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North Carolina’s weak gun laws put its residents at risk. Lawmakers must do better to reduce gun violence in their state and save lives. 

While the state requires universal background checks for handgun purchases, it fails to do the same for long guns, including assault rifles. In 2020, North Carolina had the 21st-highest gun death rate in the country and exported crime guns at the 28th-highest rate. To improve community safety, North Carolina lawmakers should strengthen background check requirements, invest in community violence intervention programs, enact an extreme risk protection order law, and strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence and violent hate crimes.

What North Carolina Does Well

  • Partial gun owner licensing
  • Certain domestic violence gun laws
  • Child access prevention laws
  • Some concealed carry permitting and safety training standards
  • State database background checks for handguns

What North Carolina Is Missing

  • Universal background checks for long guns
  • Extreme risk protection orders
  • Minimum age restrictions
  • Some domestic violence protections
  • Firearm relinquishment laws
  • Large capacity magazine ban
  • Assault weapon restrictions
  • Open carry regulations
  • Community violence intervention funding



The data is clear: states with stronger gun laws have less gun violence. See how your state compares in our annual ranking.

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We’re in this together. To build a safer America—one where children and parents in every neighborhood can learn, play, work, and worship without fear of gun violence—we need you standing beside us in this fight.