Sale of Weapons in Certain Counties.
§ 14-402. Sale of certain weapons without permit forbidden.
(a) It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation in this State to sell, give away, or transfer, or to purchase or receive, at any place within this State from any other place within or without the State any pistol unless: (i) a license or permit is first obtained under this Article by the purchaser or receiver from the sheriff of the county in which the purchaser or receiver resides; or (ii) a valid North Carolina concealed handgun permit is held under Article 54B of this Chapter by the purchaser or receiver who must be a resident of the State at the time of the purchase.
It is unlawful for any person or persons to receive from any postmaster, postal clerk, employee in the parcel post department, rural mail carrier, express agent or employee, railroad agent or employee within the State of North Carolina any pistol without having in his or their possession and without exhibiting at the time of the delivery of the same and to the person delivering the same the permit from the sheriff as provided in G.S. 14-403. Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
(b) This section does not apply to an antique firearm or an historic edged weapon.
(c) The following definitions apply in this Article:
(1) Antique firearm. - Defined in G.S. 14-409.11.
(2), (3) Repealed by Session Laws 2011-56, s. 1, effective April 28, 2011.
(4) Historic edged weapon. - Defined in G.S. 14-409.12.
(5) through (7) Repealed by Session Laws 2011-56, s. 1, effective April 28, 2011. (1919, c. 197, s. 1; C.S., s. 5106; 1923, c. 106; 1947, c. 781; 1959, c. 1073, s. 2; 1971, c. 133, s. 2; 1979, c. 895, ss. 1, 2; 1993, c. 287, s. 1; c. 539, s. 284; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2004-183, s. 1; 2004-203, s. 1; 2009-6, s. 2; 2011-56, s. 1.)
§ 14-403. Permit issued by sheriff; form of permit; expiration of permit.
The sheriffs of any and all counties of this State shall issue to any person, firm, or corporation in any county a permit to purchase or receive any weapon mentioned in this Article from any person, firm, or corporation offering to sell or dispose of the weapon. The permit shall expire five years from the date of issuance. The permit shall be a standard form created by the State Bureau of Investigation in consultation with the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association, shall be of a uniform size and material, and shall be designed with security features intended to minimize the ability to counterfeit or replicate the permit and shall be set forth as follows:
I, ________, Sheriff of said County, do hereby certify that I have conducted a criminal background check of the applicant, ________ whose place of residence is ________ in ________ (or) in ________ Township, ________ County, North Carolina, and have received no information to indicate that it would be a violation of State or federal law for the applicant to purchase, transfer, receive, or possess a handgun. The applicant has further satisfied me as to his, her (or) their good moral character. Therefore, a permit is issued to ________ to purchase one pistol from any person, firm or corporation authorized to dispose of the same.
This permit expires five years from its date of issuance.
This __ day of ______, ____.
The standard permit created by this section shall be used statewide by the sheriffs of any and all counties and, when issued by a sheriff, shall also contain an embossed seal unique to the office of the issuing sheriff. (1919, c. 197, s. 2; C.S., s. 5107; 1959, c. 1073, s. 2; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1395, s. 3; 1995, c. 487, s. 1; 1999-456, s. 59; 2013-369, s. 17.1; 2015-195, s. 10(a).)
§ 14-404. Issuance or refusal of permit; appeal from refusal; grounds for refusal; sheriff's fee.
(a) Upon application, and such application must be provided by the sheriff electronically, the sheriff shall issue the permit to a resident of that county, unless the purpose of the permit is for collecting, in which case a sheriff can issue a permit to a nonresident, when the sheriff has done all of the following:
(1) Verified, before the issuance of a permit, by a criminal history background investigation that it is not a violation of State or federal law for the applicant to purchase, transfer, receive, or possess a handgun. The sheriff shall determine the criminal and background history of any applicant by accessing computerized criminal history records as maintained by the State Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, by conducting a national criminal history records check, by conducting a check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), and by conducting a criminal history check through the Administrative Office of the Courts.
(2) Fully satisfied himself or herself by affidavits, oral evidence, or otherwise, as to the good moral character of the applicant. For purposes of determining an applicant's good moral character to receive a permit, the sheriff shall only consider an applicant's conduct and criminal history for the five-year period immediately preceding the date of the application.
