The Second Amendment defending your right to own and carry a firearm is one of the most controversial and hotly debated portions of the U.S. Constitution. Politicians and special interest groups zealously express their opinions, and the media brings national attention to local acts of violence to illustrate its own slant. Nevertheless, each state sets its own rules for how much control over guns the government will have.
Some states have extreme regulations for gun ownership, and others impose very little control. North Carolina’s laws fall somewhere in the middle. However, violations of those laws and regulations can lead to severe penalties, including the prohibition from owning or carrying a firearm in the future. If you have or intend to purchase a gun, you would be smart to take the matter seriously and obtain reliable information about how to protect your rights and your freedom.
Are you eligible to obtain a firearm?
North Carolina has numerous statutes related to the ownership, permitting and possession of firearms and other weapons. For example, to purchase a handgun, you must first have a license. In most cases, you may not carry a concealed weapon without a special permit, but you do not need a permit to openly carry your handgun. It is a felony for most people to have a gun on school property, and the state has banned certain weapons, such as sawed-off shotguns and silencers.
Before you purchase a gun, you must meet these requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Live for at least 30 days in the county where you intend to purchase the weapon
- Possess a valid driver’s license or ID card issued by the state of North Carolina
- Apply for a permit through the local sheriff’s office
- Pass a background check
Additional requirements apply if you want to be able to carry a concealed weapon. For example, you must take an approved course in firearms safety and pass a written test about gun laws in this state. Certain restrictions may also prevent you from owning a firearm, such as a previous felony conviction, a domestic violence order or a mental disorder.
Violating gun laws
Possessing a weapon for which you are not eligible or carrying a firearm where it is not permissible may result in serious criminal charges. Firearms offenses can result in jail or prison and a criminal record that can mean the loss of your rights for the foreseeable future. This includes losing your right to own or possess a weapon. This is why it is critical that you know and understand the laws that apply to your situation.