Open Carry

Do law-abiding North Carolina residents have a right to carry a gun openly in public? Generally, yes.

Federal constitutional right? The Supreme Court has recently ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms, including handguns, District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), and that it protects that right from infringement by state and local governments as well as the federal government, McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010). Heller makes clear that the Second Amendment encompasses the right to have a gun in one’s home, but whether the Amendment also guarantees a right to carry a gun in public, and if so, whether it guarantees a right to carry a gun openly as opposed to concealed, is a matter of debate. As a judge of the Seventh Circuit recently observed, “[t]he Supreme Court has not yet decided whether the post- Heller individual right to keep and bear arms at home under the Second Amendment extends beyond the home.” Moore v. Madigan, __ F.3d __, 2013 WL 656749 (7th Cir. Feb. 22, 2013) (Hamilton, J.). See also James Bishop, Note, Hidden or on the Hip: The Right(s) to Carry after Heller, 97 Cornell L. Rev. 907 (2012) (discussing the widely varying approaches of the states to this issue). I won’t speculate here about how the Supreme Court might, or should, rule when presented with the issue.

State constitutional right. There’s no need for such speculation, because the Supreme Court of North Carolina has already ruled on open carry under the state constitution. State v. Kerner, 181 N.C. 574 (1921). The defendant in Kerner got in a confrontation with another man. The defendant went to his workplace, grabbed his gun, and came back to the fight. He was charged with, among other things, “carrying a pistol off his premises unconcealed,” which violated a local act applicable to Forsyth County and was a misdemeanor. The trial judge dismissed the charge as unconstitutional. The state appealed, and the supreme court affirmed.

In keeping with prevailing federal constitutional doctrine at the time, the court first stated that the Second Amendment didn’t apply because “the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution are restrictions upon the federal authority and not upon the states.” Therefore it focused on the state constitution, which mimicked the Second Amendment, providing in Article I, Section 24 that: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” (The quoted language now appears, after the constitutional overhaul of 1971, in Article I, Section 30 of the North Carolina Constitution.)

The court clearly viewed the provision as protecting the right to carry arms in public, condemning the Forsyth County local act as “especially objectionable” because it limited a person’s right “to carry a pistol off his own premises, even openly, and for a lawful purpose.” Indeed, the court found that the people have a “sacred right  . . . to bear arms and [be] ready to use them for the protection of their liberties or their country when occasion serves.” It also specifically ruled that the state constitution protects right to carry pistols, as “[t]he historical use of pistols as ‘arms’ of offense and defense is beyond controversy.”

State laws relevant to open carry. Kerner does not preclude all regulations regarding the carrying of firearms. The court noted several types of regulations that would be consistent with the state constitution, such as:

  • Prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons. (In fact, the state’s authority to do so is expressly mentioned in Article I, Section 30.)
  • “[P]rohibit[ing] the carrying of deadly weapons when under the influence of intoxicating drink, or to a church, polling place, or public assembly, or in a manner calculated to inspire terror.”
  • “[R]equir[ing] that a pistol shall not be under a certain length, which if reasonable will prevent the use of pistols of small size which are not borne as arms but which are easily and ordinarily carried concealed.”

We now have on the books a number of state laws that limit the scope of the right to open carry, such as the ban on guns on school grounds, G.S. 14-269.2, the ban on guns in “any assembly where a fee has been charged for admission . . . or into any establishment in which alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed,” G.S. 14-269.3, the ban on guns in courthouses and certain state buildings, G.S. 14-269.4, and the ban on guns at parades and demonstrations, G.S. 14-277.2. Obviously, those statutes don’t neatly track the regulations that Kerner said were permissible. Therefore, while some of the state’s gun laws have been upheld over constitutional challenges, see, e.g., State v. Sullivan, 202 N.C. App 553 (2010) (upholding ban on guns in courthouses); State v. Fennell, 95 N.C. App. 140 (1989) (upholding ban on sawed-off shotguns), it’s possible that other existing regulations could be challenged on constitutional grounds. Still, they illustrate the general idea that the right to open carry is not unlimited.