(3) Fully satisfied himself or herself that the applicant desires the possession of the weapon mentioned for (i) the protection of the home, business, person, family or property, (ii) target shooting, (iii) collecting, or (iv) hunting.
(b) If the sheriff is not fully satisfied, the sheriff may, for good cause shown, decline to issue the permit and shall provide to the applicant within seven days of the refusal a written statement of the reason(s) for the refusal. The statement shall cite the specific facts upon which the sheriff concluded that the applicant was not qualified for the issuance of a permit and list, by statute number, the applicable law upon which the denial is based. An appeal from the refusal shall lie by way of petition to the superior court in the district in which the application was filed. The determination by the court, on appeal, shall be upon the facts, the law, and the reasonableness of the sheriff's refusal, and shall be final.
(b1) The sheriff shall keep a list of all permit denials, with the specific reasons for the denials noted. The list shall not include any information that would identify the applicant whose application was denied. The list, as described in this subsection, shall be a public record, and the sheriff shall make the list available upon request to any member of the public. The list shall be organized by the quarters of the year, showing the number of denials and the reasons in each three-month period, and the list shall only be released for past, completed quarters.
(c) A permit may not be issued to the following persons:
(1) One who is under an indictment or information for or has been convicted in any state, or in any court of the United States, of a felony (other than an offense pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraints of trade). However, a person who has been convicted of a felony in a court of any state or in a court of the United States and (i) who is later pardoned, or (ii) whose firearms rights have been restored pursuant to G.S. 14-415.4, may obtain a permit, if the purchase or receipt of a pistol permitted in this Article does not violate a condition of the pardon or restoration of firearms rights.
(2) One who is a fugitive from justice.
(3) One who is an unlawful user of or addicted to marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug (as defined in 21 U.S.C. § 802).
(4) One who has been adjudicated mentally incompetent or has been committed to any mental institution.
(5) One who is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States.
(6) One who has been discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States under dishonorable conditions.
(7) One who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his or her citizenship.
(8) One who is subject to a court order that:
a. Was issued after a hearing of which the person received actual notice, and at which the person had an opportunity to participate;
b. 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
c. 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.
(c1) Repealed by Session Laws 2015-195, s. 11(c), effective August 5, 2015.
(d) Nothing in this Article shall apply to officers authorized by law to carry firearms if the officers identify themselves to the vendor or donor as being officers authorized by law to carry firearms and provide any of the following:
(1) A letter signed by the officer's supervisor or superior officer stating that the officer is authorized by law to carry a firearm.
(2) A current photographic identification card issued by the officer's employer.
(3) A current photographic identification card issued by a State agency that identifies the individual as a law enforcement officer or a probation and parole officer certified by the State of North Carolina.
(4) A current identification card issued by the officer's employer and another form of current photographic identification.
(e) The sheriff shall charge for the sheriff's services upon receipt of an application a fee of five dollars ($5.00) for each permit requested. There shall be no limit as to the number or frequency of permit applications and no other costs or fees other than provided in this subsection shall be charged for the permit, including, but not limited to, any costs for investigation, processing, or medical background checks by the sheriff or others providing records to the sheriff.
(e1) The application for a permit shall be on a form created by the State Bureau of Investigation in consultation with the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association. This application shall be used by all sheriffs and must be provided by the sheriff both electronically and in paper form. Only the following shall be required to be submitted by an applicant for a permit:
(1) The permit application developed pursuant to this subsection.
(2) Five dollars for each permit requested pursuant to subsection (e) of this section.
(3) A government issued identification confirming the identity of the applicant.
(4) Proof of residency.
(5) A signed release, in a form to be prescribed by the Administrative Office of the Court, that authorizes and requires disclosure to the sheriff of any court orders concerning the mental health or capacity of the applicant to be used for the sole purpose of determining whether the applicant is disqualified to receive a permit pursuant to this section.
No additional document or evidence shall be required from any applicant.
(f) Each applicant for a license or permit shall be informed by the sheriff within 14 days of the date of the application whether the license or permit will be granted or denied and, if granted, the license or permit shall be immediately issued to the applicant.
(g) An applicant shall not be ineligible to receive a permit under subdivision (c)(4) of this section because of involuntary commitment to mental health services if the individual's rights have been restored under G.S. 14-409.42.
