How to Get a Gun License
How to Get a Gun License in North Carolina
North Carolina gun laws require that a person have a permit to buy, sell, give away, transfer, or receive a pistol or handgun. You can apply for the permit online or in person at your local county sheriff’s office. To carry a concealed handgun, you must apply for a separate concealed handgun permit. Whether you apply online or in person for this permit, you must turn the application in at your local county sheriff’s office. Then arrangements will be made to obtain a set of fingerprints. Before applying for either permit, make sure you meet the qualifications.
Applying for a Permit to Purchase
Meet the age and residential qualifications.You must be 18 years old and a resident of the county in which you are applying for at least 30 days. You must also have a North Carolina (NC) Driver’s License or ID card displaying your current residential address.
- If you are a resident alien, then you must bring your Social Security card, Resident Alien card, and a NC driver’s license or ID card.
- If you are a naturalized citizen, then you must bring a valid U.S. passport or your naturalization certificate.
- Active military personnel must bring their 1380E forms. Discharged military personnel must bring their DD-214 forms.
- U.S. citizens born to U.S. parents outside of the U.S. must bring a Certificate of Citizenship, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or Certification of Report of Birth.
Meet the additional requirements.You must not be convicted of a felony, under indictment of any felonious offenses, or a fugitive of justice. You must not be a user of or addicted to depressants, narcotics, marijuana, or stimulants. You do not qualify if you have been deemed incompetent due to mental illness, or if you have been committed to a mental institution. Additional reasons for disqualification include:
- A conviction due to a domestic violence offense.
- A pending or unresolved criminal charge.
- A suspended driver’s license.
- A substantial history of arrests, convictions, or reports indicating a persistent pattern of criminal activity.
- Discharge from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.
- An illegal alien status, or residing in the U.S. unlawfully.
- A U.S. citizen who has renounced their citizenship.
Fill out the application online.Visit the website of your local county sheriff’s office. Fill out all of the required information on the application. Sign the application with your initials. Once you have completed the application, you will be charged for every permit, as well as a one-time convenience fee.
- Once you have submitted your application, you will need to print the release of court orders form to be notarized.
Fill out the application in person at your local county sheriff’s office.Bring a valid NC Driver’s License or ID Card with you. Fill out all of the required information on the application. Present your valid ID with your completed application to the clerk. You will be charged for every requested permit.
- Upon submission of your application, you will be given a release of court orders form to be notarized.
- You can find the address of your local county sheriff’s office on their website.
Notarize your release form.Visit your local City Hall, post office, or bank to have your release form notarized. Make sure to bring a valid ID with you like a driver’s license or ID card. The notary public will act as a witness when you sign the form. Then the notary will seal the document with a stamp.
Bring the release form to the sheriff’s office within 5 business days.You must bring the form to your county sheriff's office whether you applied online or in person. If you do not, then you will need to re-apply.
- Your application will not be processed until you have submitted the notarized release form.
Pick up your license within 28 days of notification.Depending on which county you are applying in, it may take 14 to 30 days for your application to be processed. Once it is processed, you will get a letter or email indicating whether your permit request was approved or denied. Pick up your permit as soon as possible if you were approved.
- If you were denied a permit, you can appeal this decision by submitting a typed or written petition to the Superior Court Judge. You must also submit the sheriff’s notice of denial. The processing fee will cost 0.
Applying for a Concealed Handgun Permit
Meet the same qualifications as for a purchase permit.However, you must be 21 years of age to apply for a concealed handgun permit. You must meet the same resident, criminal, mental illness, and drug qualifications to be eligible for a concealed handgun permit. The same U.S. citizenship restrictions also apply.
- Consult the official qualifications and regulations at (starting on page 14 of the document).
Complete a firearms training and safety course.You must take a course that has been created and approved by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Standards Commission. Search for courses online or in the Yellow Pages. Alternatively, contact a firearms dealer to find a business that offers training.