One issue that comes up in connection with open carry is the common law offense North Carolina of going armed to the terror of the people. (Jessie Smith discusses the elements of the crime here.) As relevant to open carry, the law prohibits a person from carrying a gun for the purpose of terrorizing others and in a manner that is likely to cause terror. Generally, a person doesn’t commit this offense by carrying a weapon in a non-threatening and orderly manner, such as going about one’s daily business with a handgun in a hip holster.

Local regulations regarding open carry. In addition to state law, local governments also have some authority to limit open carry rights. However, local government authority is limited by the pre-emption statutes that, with some exceptions, make gun regulation a matter of state rather than local concern. (I previously discussed those statutes here.)

An example of a regulation that is within the power of local government is the power to prohibit open carry in “public‑owned buildings, on the grounds or parking areas of those buildings, or in public parks or recreation areas.” G.S. 14-409.40(f). (Concealed carry in some of those areas may be permissible, but that’s a subject for another day.)

However, it appears that local governments do not have the authority to ban open carry completely, even on public property such as streets and sidewalks. One could argue that such authority exists under two statutes, both of which are recognized as exceptions to the statewide pre-emption laws:

  • G.S. 160A-189, which allows cities to “by ordinance regulate, restrict, or prohibit the discharge of firearms at any time or place within the city except when used in defense of person or property or pursuant to lawful directions of law‑enforcement officers, and [to] regulate the display of firearms on the streets, sidewalks, alleys, or other public property.”
  • G.S. 153A-129, which allows counties to “by ordinance regulate, restrict, or prohibit the discharge of firearms . . . except when used to take birds or animals . . . when used in defense of person or property, or when used pursuant to lawful directions of law‑enforcement officers. A county may also regulate the display of firearms on the public roads, sidewalks, alleys, or other public property.”

But reading the power to “regulate the display of firearms” to allow local governments to ban open carry in public is probably wrong for two reasons. First, it would be unconstitutional under Kerner. As the court noted, “[t]o exclude all pistols, however, is not a regulation, but a prohibition, of arms which come under the designation of ‘arms’ which the people are entitled to bear.” Second, such a reading ignores the fact that both statutes allow local governments to “regulate . . . or prohibit” the discharge of firearms, but only to “regulate” the display of firearms. The lack of parallelism appears to be intentional. Therefore, although the precise extent of local government authority isn’t clear, and a variety of local regulations might be permissible, a complete ban on public open carry does not appear to be.

Gun law webinar. Those interested in the law of gun rights and gun control may wish to participate in an upcoming webinar on the subject. I’m the presenter. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, March 20, from 10:00-11:15 a.m. It’s free, and we’ve applied for CLE credit. Registration is required. Details are here.

87 comments on “Open Carry

  1. Hmm, it would seem “display” is at issue, as in there are to be no open air firearms purveyors, or does it mean to actually carry openly? The prohibitions against non firearms are more interesting, things such as “weighted canes”. Which are openly carried, yet still banned.

  2. HURRAY HURRAY HURRAY for the little grocery store owner in Cherokee County South Carolina for allowing his employees to OPEN CARRY a firearm at work. He says he has not had a robbery since starting this while others around his area have, of which one was robbed by 4 men who had just been in his store before the robbery and left after they noticed all his employees were carrying guns. REPRORTED on CHANNEL 7 NEWS CHARLOTTE NC WSPA 5/15/2013.

    Plus they are trying to pass new legislation to easy gun control by allowing OPEN CARRY on school grounds, restaurants, bars, work place parking lots even if an employer says no and big fines if they fire that employee or take any other action if the employee does. Even the Sheriff says that crime has gone down in the area because more people are wearing guns and have guns and he thinks it is a good thing, he is much in approval The representative that is sponsoring the bill says it about preserving the rights of the workers 2nd Amendments over the land owners rights ….WAY TO GO SC

    SO Now every one should run out and call or write their Senators
    Congressman and Representative Mayor Police Chief and Sheriff and most of all the NRA MAKE SOME NOISE and tell them that we want and need changes and do away with the CAUSING TERROR OF THE CITIZENS wording also.

