Your right to bear arms in the United States is protected by the United State Constitution’s second amendment. That said, each state can enact its own laws regarding when you might brandish a weapon and/or otherwise interact with a firearm. In North Carolina specifically, you need to indicate that you’re eligible to own a firearm before ever coming into contact with one.
North Carolina’s specific eligibility requirements include:
- US citizenship or permanent residency
- An age of 21 years old or older
- Able-bodied in such a way as to safely use a handgun
- The completion of an applicable firearms safety and training course
- A criminal record with no felony convictions or indictments
If you fail to meet any of the following standards, you may face weapons charges in North Carolina. The state also has the right to take action against you if it suspects you of:
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm
You must be a certain age to purchase and own a firearm. Before you purchase a firearm in North Carolina, the state expects you to secure a license to do so, which you’ll be required to keep with you if you want to avoid criminal charges.
You are also expected to pursue a conceal-and-carry license if you want to take a firearm out in public. If you’re caught concealing a firearm without a license to do so or attempting to purchase a firearm without the state’s permission, you may face criminal charges.
What’s more, if you’ve been convicted of domestic violence or otherwise prohibited by a court from purchasing weapons, attempting to come into contact with a firearm can see you violate your parole or open yourself up to a criminal suit.
Larceny of a Firearm
“Larceny of a firearm” describes circumstances in which you illegally obtained a firearm without its true owner’s knowledge. North Carolina processes larceny of a firearm charges under its broader larceny statutes. This means that accusations of larceny of a firearm open you up to felony charges and their related fines.
You may see larceny of a firearm charges compounded against you if you’re accused of stealing additional assets at the same time as the firearm or using the firearm without a proper license. You can discuss how these charges tend to stack on one another during a case consultation with a weapons charges defense attorney.
Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm
Recklessly firing a firearm that you own and have a license for can still constitute a felony in the eyes of North Carolina law enforcement. If you’re accused of purposefully, accidentally, and/or recklessly firing or trying to fire a weapon, North Carolina law enforcement can charge you with a Class E felony.
If you fire a weapon to intimidate someone, you may face assault charges as well as unlawful discharge of a firearm. In combination, these charges can put you at risk for Class F felony consequences.