While some states allow their residents to carry unlicensed handguns, unlawful firearm concealment is a serious criminal offense that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Keep reading to ensure you’re operating within the scope of concealed weapon laws and what to do should you be found guilty of unlawful concealment of a firearm in NC.
What Is Unlawful Concealment of a Firearm in North Carolina?
Concealment of a firearm is defined as knowingly carrying a gun on or about your person in a manner that’s not outrightly visible to others. A gun is not considered “concealed” if in possession of a licensed individual, in a belt holster where it’s substantially visible, carried to lawfully engage in hunting, or placed inside a car compartment.
Gun control and enforcement is a subject of contention in the US. The federal government leaves specific firearm laws up to individual states. As such, each state has its own rules regarding gun rights, enforcement, and related penalties for firearm concealment. Although North Carolina is a gun-friendly state, there are restrictions on who can carry a gun and where. For example, you may face legal repercussions if you’re caught possessing a firearm while you have been convicted of a felony or other crimes.
Note that if you are above 18 years with no felony convictions, you can legally own and openly carry a firearm in NC without a permit. However, as a “Shall Issue state,” you need to obtain a license/permit from the local sheriff to conceal carry a handgun in North Carolina. If you are concealing a firearm, you must carry its permit at all times, especially within permitted areas, including inside your car, within state and national parks, roadside rest areas, etc. Also, state gun laws require you to inform law enforcement officers you have a gun in your possession if pulled over.
Consequences of Unlawful Concealment of a Firearm in North Carolina
It’s unlawful to conceal a weapon without a permit, have a gun in prohibited areas in North Carolina, or transport an unlicensed firearm in a vehicle you own or occupy. Depending on the severity of the offense, including past convictions, consequences of unlawful concealment of a firearm in North Carolina can range from a misdemeanor to a felony charge.
- If it’s the first violation, you may be charged with a class one misdemeanor, potentially resulting in fines, jail time, or both
- A previous conviction or second violation of a class one illegal gun concealment misdemeanor can lead to a class six felony that carries up to 5-years imprisonment, a hefty fine, or both.
- Third or subsequent violations of unlawful firearm concealment are considered a class five felony with up to 10 years imprisonment
Unless you are exempt under NC State’s concealed carry law or are a Constitutional Carry resident, the misdemeanor or felony charges you face can tarnish your clean record. It’s essential to understand your legal rights when faced with charges of unlawful concealment of a revolver, pistol, or other firearms in North Carolina.
What to Do if Convicted of Unlawful Concealment of a Firearm in North Carolina
Being mindful of gun laws in NC is vital; failure to may, unfortunately, land you in the back of a patrol car. The offense of unlawful firearm concealment is defined under the North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS) on carrying concealed weapons.
The law states that an individual carrying a concealed firearm on/or about their person is committing a misdemeanor of the 3rd degree. To prove the offense at trial, you need the concealment of a firearm attorney to dispute the intent to “conceal” a gun beyond a reasonable doubt.
Whether you’re in the wrong or are a victim of a concealed weapon misunderstanding, you need legal advice and support to help you avoid jail time or consequent fines. Additionally, having an offense on your record can be life-challenging. At the very least, it can make it difficult to land a job. More seriously, your civil rights to vote, own a gun, or even serve on a jury panel might be restricted.
Contact a North Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Because “knowledge” of concealed carry is required for a conviction, our skilled criminal defense lawyers at King Law can employ the relevant defenses based on the specifics of your case. If you believe you’ve acted within the law but are still facing gun charges, our legal team at King Law is well-versed in defending violations against North Carolina’s Concealed Carry Law.
Give us a call at (888) 748-5464 or (888) 748-KING. You can also fill out our contact form. Let us help you contest the charges and potentially avoid the harsh consequences of a conviction.