    EVERY ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO CARRY ARMS the 2ND ADMENDMENT SAYS SO. “WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS” our constitution was founded by the PEOPLE for the PEOPLE LET THE PEOPLE SPEAK. If we allow any more involvement of LAWENFORCEMENT AND OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS to try and remove or change our rights how soon will it take before another HITLER or some other dictator comes along and we end up not having any rights at all. COME ON AMERICA WAKEUP AND STAND UP

    • Obama is the next Hitler!!!!


      • You are an idiot. How is he compared to a Nazi? Did he bust down your door and confiscate anything from you?? I didn’t think so.

        • Yes Billy, Obama confiscated my affordable retirement healthcare plan and rendered it unaffordable. Now I have NO healthcare insurance. He also hijacked my tax money to give free benefits to non-Americans who pour over our borders uninhibited.
          Thank God for all the folks who have voted in a man with some common sense, Donald Trump!

          • Thank God for Donald Trump and the NRA

          • You are Ignorant,” Non-Americans” how you call them, Work harder than “Americans” at Times. How is it that “Non-Americans” are always trying to be successful and find a Job to be able to provide to their families, But the “Americans” are Often seen at the light ASKING FOR MONEY !? Please inform me what “FREE BENEFITS” Did Obama give to the “NON-AMERICANS” Because I’ve Never heard of Any free benefits. Btw What common sense does Donald Trump have? He can’t even Give a speech without trying to copy someone else, Or better yet His wife coping Michelle Obama?. Matter Fact He can’t even Take quick action for the Charlestown, Washington with the KKK. Did you get to see that?(Look at his speech)I Bet Obama would of handle the incident Not caring what RACE you are.


        • hiller was a mass murder to compare them together you are one STUPID DAMN IDIOT.I SUGGEST you

  3. OPPS OPPS Made a mistake, it was on FOXNEWS Channel 21 Here in Hendersonville NC over Direct TV from Greenville SC NOT WSPA

  4. I am so confused. The lack of description in the law is what gets me. What about open carry in a car? I know it has to be visible but what if you are with a passenger? You have to supposedly have “3 or more” motions to access the firearm, so what exactly does that mean when Open Carrying in a vehicle?

    • Also, going back to the passenger/driver. What is the person Openly Carrying supposed to do? How does this come into play with the passenger/driver in the car? Thanks.

  5. Now with the HR 937 on the governors desk to be signed more freedoms for carrying under ccw is upon us, but we still need more LEO training as most still do not know its legal to open carry in all the places the HR 937 grant.

  6. It always surprises me how complicated firearms laws are in other States, that people think it is acceptable to have multiple classes of citizens, & the irrational fear of alcohol.

    If someone can not be trusted to have access to a firearm around alcohol, they should not be allowed access to a car.

  7. Can some one tell me, can you carry a pistol openly or do you need a concealed carry permit? I’m confused as everyone else is..

    • You can carry a pistol in a holster and do not need a CCP unless you want to hide the gun under clothes. Open carry means just that…you can openly carry a gun in NC. People who do not feel confortable open carrying often get a CCP so they can carry without anyone permit needed for open carry. Of course cops will harrass you and try to discourage you exercising your rights, but they have no legal reason to do so. Cops often will stop an open carrier and demand ID, which is illegal for them to do, and use the excuse that they ” don’t know ” if you are a felon, etc..but unless they have articulable reason to believe you are a felon, that excuse is are under no legal obligation to dispel cops suspicions on hunches. Always as the cop if you are being detained..if they say no then leave and refuse to allow them to engage you..if they say yes, then simply state that you have nothing to say without advice of counsel..force the cop to either back down or risk a lawsuit.

      • I’ve been a cop for 11years and never even thought about stopping someone from open carry. Do I think its a bad idea to open carry..yes. Because the bad guys can single you out and take you out when you’re not expecting it. You can’t be on guard 24/7 any more than police can. I conceal carry almost everytime I leave my house. I like that no one knows and I think more people should conceal carry. It makes the bad wonder who has a gun. I have not and never will tell anyone they can’t open carry and I would love to see more people get conceal carry permits. So not all of us harass or detain people who are carrying open. For me..I don’t care weather you talk or not. I’ll just take it you have your head up a certain part of your anatomy or you’re having a bad day. In your case I figure its the first part.