(h) The sheriff shall revoke any permit upon the occurrence of any event or condition subsequent to the issuance of the permit, or the applicant's subsequent inability to meet a requirement under this Article, which would have resulted in a denial of the application submitted to obtain the permit if the event, condition, or the applicant's current inability to meet a statutory requirement had existed at the time of the application and prior to the issuance of the permit. The following procedures apply to a revocation:
(1) The sheriff shall provide written notice to the permittee, pursuant to the provisions of G.S. 1A-1, Rule 4(j), that the permit is revoked upon the service of the notice. The notice shall provide the permittee with information on the process to appeal the revocation.
(2) Upon receipt of the written notice of revocation, the permittee shall surrender the permit to the sheriff. Any law enforcement officer serving the notice is authorized to take immediate possession of the permit from the permittee. If the notice is served by means other than by a law enforcement officer, the permittee shall surrender the permit to the sheriff no later than 48 hours after service of the notice.
(3) The sheriff shall insure that the list of permits which have been revoked is immediately updated so that any potential transferor calling to check the validity of the permit will be informed of the revocation.
(4) A permittee may appeal the revocation of a permit pursuant to this subsection by petitioning a district court judge of the district in which the permittee resides.
(5) Any person who willfully fails to surrender a permit upon notice of revocation shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
(i) A person or entity shall promptly disclose to the sheriff, upon presentation by the applicant or sheriff of an original or photocopied release form described in subdivision (5) of subsection (e1) of this section, any court orders concerning the mental health or capacity of the applicant who signed the release form. (1919, c. 197, s. 3; C.S., s. 5108; 1959, c. 1073, s. 2; 1969, c. 73; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1395, s. 1; 1987, c. 518, s. 1; 1995, c. 487, s. 2; 2006-39, s. 1; 2006-264, s. 4; 2008-210, s. 3(a); 2009-570, s. 7; 2010-108, s. 4; 2011-2, s. 1; 2011-56, s. 2; 2011-183, s. 13; 2011-268, s. 10; 2013-369, s. 17.2(a); 2013-389, s. 2; 2014-115, s. 23.5(a); 2015-195, ss. 10(d), 11(c), (f), (j); 2016-77, s. 9(a).)
§ 14-405. Record of permits kept by sheriff; confidentiality of permit information.
(a) The sheriff shall keep a record of all permits issued under this article, including the name, date, place of residence, age, former place of residence, etc., of each such person, firm, or corporation to whom or which a permit is issued. The record shall include the date that a permit was revoked, the date that the permittee received notice of the revocation, whether the permit was surrendered, and the reason for the revocation.
(b) The records maintained by the sheriff pursuant to this section are confidential and are not a public record under G.S. 132-1; provided, however, that the sheriff shall make the records available upon request to any federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies and shall also make the records available to the court if the records are required to be released pursuant to a court order. Any application to a court for release of the list of permit holders and permit application information shall be by a petition to the chief judge of the district court for the district in which the person seeking the information resides. (1919, c. 197, s. 4; C.S., s. 5109; 1959, c. 1073, s. 2; 2013-369, s. 17.4.)
§ 14-406. Dealer to keep record of sales; confidentiality of records.
(a) Every dealer in pistols and other weapons mentioned in this Article shall keep an accurate record of all sales thereof, including the name, place of residence, date of sale, etc., of each person, firm, or corporation to whom or which such sales are made. The records maintained by a dealer pursuant to this section are confidential and are not a public record under G.S. 132-1; provided, however, that the dealer shall make the records available upon request to all State and local law enforcement agencies.
(b) Repealed by Session Laws 2011-56, s. 3, effective April 28, 2011. (1919, c. 197, s. 5; C.S., s. 5110; 1987, c. 115, s. 1; 2009-6, s. 3; 2011-56, s. 3; 2013-369, s. 13.)
§ 14-406.1: Repealed by Session Laws 2011-56, s. 4, effective April 28, 2011.
§ 14-407.1. Sale of blank cartridge pistols.
