Under the Constitution of the State of North Carolina, a citizen’s right to bear arms is protected. However, this does not give you the right to carry a gun or other weapon in all situations and at all places—even if it is concealed. When carrying a concealed weapon, you must have a permit and follow other laws governing where it may be carried. If you violate the law, you could face serious misdemeanor or felony charges that could result in a prison sentence and a permanent criminal record if you are convicted.
North Carolina’s Concealed Weapon Permit Requirement
In our state, it is a crime to carry a concealed weapon, such as a gun or pistol, without a concealed gun permit unless you are at your home. It is considered concealment if the weapon in your vehicle, such as in a glove compartment, on your body, or near your body if it is hidden from the view of others.
Who Is Ineligible for a Concealed Carry Permit in North Carolina
Some people will not qualify to receive a concealed weapon permit in North Carolina. They include:
- Individuals under 21 years old
- Individuals who have been convicted of DWI within three years of the date of the application
- Fugitives of the law
- Individuals who are unlawful users or addicted to drugs or alcohol
- Individuals who have been adjudicated as having a physical or mental disability that prevents them from handling a weapon
- Individuals charged with or convicted of a felony, violent crimes, and other disqualifying criminal offenses
- Individuals who are discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces with less than an honorable discharge
Penalties for Violating North Carolina’s Concealed Weapons Laws
You could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Keep in mind that there are other separate offenses that you may be charged with for violations of other laws, such as carrying a firearm onto school grounds or in a courtroom.
North Carolina follows a complicated sentencing structure, with the length of punishment and severity being based on certain factors that include a person’s prior criminal record. You could face these punishments if convicted of violating the concealed firearms permit statute:
- First offense. A first-time conviction would be a Class 2 misdemeanor. The sentence range is between 1 and 60 days, which can include a jail sentence and fine. If you have no prior conviction, the sentence may be up to 30 days and would most likely be a form of community punishment.
- Second or subsequent offense. If you are convicted for a second or subsequent violation of this law, you would face Class H felony charges. The possible sentence range is between 4 and 25 months and can include a prison sentence.
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