North Carolina Gun Laws 2024: Every Person Needs to Know About
The history and culture of North Carolina are very varied, but the state’s gun rules can be hard to read and understand. Within the United States Constitution, the Second Amendment protects the right to bear guns. However, each state is free to make its own rules about the sale, purchase, ownership, and use of firearms.
Gun laws in North Carolina can be different based on the type of gun and where it is used. It is important for both residents and visitors to NC to know these laws so that they are safe and follow the law. We at Kirk, Kirk, Howell, Cutler & Thomas, LLP want you to know what your rights are. That’s why our gun rights lawyers in Raleigh are giving you an overview of the rules in your state about buying, carrying, and owning guns.
Own a Gun in North Carolina
Anyone in North Carolina over the age of 18 can buy and own a rifle or shotgun. If you are over 21, you can buy and own a pistol. NC also has laws that say people who are not legal residents of the state cannot buy or carry a gun. To be restricted from having or carrying a firearm in North Carolina, you must meet the following conditions:
- Are not citizens of the United States;
- Have a record of a felony, a misdemeanor assault by pointing a gun, or domestic abuse;
- Have an order against you for domestic violence;
- Are going to court soon for a crime that would make it illegal for you to own or carry a gun;
- Have been discharged from the service without honor;
- A court of law says they pose a mental health risk.
Purchasing a Gun in North Carolina
According to North Carolina law, buying a gun can be hard because people who want to own guns have to follow a lot of different rules and laws. In North Carolina, people must meet certain requirements in order to legally buy a gun. These include being a certain age, living in the state, and passing a background check. Under North Carolina law, there are also strict rules about what kinds of guns can be sold and who can buy them.
Illegal Firearms in North Carolina
When it comes to gun and ammunition rules, North Carolina only has a few that make these things illegal. Some guns and ammo, on the other hand, are illegal unless ATF rules say otherwise.
Some specific examples of things that aren’t allowed are:
- Fully automatic weapons, like an AK-47 (those that are only partially automatic are allowed);
- Machine guns and gun parts that can be used to make machine guns;
- Shotguns with short barrels, also called “sawed-off” guns;
- Suppressors, such as silencers.
Needs to Purchase a Firearm in NC
There are a few things you need to do in North Carolina before you can buy a gun:
- Age: You have to be at least 21 years old to buy a pistol. To buy a long gun like a rifle or shotgun, you must be at least 18 years old.
- Residency: Residents of North Carolina are the only ones who can buy a gun in the state.
- Background check: People must go through a background check before they can buy a gun. The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) does these checks. The background check is meant to keep people from getting guns who have a past of crime, mental illness, or other things that make them ineligible. Another goal is to reduce gun violence that isn’t necessary.
- Identification: A valid form of identification, like a driver’s license or passport, must be shown to a registered gun dealer by the buyer.
- Waiting period: In North Carolina, there is no waiting time before you can buy a gun.