        • If you are a cop then i am wondering why get a concealed carry when everywhere has a sign that prohibits you to carry there anyway? Also, anywhere where you may be in danger, such as walking home from a bar, going to a movie, etc is also restricted. I never get drunk, but I will drink a beer or two with friends, and this seems to also be restricted. Also, with open carry, if I conceal anyways, I may receive a Misdemeanor, but if I accidentally break the law with a concealed, then I risk a felony. Things are much different for a cop (on or off duty) than they are for a normal citizen. Please explain to me what the benefits are for getting a concealed vs staying open carry.

        • So what if you have a felony, a non violent feloney, a simple possessions charge. Over 20 years ago. Owned the weapon long before this occurrence. Never have used any weapon in the commission of a crime, never had any domestic disputes or other run-ins.
          Served Successfully…four years of supervised probation, community service, and paid fines, all done and paid my penance.
          Am a Veteran, work in a responsible and dedicated job which required extensive background check and security clearances. Take care of my family and my property, and my home like every other good decent hard-working citizen.
          Should I be denied the right to defend myself and or my family? How about another in need, possibly a Law enforcements officer that may need my assistance.
          I would gladly be there if needed.
          Just because some have made errors along the way doesn’t make them an erresponsible person.
          Should have the Right (under any Color of Law) to take ones means of self defense away from them.

      • Please, Some resect The use of the title of cops is wrong. I’ve open carried for years,And have NEVER been harassed. And have been told that they( police officers).prefer open carry .It not only discourages crime it instills politeness too. If I where to conceal carry it may appear that I was unarmed, And may do something they would other wise forget. So carry so everyone can see.Be civil and responsible,And you wont have any trouble.

        • BRAVO!! I wholeheartedly agree as many law officers do. Open carry instills many appropriate & corrective thoughts, as well as accountability.


    • yes you can open carry in n.c., but you must know whether the location is permissible to open carry.

    • You can but not to a place where they sell AND consume alcohol, where signs are posted, federal or state buildings, national parks. You cannot carry at parades and funerals or riots. And to not open bring fear to public

      • I have not double checked, but I’m fairly sure you can open carry in national parks.

      • You actually can carry (Open or CCW) in a bar with the following restrictions that you cannot consume alcohol while carrying or cannot carry if they have posted a sign pursuance to NC Statues banning carry on the premises.

        • According to the below General Statute, the only ones that can carry into a place where alcohol is sold and consumed is a lawful CCP holder. Everything else you stated is correct.

          14-269.3. Carrying weapons into assemblies and establishments where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed.
          (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry any gun, rifle, or pistol into any assembly where a fee has been charged for admission thereto, or into any establishment in which alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
          (b) This section shall not apply to any of the following:
          (1) A person exempted from the provisions of G.S. 14-269.
          (2) The owner or lessee of the premises or business establishment.
          (3) A person participating in the event, if the person is carrying a gun, rifle, or pistol with the permission of the owner, lessee, or person or organization sponsoring the event.
          (4) A person registered or hired as a security guard by the owner, lessee, or person or organization sponsoring the event.
          (5) A person carrying a handgun if the person has a valid concealed handgun permit issued in accordance with Article 54B of this Chapter, has a concealed handgun permit considered valid under G.S. 14-415.24, or is exempt from obtaining a permit pursuant to G.S. 14-415.25. This subdivision shall not be construed to permit a person to carry a handgun on any premises where the person in legal possession or control of the premises has posted a conspicuous notice prohibiting the carrying of a concealed handgun on the premises in accordance with G.S. 14-415.11(c).

  8. How old do you have to be to open carry in NC??

    • You have to be 21 to legally own a handgun, so you couldn’t legally open carry under 21.

      • *BUZZT* WRONG! You can OC at 18. You cannot purchase a handgun from an FFL until your are 21, however, at 18 you can get a pistol purchase permit from your local sheriff, and buy a handgun privately.
        Furthermore, you have to be 21 to get a CCP.

