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Note: The processes listed below apply to the majority of people. If you are active-duty military, honorably discharged military, law enforcement, or retired law enforcement, the processes below may be slightly different (easier) when applying for a concealed carry permit.
Types of Concealed Carry Permits
- Must be a minimum of 21 years old to apply
- Must reside in North Carolina for a minimum of 30 days
- Valid for 5 years
- Costs $80-$90, depending on your county of residence
Note: Any resident or non-resident that is 18 years old and can legally possess a firearm may open carry. No permit is required in this case.
Is it Required to Carry Concealed?
No – you may open carry or carry concealed with a concealed carry permit.
May Issue or Shall Issue?
North Carolina is a shall issue state, meaning the law states that they shall issue a permit if you meet all requirements.
Process to Apply
To get a concealed carry permit in North Carolina, you are required to apply at the sheriff’s office in your county of residence.
- Complete a NC approved firearms safety training course.
- Note: The state doesn’t publish the training course requirements. Contact your local county sheriff’s office to see where you can take an approved safety course.
- Go to the sheriff’s office in your county of residence. Bring the following items:
- A copy of the certificate that proves you completed an NC approved safety training course.
- Your NC state issued I.D. or driver’s license.
- Application fee: $80.
- Fingerprint fee: This fee varies, but will not exceed $10.
- Per N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-415.13, an authorizing disclosure of any record concerning your mental health or capacity, if applicable.
- The sheriff’s office will then take a complete set of fingerprints to be used for your criminal background check.
After these steps are completed, the Sheriff’s office is legally required to inform you in 45 days or less whether the permit has been approved or denied. A denial, whether it be for a new issue or a renewal, may be appealed.
Reasons an Applicant Won’t Be Approved
Your application is almost guaranteed to be denied if you meet any of the following conditions:
- You are illegally in the United States.
- You’ve been convicted of a felony.
- You’ve been convicted of a violent crime, including domestic violence.
- You’ve been convicted of a crime punishable by a prison term greater than 1 year.
- You’ve been convicted of an impaired driving offense in the last 3 years.
- You are subject to a restraining order or other similar court order.
- You are a drug addict, habitual drunkard, an unlawful user of any controlled substance, or are determined to be of unsound mind.
- You have a mental illness.
- You’ve received voluntary or involuntary treatment in a psychiatric hospital, mental institution, or similar treatment facility for any reason.
- You are a fugitive from justice.
- You’ve been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces.
- You are subject to a firearms seizure order.
- You’ve committed any of the following in the last 3 years:
- Simple assault (N.C.G.S. § 14-33(a)).
- Violation of court orders (N.C.G.S. § 14-226.1).
- Furnishing poison, controlled substances, deadly weapons, cartridges, ammunition or alcoholic beverages to inmates of charitable, mental or penal institutions, or local confinement facilities (N.C.G.S. § 14-258.1).
- Carrying weapons on campus or other educational property (N.C.G.S. § 14-269.2).
- Carrying weapons into assemblies and establishments where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed (N.C.G.S. § 14-269.3).
- Carrying weapons on State property and courthouses (N.C.G.S. § 14-269.4).
- Possession and/or sale of spring-loaded projectile knives (N.C.G.S. § 14-269.6).
- Impersonation of a law enforcement or other public officer (N.C.G.S. § 14-277).
- Communicating threats (N.C.G.S. § 14-277.1).
- Carrying weapons at parades and other public gatherings (N.C.G.S. § 14-277.2).
- Exploding dynamite cartridges and/or bombs ( N.C.G.S. § 14-283) (however violations for fireworks violations under N.C.G.S. § 14-414 are NOT a bar).
- Rioting and inciting to riot (N.C.G.S. § 14-288.2).
- Fighting or conduct creating the threat of imminent fighting or other violence (N.C.G.S. § 14-288.4(a)(1)).
- Looting and trespassing during an emergency (N.C.G.S. § 14-288.6).
- Assault on emergency personnel (N.C.G.S. § 14-288.9).
- Violations of city State of Emergency Ordinances (Former N.C.G.S. § 14-288.12).
- Violations of county State of Emergency Ordinances (Former N.C.G.S. § 14-288.13).
- Violations of State of Emergency Ordinances (Former N.C.G.S. § 14-288.14).
- Violations of the standards for carrying a concealed weapon (N. C. G. S . § 14-415.21(b)).
- Misrepresentation on certification of qualified retired law enforcement officers (N.C.G.S. § 14-415.26(d)).
Location Restrictions for Carrying
It is unlawful to carry a handgun, even if you have a concealed carry permit, in the following locations:
- Federal buildings.
- A state building or office of the state government.
- The State Capitol Building, the Executive Mansion, the Western Residence of the Governor, or on the grounds of any of these buildings.
- Federal prisons.
- Indian reservations.
- Post offices.
- Military bases.
- School grounds or other educational facilities, including colleges and universities.
- Passed the security checkpoint at airports.
- Law enforcement facilities.
- Jails, prisons, or other correctional facilities.
- Anywhere you decide to consume alcohol. You cannot carry a firearm if you consume any alcohol.
- At any parade or demonstration being held upon any private health care facility, or in any public place owned or under the control of the State or any of its political subdivisions.
- At any Tennessee Valley Authority developed recreational lands.
- On any of the game lands listed here.
Transporting a Handgun Through & Throughout NC
With a Concealed Carry Permit
If you have an NC or NC recognized concealed carry permit, you may transport a loaded handgun on your person in a vehicle.
Without a Concealed Carry Permit
If you legally possess a handgun, but do not have an NC or NC recognized concealed carry permit, you may open carry a loaded handgun on your person in a vehicle.
Additional Notes About NC Handgun Law
Does NC Law Incorporate Stand Your Ground?
The Stand Your Ground law permits you to use force, and not retreat, when faced with a threat. Stand Your Ground protects your use of force, even deadly force, when used to protect yourself or others if you reasonably believe there is an imminent threat of serious harm or death. To be protected under Stand Your Ground, you must be in a place where you have the lawful right to be.
Does NC Law Incorporate the Castle Doctrine?
The Castle Doctrine is similar to Stand Your Ground. The Castle Doctrine permits you to use force (even deadly force), and not retreat, when you’re in your own home. This again assumes you reasonably believe there is an imminent threat of serious harm or death on yourself or others in your home.
This ‘castle’ is sometimes broadened to cover you when you’re in your yard, car, etc. Each state’s Castle Doctrine law is written differently – consult your state’s law to confirm if your state extends the meaning of a ‘castle’ to cover more than just your home.
Reciprocity – What State Permits Does NC Recognize?
ALL. NC honors every other states’ concealed carry permits.
Reciprocity – Where is the NC Permit Recognized?
The NC concealed carry permit is recognized in the following states: