Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Firearm Prohibitions in North Carolina.’ Who Can Have a Gun. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 26 February
Prohibited Purchasers Generally in North Carolina
Federal law prohibits certain persons from purchasing or possessing firearms, such as felons, certain domestic abusers, and certain people with a history of mental illness.
North Carolina law provides that, subject to certain limited exceptions, no person may possess a firearm if he or she has been acquitted by reason of insanity for, or determined to lack capacity in a proceeding for:
- Any felony in North Carolina;
- Any violation, punishable by more than one year imprisonment, committed in another state or federal court; or
- Assault by pointing a gun as defined by state law.
No person may own, possess, purchase, receive, or attempt to possess, purchase or receive, a firearm, machine gun, ammunition, or permits to purchase a handgun or carry a concealed handgun if prohibited from doing so by a court as part of a domestic violence protective order in effect against that person.
No person who has been convicted of a felony in North Carolina, or a violation punishable by more than one year imprisonment committed in another state or federal court, may purchase, own, possess, or have in his or her custody, care, or control any firearm.
North Carolina law provides that in any case where a juvenile is placed on probation, the court may prohibit the juvenile from possessing a firearm. North Carolina law provides that a court imposing regular conditions of probation must prohibit the defendant from possessing a firearm without the written permission of the court. North Carolina law makes it a "controlling condition" for the release of a person from prison before the termination of his or her maximum prison term that the person not possess a firearm unless granted written permission by the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission ("Commission") or a post-release supervision officer. Similarly, a North Carolina statute states that the Commission may require that a parolee refrain from possessing a firearm unless granted written permission by the Commission or the parole officer.
No person may purchase a handgun without a permit to purchase a handgun or a concealed handgun permit. Pursuant to state law, no person may obtain a permit to purchase a handgun if he or she:
- Is under an indictment or information for, or has been convicted of, a felony (except for felonies for antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraints of trade), unless the person has been pardoned or had their rights restored under state law;
- Is a fugitive from justice;
- Is an unlawful user of or addicted to marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug;
- Has been adjudicated mentally incompetent or been committed to a mental institution, unless his or her rights have been restored under state law;
- Is unlawfully in the United States;
- Has been discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States under dishonorable conditions;
- Has renounced his or her United States citizenship; or
- Is subject to a court order that:
(1) Was issued after a hearing of which the person received actual notice, and at which the person had an opportunity to participate;
(2) Restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of the person or child of the intimate partner of the person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and
(3) Includes a finding that the person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of the intimate partner or child; or by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury…
[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]