The provisions of G.S. 14-402, 14-405, and 14-406 shall apply to the sale of pistols suitable for firing blank cartridges. The sheriffs of all the counties of this State are authorized and may in their discretion issue to any person, firm or corporation, in any such county, a license or permit to purchase or receive any pistol suitable for firing blank cartridges from any person, firm or corporation offering to sell or dispose of the same, which said permit shall be in substantially the following form:
I, ______________, Clerk of the Superior Court of said county, do hereby certify that ______________, whose place of residence is ______________ Street in ______________ (or) in ______________ Township in ______________ County, North Carolina, having this day satisfied me that the possession of a pistol suitable for firing blank cartridges will be used only for lawful purposes, a permit is therefore given said ______________ to purchase said pistol from any person, firm or corporation authorized to dispose of the same, this ________ day of ____________, ________.
The sheriff shall charge for the sheriff's services, upon issuing such permit, a fee of fifty cents (50˘). (1959, c. 1068; 1999-456, s. 59; 2006-264, s. 5.)
§ 14-408. Violation of § 14-406 a misdemeanor.
Any person, firm, or corporation violating any of the provisions of G.S. 14-406 shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. (1919, c. 197, s. 7; C.S., s. 5112; 1969, c. 1224, s. 6; 1993, c. 539, s. 285; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1998-217, s. 3(a).)
§ 14-408.1. Solicit unlawful purchase of firearm; unlawful to provide materially false information regarding legality of firearm or ammunition transfer.
(a) The following definitions apply in this section:
(1) Ammunition. - Any cartridge, shell, or projectile designed for use in a firearm.
(2) Firearm. - A handgun, shotgun, or rifle which expels a projectile by action of an explosion.
(3) Handgun. - A pistol, revolver, or other gun that has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand.
(4) Licensed dealer. - A person who is licensed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 923 to engage in the business of dealing in firearms.
(5) Materially false information. - Information that portrays an illegal transaction as legal or a legal transaction as illegal.
(6) Private seller. - A person who sells or offers for sale any firearm, as defined in G.S. 14-409.39, or ammunition.
(b) Any person who knowingly solicits, persuades, encourages, or entices a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition to transfer a firearm or ammunition under circumstances that the person knows would violate the laws of this State or the United States is guilty of a Class F felony.
(c) Any person who provides to a licensed dealer or private seller of firearms or ammunition information that the person knows to be materially false information with the intent to deceive the dealer or seller about the legality of a transfer of a firearm or ammunition is guilty of a Class F felony.
(d) Any person who willfully procures another to engage in conduct prohibited by this section shall be held accountable as a principal.
(e) This section does not apply to a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity or to a person acting at the direction of the law enforcement officer. (2011-268, s. 11.)
§ 14-409. Machine guns and other like weapons.
(a) As used in this section, "machine gun" or "submachine gun" means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun, and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to manufacture, sell, give away, dispose of, use or possess machine guns, submachine guns, or other like weapons as defined by subsection (a) of this section: Provided, however, that this subsection shall not apply to the following:
Banks, merchants, and recognized business establishments for use in their respective places of business, who shall first apply to and receive from the sheriff of the county in which said business is located, a permit to possess the said weapons for the purpose of defending the said business; officers and soldiers of the United States Army, when in discharge of their official duties, officers and soldiers of the militia when called into actual service, officers of the State, or of any county, city or town, charged with the execution of the laws of the State, when acting in the discharge of their official duties; the manufacture, use or possession of such weapons for scientific or experimental purposes when such manufacture, use or possession is lawful under federal laws and the weapon is registered with a federal agency, and when a permit to manufacture, use or possess the weapon is issued by the sheriff of the county in which the weapon is located; a person who lawfully possesses or owns a weapon as defined by subsection (a) of this section in compliance with 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53, §§ 5801-5871. Nothing in this subdivision shall limit the discretion of the sheriff in executing the paperwork required by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for such person to obtain the weapon. Provided, further, that any bona fide resident of this State who now owns a machine gun used in former wars, as a relic or souvenir, may retain and keep same as his or her property without violating the provisions of this section upon his reporting said ownership to the sheriff of the county in which said person lives.
(c) Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class I felony. (1933, c. 261, s. 1; 1959, c. 1073, s. 2; 1965, c. 1200; 1989, c. 680, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 1243; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1999-456, s. 33(b); 2011-268, s. 9.)