It seems like every day when you turn on the news, or pick up a newspaper, there is some type of violence going on and someone or multiple people who have been killed by a gun. Although scary, the thought of randomly being gunned down while in a public location may cross the minds of many citizens because it is happening very frequently. Guns are a self-protection tool, especially if you are confronted with this type of weapon. However, it is important to know pertinent laws surrounding guns and to know proper gun safety before deciding to purchase, or have a gun in your possession.
Currently, North Carolina requires an individual to have a concealed-carry permit to be able to legally take a gun anywhere that firearms can be carried openly. However, that may or may not last long. Earlier this year, The House voted to change the current concealed-carry gun laws. Currently, an adult must be 21 years old, must not be prohibited from owning firearms and must complete a firearm safety course.
The issue of handguns is a hot topic and very controversial. On the one hand, it may seem unfair to have to be 21 years old before being able to receive a concealed-carry permit, yet you can be 18 and serve the country in war. On the other hand, just because 18 is the age of majority, most people are still not mature by that age, and decreasing the age requirement may promote more immature young adults to carry guns around, just because they are legally able to do so. It is important to note that even though there is currently an age requirement to buy a gun and to obtain a concealed-carry permit, there are guns that are being sold illegally and on the streets that those under 18 can purchase.
Since the law has not yet been changed, it is important to know the criteria to quality for a concealed permit. To receive a permit from the Sheriff an applicant must:
- Be a citizen of the United States, or be a permanent resident and be a resident of the state for 30 days or longer immediately before filing the application;
- Be at least 21 years of age;
- Not have a mental or physical illness that will prevent be able to safely handle a handgun;
- Successfully complete a firearms and safety course that includes firing a handgun and instructions on state law surrounding carrying a concealed gun and the use of deadly of deadly force; and
- Not be disqualified under subsection (b) of this section,
NCGS § 14-415.12.
An applicant is ineligible for a permit if he/she:
- Is ineligible to own, receive or possess a firearm under provisions of State of Federal law;
- Is under indictment or is a felon
- Has been found guilty in any court as a felon, unless the felony pertains to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices or restraints of trade, or the person’s rights to have a firearm have been restored;
- Is a fugitive;
- Unlawfully uses, or is addicted to marijuana, alcohol, or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic or controlled substance;
- Had been deemed to be lacking mental capacity or is mentally ill;
- Has been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces;
- 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, including but not limited to, a violation of a misdemeanor under Article 8 of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes;
- 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 under G.S. 14-33(c)(1), 14-33(c)(2), 14-33(c)(3), 14-33(d), 14-277.3A, 14-318.2, 14-134.3, 50B-4.1, or former G.S. 14-277.3;
- Has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence;
- Has been found 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 and is awaiting trial, appeal or sentencing for a crime that would disqualify the person from receiving a concealed permit; and
- Is free on bond or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a crime which would disqualify him from obtaining a concealed handgun permit.
In addition to the above-mentioned requirements to obtain a concealed permit, an applicant must submit an application that has been completed under oath, a nonrefundable permit fee, a full set of fingerprints, an original certificate of completion as to the approved firearm safety course and a release form that authorizes the disclosure of any mental health and capacity records. NCGS § 14-413.
If you have questions about your legal gun rights or have been criminally charged, please call our office at 704-714-1450 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys.