parking space that is leased or assigned to that legislator or legislative employee may transport a firearm to the parking space and store that firearm in the vehicle parked in the parking space, provided that:

(i) the firearm is in a closed compartment or container within the legislator's or legislative employee's locked vehicle, or

(ii) the firearm is in a locked container securely affixed to the legislator or legislative employee's vehicle."’

[N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14-269]

Additional Related State Laws

Must Notify Officer You're Carrying?

Are you required to notify a police officer that you're carrying a concealed firearm in North Carolina?

Magazine Limits for Handguns?

Does North Carolina have magazine capacity restrictions for handguns?

No.

Ammunition Restrictions?

Does North Carolina have ammunition restrictions?

Yes. The possession and sale of teflon-coated bullets is prohibited.

"No Weapons Allowed" Signs Enforced?

Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in North Carolina? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.

Yes. Per N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14-415.11 A permit does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun on any private premises where notice that carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited by the posting of a conspicuous notice or statement by the person in legal possession or control of the premises.

§ 14-415.21.  A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

[N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14-415.11]
Preemption?

Does North Carolina have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?

Yes.  The authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state, except a unit of local government may post recreational areas such as playgrounds, athletic facilities and swimming pools. [N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14-415.23 & N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14-409.40]

Red Flag Law?

Does North Carolina have a red flag law?

No.

Open Carry/ Concealed Carry Basics

Tasers or Stun Guns?

Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in North Carolina?

Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal for anyone at least 18 years old to purchase without a permit. Concealed carry is legal only on an individual’s own premises [§ 14-269]. The state also specifically prohibits carrying a stun gun on school property, or helping a minor do so. [§ 14-269.2].


STATE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and, as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they shall not be maintained, and the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power. Nothing herein shall justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons, or prevent the General Assembly from enacting penal statutes against that practice."
Article 1, Section 30

North Carolina Concealed Carry Reciprocity With Other States

Which states' permits does North Carolina honor?

Alabama (at least 21 years old)
Delaware (at least 21 years old)
Florida (handguns only)
Indiana (at least 21 years old)
Maine (at least 21 years old)
Missouri (at least 21 years old)
Montana (at least 21 years old)
New Hampshire (at least 21 years old)
North Dakota (at least 21 years old)
South Dakota (at least 21 years old)
Utah (at least 21 years old)
West Virginia (at least 21 years old)

North Carolina recognizes all states concealed carry permits/licenses. The minimum age is 21 years old.
 

USCCA Membership Card

Never Carry ANYWHERE Without Your USCCA Membership...

Never Carry ANYWHERE Without Your USCCA Membership...

Never Carry ANYWHERE Without Your USCCA Membership...
Join Today & Become
Completely Prepared
Join Today & Become
Completely Prepared
Learn More

Other States' Reciprocity With North Carolina

Which states honor permits from North Carolina?

Note: Firearms must be carried in accordance with the laws of the state you are visiting. Be sure to check the laws of the other state before traveling there with your firearms.


States That Have Restricted Reciprocity with North Carolina

Which states honor permits from North Carolina with restrictions?

Colorado (resident permits only)
Florida (resident permits only)
Michigan (resident permits only)
Pennsylvania (resident permits only)

Permitless Carry States

Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.

Alaska (if at least 21 years old)
Arizona (if at least 21 years old)
Arkansas (if at least 21 years old)
Kansas (if at least 21 years old)
Maine (if at least 21 years old)
Mississippi (if at least 21 years old)
Missouri (if at least 19 years old)
New Hampshire (if at least 18 years old)
Vermont (if at least 18 years old)
West Virginia (if at least 21 years old)

Take USCCA Membership for a Test Drive

Get a feel for your USCCA Membership and see exactly what we’ll do for you the instant you activate your benefits. It’s 100% risk-free with your 365-day, money-back guarantee.

Discover Membership

In addition to the most trusted legal protection money can buy, discover what else your USCCA Membership has in store for you…

Discover Membership

North Carolina Concealed Carry Permit Information

Requirements:

An applicant must:

  • Be at least 21 years old;
  • Have completed an approved firearms training class;
  • 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 3 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 3 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; and
  • Meet federal law requirements.
Fees:

Initial Permit  $90, but varies by county

Renewals $75, but varies by county

Valid For:

5 years

Processing Time:

45 days

Application:

Link to application

Non-Resident Concealed Carry Permits:

North Carolina only issues non-resident permits to members of the military permanently posted in North Carolina.

Name/Address Changes:

You will need to check with your local sheriff’s office as the requirements may vary. This can be done for free in some counties.

Lost/Stolen Permits:

You will need to check with your local sheriff’s office as the requirements may vary. There is a $15 duplicate permit fee.


North Carolina Concealed Carry Permit Application Process

How to Apply for a North Carolina Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

Complete your 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;
  • NC 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;
  • U.S. citizens born outside of the U.S.A. to U.S. parent(s) must bring your documentation from the Department of State; and
  • Lawful permanent resident aliens must bring a valid U.S. Permanent Resident Card.

The sheriff will take 2 sets of fingerprints.
Sign a release authorizing disclosure to the sheriff of any records relating to your mental health.
 

Step 4:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


Firearms Training Requirements in North Carolina

NC CHP 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 8 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.

