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North Carolina generally authorizes people to openly carry firearms in public with no permit or license required, although carrying firearms either openly or concealed is restricted in certain sensitive locations.1 (For more information about those location restrictions, see our pages on Location Restrictions in North Carolina and Guns in Schools in North Carolina).

North Carolina courts have also long recognized that is an offense under the common law to “go armed to the terror of the people,” if a person carries a firearm in public for the purpose of terrifying others and “in a manner to cause terror to the people.”2


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  1. See N.C. Gen. Stat. §14-269 (making it a criminal offense to carry concealed firearms in public without a permit or license).[]
  2. See State v. Dawson, 272 N.C. 535, 541-42 (1968); State v. Huntly, 25 N.C. 418, 418 (1843); State v. Staten, 32 N.C. App. 495, 496-97 (1977) (citing Dawson).[]