- If you are a law enforcement officer, or an officer who has retired within the last 2 years, then you do not need to take this course.
Fill out an application at your county sheriff’s office.Bring your certificate of completion and a valid photo ID (NC Driver’s License or ID card) displaying your current address. Fill out all of the required information and present your photo ID. Pay the required application fee.
- If you are a current Law enforcement officer, then you must bring your law enforcement badge, Firearms Qualifications Scores, and a statement from your superior indicating that you are eligible to carry your weapon and are not under disciplinary action.
- If you are a law enforcement officer who has retired in the last 2 years, then you must bring a copy of your letter of retirement. You must also bring a statement from the head of the agency where you previously worked indicating that you were not under criminal or administrative investigation within six months of retirement, or involuntarily terminated.
Fill out an application online and print it.Visit the website of your local county sheriff’s office to find the application. Fill out all of the required information. Sign the application with your initials. You will be required to pay a application fee, as well as a one-time convenience fee for applying online.
- You must print and bring the application to your local county sheriff’s office afterward to submit it for review.
Obtain a set of fingerprints from the City-County Bureau of Identification.You can find a City-County Bureau of Identification (CCBI) agent at a Public Safety Center. The personnel at the sheriff’s office will inform you about how to get a set of fingerprints from the CCBI after you have submitted your application.
- Walk-ins are accepted at the CCBI.
- The fingerprint fee of is included in your application fee.
Pick up your permit from the county sheriff’s office.Your application will be processed in 45 days. You will receive a letter or email of approval or denial. You must pick up your permit within 28 days of notification. Present a valid photo ID or driver’s license to receive your permit.
- If your application was denied, you can appeal the decision by submitting a typed or written statement to the District Court Judge. You must also attach the sheriff’s letter of denial to the statement. The filing fee is 0.
QuestionCan I get a gun license at age 18?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, 18 is the minimum age for a gun license in North Carolina.Thanks!
QuestionCan I transport a gun from NC to Tennessee by vehicle?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThanks!
QuestionWill being on probation for a DUI stop me from getting a gun permit?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, either supervised or unsupervised probation will disqualify you from purchasing any type of firearm.Thanks!
QuestionDo I need a permit for a shotgun?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIn most states, you need a permit for a shotgun.Thanks!
QuestionCan I get a gun license if I have a felony on my record?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, your application would be rejected and you would not be eligible to carry or purchase a firearm legally.Thanks!
QuestionWill I need a permit if I am given my grandfather's WW 1 service rifle?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you are planning to use it in any capacity, yes. If you are planning to store it, unloaded, you don't require a license.Thanks!
QuestionIs a permit required to purchase and own a shotgun?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, but you have to pass a background check when you buy it. If you are going to use it for hunting, you will also need to pass a hunter's safety course, but passing the course is not needed to get the gun.Thanks!
QuestionCan I get a gun permit at 20 years old?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on the country you live in. I believe you can in the U.S.Thanks!
QuestionCan I get a gun permit if I had a felony over 30 years ago?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. If your felony is recorded, you cannot purchase or own a firearm.Thanks!
QuestionIs one able to obtain a purchase permit if they don't have a driver's license?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you have a state ID you can use instead, yes.Thanks!
Where are the forms located to renew a CW permit?
If I had a misdemeanor 30 years ago can I get a gun permit?
Can I check on my process of my gun permits?
Can I transfer my Florida concealed carry license to North Carolina?
If I have a permit in my own country, can I buy a gun in another country?
- A permit isn't required to purchase rifles, shotguns, or antique firearms and replicas in North Carolina.
- Read more about North Carolina's firearms laws at
- If your NC Driver’s License or ID card does not display your current address, then you can bring a cable/utility bill, mortgage statement, housing lease/contract, voter precinct card, vehicle registration, school records, income tax statement, or a letter from the homeless shelter for proof of residency.
- Military personnel may bring a command letter confirming their proof of residency for at least 30 days, or a copy of their PCS orders.
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