An approved course must be any course which satisfies the requirements of this subdivision and is certified or sponsored by:

Find A USCCA class near you


North Carolina Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Process

How to Renew a North Carolina Concealed Carry Permit

Step 1:

At least 45 days prior to the expiration date of a concealed carry permit, the sheriff will send a written notice to the permittee explaining that the permit is about to expire. If the
holder of the permit applies to renew the permit before it expires, the permit will remain valid beyond the expiration date of the permit until the permittee either receives a renewal permit or is denied a renewal permit by the sheriff. If the permittee does not apply to renew the permit prior to its expiration date, but does apply to renew the permit within 60 days after the permit expires, the sheriff may waive the requirement of taking another firearms safety course; however, the person may not carry a concealed handgun under this expired permit. You should begin filing an application for renewal with your county sheriff’s office at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the original permit.


A concealed handgun permit holder who is or will be deployed for military service is allowed to apply with the sheriff for an extension of the concealed handgun permit up to an additional 90 days after the permittee’s scheduled deployment is to end. 

Step 2:

Download an application.

Step 3:

Submit your completed application to your local sheriff's office along with the following:

  • A notarized affidavit stating that you remain qualified;
  • A newly administered set of fingerprints, if they are not already on file with the State Bureau of Investigation; and
  • The renewal fee.
Step 4:

You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.


Law Enforcement Officers (LEO)/Retired LEOs

Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.

The North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation to allow for the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission to establish standards and guidelines for the annual firearms certification of qualified retired law enforcement officers. The Commission adopted Administrative Rules 9H .0101 - .0105, which establishes that only instructors who hold Specialized Instructor Certification in Firearms issued by the Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission may conduct LEOSA firearms qualification training. The North Carolina Department of Justice LEOSA certification info page provides information for RLEOs on obtaining annual certification.

A retired officer residing in North Carolina may meet the state’s standards in one of two ways:

Specific information explaining the requirements for participating in this program are at the following links:


North Carolina Location Restrictions

Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in North Carolina?

  • Carry in restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes, unless posted.
  • Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? Yes, with a permit. Without a permit, a concealed handgun must not be readily accessible. Storage in a locked glove box, locked console or in the trunk is lawful. An openly displayed handgun is also allowed. 
  • Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes.
  • Carry in state/national parks, state/national forests, and WMAs? Yes.
  • Carry in places of worship? There is no State statute prohibiting concealed carry in places of worship. However, since places of worship are private property, they may post signs prohibiting firearms.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in North Carolina?

Places off-limits even with a permit/license

  • Schools, public or private, all levels including universities (gun can remain in a locked container or a locked firearm rack in vehicle, if you have a permit; however private schools can prohibit this);
  • Any public or private school building or bus, campus, grounds, recreation area, athletic fields or other property used or owned by an educational institution;
  • A curricular or extracurricular activity sponsored by a school;
  • Detention or correctional facility;
  • A state or federal building or office of the state or federal government;
  • Law enforcement office or facility;
  • Any places of assemblies such as a picket lines and demonstrations;
  • On any private premises bearing a notice that carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited;
  • State Capitol Building, the Executive Mansion, the Western Residence of the Governor or on the grounds of any of these buildings (gun can remain locked in vehicle, if you have a permit);
  • Any posted municipal or county playground, athletic field, swimming pool or athletic facility;
  • State fairgrounds;
  • Any place alcohol beverages are consumed, if posted, and if consuming or under the influence of controlled substances or alcohol; and
  • Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by federal law or state law or regulation.

FAQ: North Carolina Concealed Carry Questions

Do firearms need to be registered in North Carolina?

No.

Is a permit required to purchase a gun in North Carolina?

Yes.

Are background checks required for private gun sales in North Carolina?

Yes, for handguns.

Is there a waiting period after purchasing a firearm in North Carolina?

No, although it may take up to 14 days to receive a license to purchase a handgun.

What are the knife laws in North Carolina?

The open carry of any legal weapon is allowed, so long as you are not carrying it in order to terrify or alarm the public. It does not allow for the concealed carry of bowie knives, dirks, daggers or butcher’s knives. It is illegal to own a spring-loaded projectile knife, ballistic knife or any similar weapon.

What are the laws regarding carrying a firearm while using alcohol or prescription medication in NC?

Not while consuming or under the influence, per N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14-415.11
As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.


Related Information & Links for North Carolina Gun Laws


North Carolina Gun Laws Updates:

Date Details
05/24/2019

Added stun gun/Taser info to At A Glance table

05/02/2019

Added permit renewal and name/address change info

04/19/2019

Links checked

03/29/2019

Added info on state implementation of Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA)

02/15/2019

Added pages for Federal Gun Laws, Traveling with Firearms & Terminology

02/09/2019

Added ammunition restrictions to At A Glance table

02/06/2019

Added red flag law info to At A Glance table

02/01/2019

Added info to

01/25/2019

Added church info to location restrictions section

01/24/2019

Added FAQ about alcohol or prescription medication

01/10/2019

Mag limit added to At A Glance table

12/31/2018

Added preemption info to At A Glance table

11/30/2018

Added parking lot info to At A Glance table

10/22/2018

Added initial CCW law and reciprocity information for North Carolina


Did We Miss Something?

Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated, trained and legally protected at all times. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.

If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email support@uscca.com and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!

Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, "Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2018.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.

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.

Should you have any questions regarding the legal process, membership or any of the great features and benefits a USCCA Membership provides, feel free to contact our award-winning Wisconsin-based Member Services team at any time.