Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?”
While your right to carry firearms is protected under the federal constitution, depending on the circumstances you can still be arrested for carrying a gun in North Carolina. In fact, you can be arrested for having a gun without a permit during a traffic stop in North Carolina. This recently happened to a North Carolina woman traveling through New York. According to the Buffalo News, a woman was arrested for having a gun without a permit. Police officers arrested the woman during a traffic stop in Lackawanna. The 21-year-old was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by police for a traffic violation. She was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
There are many restrictions regarding locations where guns are not permitted regardless of permit status and it is critical for anyone carrying a gun to become familiar with all laws that apply to their particular location. However, in general North Carolina’s gun laws make it legal to carry a concealed gun when:
- You are carrying a handgun and have a valid permit for it;
- You are on your own property; or
- You are authorized to carry guns as part of your job duties (e.g., you are a police officer).
In North Carolina, you must meet many requirements in order to qualify for a gun permit, some of which include:
- You must be at least 21 years of age;
- You must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
- You must have resided in North Carolina for at least 30 days; and
- You must demonstrate proof that you completed a firearms safety and training course approved by the state.
When Your Application for a Gun Permit can be Denied
However, your application for a gun permit in North Carolina can be denied even if you meet all of the above-mentioned criteria. Under the North Carolina Gen. Stat. § 14-269, your application is likely to be denied if you:
- Are a fugitive from justice;
- Have been sentenced for a crime that prohibits you from getting a permit;
- Are not eligible to possess a gun under state or federal law;
- Are addicted to alcohol or drugs;
- Have been convicted of a felony;
- Are free on bond or personal recognizance pending trial;
- Have been convicted of DUI in the past three years;
- Have been deemed mentally ill or suffering from a physical or mental infirmity; or
- Have been convicted of a violent misdemeanor.
Where is it Illegal to Carry a Weapon in North Carolina?
Even if you are permitted to carry a concealed gun in North Carolina, state law prohibits carrying guns in the following places:
- A police station or any other law enforcement or correctional facility
- Government property
- State or federal buildings
- School property
- School-sponsored events
- Any private property that prohibits concealed guns
- Anywhere else where carrying guns is not permitted under federal law
If you were arrested for carrying a gun without a permit or not having a permit, it is advised to contact a criminal defense attorney right away. Here at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our skilled criminal defense lawyers serve clients all across North Carolina. Call our lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to evaluate your options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.
The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.
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