Concealed carry or carrying a concealed weapon, also known as concealed carry describes having a weapon on or close to one’s person in public in a manner that is not visible to the public. Weapons are concealed for different reasons and not all concealed weapons are lethal as some are for basic security and self-defense which in many cases require the use of a permit, depending on the nature and size of the weapon and the state in which the weapon is to be used. There are laws to qualify and individual to carry concealed weapons in public, with or without a permit. Most North Carolinians, will need a concealed carry permit in order to have a weapon such as a gun hidden while in public.
North Carolina has gun laws that regulate the sale, possession and use of firearms. North Carolina is a permissive state for firearm owners. There is no state-imposed restrictions on “assault weapons”, magazine capacity, and caliber size. North Carolina has very few restrictions on the public carrying of firearms. Carrying a concealed weapon in any place other than your premises requires that you have a concealed weapon permit issued in North Carolina or in any of the states with which it shares reciprocity.
Concealed Carry Permits
In almost all states, you can carry a concealed weapon if you have a concealed carry permit. If you have a concealed carry permit, you can carry a concealed weapon in North Carolina. Though the requirements for a concealed carry permit vary from state to state, the basic requirements include the following:
- Application: Applicants must complete a concealed carry application and submit it to a state government agency with an application fee.
- Residency: Applicants must be a citizen of the United States citizen and a resident of the state in which they apply for the concealed carry permit
- Age: The minimum age for applicants is varies from 18 to 21 years of age, depending on the person’s state of residence
- Ability: Applicants must have a sound mind, with no record of being judged mentally unstable or incompetent by a judge
- Criminal background: Applicants must not have a criminal background of any sort
- Safety training: Applicants must pass a complete a firearms training and/or firearms safety program conducted by a certified instructor.
Concealed Carry Permits in NC
North Carolina, in accordance with Section 30 of the state constitution, protects the right to bear arms. However, this does not imply that anyone may carry a gun anywhere in any manner. Weapons may be openly carried without a permit, but not concealed weapons. North Carolina requires a concealed carry permit for a weapon that will be in your vehicle, on your body or near your body if it will be hidden from view. An example of a concealed weapon that is near your body would be a gun that is inside your purse. It is illegal to carry a concealed weapon in North Carolina without a concealed carry permit; the only possible exception to this rule is carrying a concealed weapon on your own premises. Carrying a concealed weapon in North Carolina is a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail.
The following category of persons may receive a concealed gun permit in North Carolina:
- Persons older than 21 years old.
- People who are residents of North Carolina or who have resided in the state for at least 30 days prior to the application date of the application.
- Persons eligible to own a firearm under federal law.
- Persons free of any form of indictment, conviction or criminal history.
The following category of persons may not receive a concealed gun permit in North Carolina:
- People convicted of driving while intoxicated within three years prior to the date of the application.
- Fugitives of the law.
- Unlawful/addicted users of drugs or alcohol.
- People with physical or mental disability that prevents the safe handling of a weapon.
- Persons discharged from the US Armed Forces under less than honorable conditions may not receive a concealed gun permit in North Carolina.
Once the application is complete, a background check will verify all documents and your criminal history. Permits, once issued, are valid for 5 years from the date of issuance. If granted a concealed carry permit, you must carry it at all times alongside a valid means of identification when you have the weapon with you. You must be able to identify yourself as a concealed weapon carrier upon contact with a law enforcement officer present concealed carry permit to a law enforcement officer on demand.
Special Rules for Carrying Concealed Weapons in NC
Carrying a concealed firearm without having the license on your person is an infraction, punishable only by a fine. Other violations of North Carolina’s concealed carry laws—including carrying concealed weapons other than firearms and carrying a concealed weapon while intoxicated—are Class 2 misdemeanors, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine. It is illegal to carry weapons at bars, nightclubs, courthouses, parades, college campuses, schools, or funerals.
If carrying a concealed weapon in North Carolina is important to you, you should consider getting a concealed carry permit. Additionally if you take a concealed carry class be sure that the instructor is a trained professional. Even if you do get a concealed carry permit always be mindful of where you can carry a weapon. If you’ve been charged with carrying a concealed weapon in North Carolina you need to consult with a North Carolina criminal defense attorney. Don’t hesitate to call our office for a free consultation.