North Carolina is a “shall issue” state, meaning that the local sheriff must issue a concealed handgun permit if the applicant meets certain qualifications. Pursuant to state law, a sheriff must issue a permit to an applicant who:
- Is a citizen of the United States or has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(20) and has been a resident of the state 30 days or longer immediately preceding the filing of the application;
- Is 21 years of age or older;
- Does not suffer from a physical or mental infirmity that prevents the safe handling of a handgun; and
- Has successfully completed an approved firearms safety and training course which involves the actual firing of handguns and instruction in the state laws governing the carrying of a concealed handgun and the use of deadly force.1
State law requires a sheriff to deny a permit to an applicant who:
- Is ineligible to own, possess, or receive a firearm under state or federal law;
- Is under indictment for a felony or against whom a finding of probable cause exists for a felony;
- Has been adjudicated guilty of a felony in any court, unless: (i) the felony is an offense that pertains to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraints of trade, or (ii) the person’s firearm rights have been restored pursuant to state law;
- Is a fugitive from justice;
- Is an unlawful user of or addicted to marijuana, alcohol, or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug or other controlled substance;
- Is currently, or has been previously adjudicated to be, lacking mental capacity or mentally ill, unless his or her eligibility has been restored;2
- Is or has been discharged from the Armed Forces under conditions other than honorable;
- Is or has been adjudicated guilty of or received a prayer for judgment continued or suspended sentence for one or more specified crimes of violence constituting a misdemeanor within three years of the date of application (See N.C. Gen. Stat.§ 14‑415.12(b)(8).);
- Is or has been adjudicated guilty of or received a prayer for judgment continued or suspended sentence for one or more crimes of violence constituting a misdemeanor for certain types of assault and battery, stalking, child abuse, and domestic criminal trespass crimes, and a violation of a protective order;
- Is prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) as a result of a conviction of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence;
- Has been adjudicated guilty of or received a prayer for judgment continued or suspended sentence for one or more crimes involving an assault or a threat to assault a law enforcement officer, probation or parole officer, person employed at a State or local detention facility, firefighter, emergency medical technician, medical responder, or emergency department personnel;
- Has had entry of a prayer for judgment continued for a criminal offense which would disqualify the person from obtaining a concealed handgun permit;
- Is free on bond or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a crime which would disqualify him or her from obtaining a concealed handgun permit; or
- Has been convicted of an impaired driving offense within three years prior to the date on which the application is submitted.3
A 2015 law prevents a sheriff from seeking certain kinds of additional information to make this determination.4
Except when on one’s own premises, a person who willfully and intentionally carries a concealed firearm without a permit commits a misdemeanor. A second offense constitutes a felony.5
Firearm Safety Training
All persons applying for a license to carry a concealed deadly weapon in North Carolina must complete a training course involving the actual firing of handguns and instruction in the laws of the State governing the carrying of concealed handgun and the use of deadly force.6 The North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission must prepare and publish general guidelines for courses and qualifications of instructors which would satisfy the requirements of this subdivision.7 An approved course must be any course which satisfies the requirements of this subdivision and is certified or sponsored by:
- The North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission,
- The National Rifle Association, or
- A law enforcement agency, college, private or public institution or organization, or firearms training school, taught by instructors certified by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission or the National Rifle Association.8
Every instructor of an approved course must file a copy of the firearms course description, outline, and proof of certification annually, or upon modification of the course if more frequently, with the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission.9
A photocopy of a certificate of completion of any of the courses or classes or an affidavit from the instructor, school, club, organization or group that conducted or taught said course or class attesting to the successful completion of the course or class by the applicant or a copy of any document which shows successful completion of the course or class constitutes evidence of qualification under this section.10
Duration & Renewal
Disclosure or Use of Information
The sheriff must maintain a list of the name and identifying information of each person issued a concealed handgun permit. This information is confidential and is not a public record, but the sheriff must make it available to state and local law enforcement upon request.13
A concealed handgun permit issued by any other state is valid in North Carolina.14
See our Concealed Carry policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- N.C. Gen. Stat. §14-415.12.
- See N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 122C-54.1, 14-415.12(c).
- N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-415.12(b). Additional application and background check requirements, as well as permit suspension or disqualification information, are detailed under state law. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-415.13 through 14-415.18.
- N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14‑415.13.
- N.C. Gen. Stat. §14-269.
- N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-415.12(a)(4).
- N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-415.11(b).
- N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-415.16(c).
- N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-415.17(c).
- N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-415.24.