North Carolina residents will no longer need a permit from the local sheriff to buy a handgun or small pistol. The North Carolina legislature on Wednesday overrode the Governor’s veto — a first since 2018.
The House voted 71-46 to enact the bill. This eliminates the permit system requiring sheriff’s offices to perform character evaluations and criminal history checks for all handgun or small pistol applicants. The Senate overrode Governor Roy Cooper’s veto in a party-line vote.
Under North Carolina General Statutes, the Sheriff of each county is directed to issue weapon permits to qualifying residents of his county, and to non-residents of the county who are collectors. The applicant must present a valid North Carolina driver’s license or a North Carolina Special Identification card showing a current address. The name and address on your application must match your ID. You may apply for a handgun permit at any of the listed locations.
Until now, any person who wanted to sell, buy or transfer a handgun or pistol in North Carolina was required to have a concealed carry permit or get a pistol purchase permit from the sheriff’s office in the home county of the person buying or receiving the gun.
The repeal of the permit system takes effect immediately.
People who buy handguns or pistols from a gun store or a federally licensed dealer must go through a national background check, and concealed weapons permits are still required.
Supporters of the bill say the sheriff screening process for handguns was not as effective anymore because of the significant updates to the national background check system. They also argue the permit system wasn’t very effective at preventing criminals from obtaining guns.
Handguns or small pistols will still not be permitted on campus during school hours or when students are present for extracurricular activities, and houses of worship can opt-out by posting signs.
The enacted bill will allow guns on some school properties where religious services are held. This is effective Dec. 1. The new law also creates and funds a two-year awareness campaign on the safe storage of firearms. The program hopes to distribute free gun locks as part of the awareness campaign.
It’s important to recognize that responsible gun ownership and safety practices remain a top priority for the legislature. While the permit system for purchasing handguns or small pistols may no longer be required, individuals who wish to carry concealed weapons will still need to obtain a concealed carry permit. This requirement shows the state’s commitment to ensuring that individuals who choose to carry firearms in public do so responsibly and lawfully.
It’s worth noting that the legislative changes may have additional parts beyond the elimination of the permit system. Residents of North Carolina should stay informed and engage in conversation about these laws to understand the potential consequences of the new firearm regulations. Remaining updated on the most recent and official sources, such as the updated North Carolina statutes and official government announcements, is crucial to ensure compliance with the law and to have a clear understanding of one’s rights and responsibilities as a gun owner.
King Law Offices is a full-service law firm with an outstanding team of professionals who work diligently, creatively, and compassionately on behalf of our clients each day. If you have a current civil or criminal conflict related to your firearm ownership, contact King Law at 888-748-KING (5464) for a consultation. We have offices located across western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina. We are here to serve you and to guide you.