    • 18 you can legally open carry a pistol in plain sight like in a hip holster with your shirt, jacket, etc behind the holster so it’s seen

  9. I agree with officer Greg I would never open carry for the reason that he mention, that the bad guys will have the upper hand on you. Get a CCP, its’ not that hard and doesn’t take that long (90 to 120 days in NC). You can make yourself, family and friends with you feel protected even if they don’t want to carry a hand gun. I love all my weapons and conceal carry one every day and will continued to do so until I take my last breath.

  10. My only gripe with the Carry Concealed is the amount of money involved. Pay, pay, pay! It’s not much more than a money maker for the State and Local agencies involved.

  11. The right to open carry a properly holstered handgun has been clearly established by the NC Supreme Court for decades,(Kerner v State) The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals established that open carry “is not”RAS/PC for a “Terry Stop”.(US v BLACK).North Carolina is not a “stop and ID” state. Concealed Carry is a privilege that you purchase from your state by buying a permit to get the Government,s permission to exercise a “right”.

  12. I am under the impression that while you have to be 21 to BUY a handgun, you only have to be 18 to OWN one. There is a distinct difference between purchasing and owning. For example, if I gift my 18 year old son/daughter one of my guns, then technically, they would own it and thus could open carry it.

    Must be 21 to conceal carry in NC.

  13. I moved to NC from the UK with my American born wife and l am a permanent resident.I have military and Police experience and l own a handgun. I would prefer to carry concealed rather then open, but under NC law l will not be granted a ccw permit because l am not a US Citizen. NC is one of a few states left that have this restriction. By becoming a citizen, in 2 yrs time, will that make me a more responsible person to carry concealed. I am somewhat self-concious walking around with my gun on display, but l want the same rights as everyone else, to be able to protect myself and my family.

    • But you are not entitled to “…the same rights as everyone else …” because you are not a US citizen yet.
      You are a visitor here until you obtain your US citizenship which confers “… the same rights as everyone else …”.

      • Ron, get off your high horse. WJ stated it will take him 2 years to become a US citizen and until that time he is limited to open carry but (this is implied) he would like the same rights we as citizens enjoy (implied that in the future he will enjoy these rights). In 2 years he will have these rights. He is a law abiding legal permenant resident and based on his experience is probably more responsible than many people with “the same rights as everyone else” and currently walk around with a concealed weapon. You just come across as a pompous asshole.

    • You would more than likely be a good candidate for open carry, but if they let you do it, then everyone else would be eligible and many may not be good people.

  14. If I purchase a handgun for open carry, what is the legal length of the gun barrel or is there one?

    • I have not come across that in all the research l have done prior to obtaining my own handgun………… my answer is no, l think it would depend on the size of gun you can easily handle.

    • No size limit, but I would suggest a size that properly fits your hand, one that you are comfortable with. For instance, I wouldn’t suggest a .44 Mag for a woman, or man, with small hands.

    • Depends on where you carry. I believe Chapel Hill has a minimum size ordnance. As for the rest of the state, I do not believe there are size restrictions.

  15. I’m confused. Do I need anything more than a permit to own a gun to open carry? I know the closed carry laws stipulate a safety course and shooting time. Are there any such requirements for open carry?

    • You don’t need a permit to own a gun or to open carry. The permit is just to buy the handgun.

    • Tim, I would suggest to EVERYONE interested in owning a gun of any sort to seek training for such weapon systems. Minimal training should include weapons safety (to include weapon retention) and familiarization (usage, action, maximum range of projectiles, etc.). It’s like using the right tool for the right job. Without knowing your level of expertise, I would suggest these starting points, sir. But, currently there are NO REQUIREMENTS, by law, to open carry besides not being a felon and you cannot carry on federal property, not carrying when served alcohol, and things of this nature.

    • No permit needed to open carry. I would still suggest a safety course and shooting lessons to “familiarize” yourself with your weapon system even for open carry. The permit is instituted when you make your PURCHASE at a LEGAL gun shop/proprietor. Thus, the waiting period for background checks, etc.

  16. To: Mr. Jeff Welty

    I participated this past Saturday in Springfest, an arts & crafts festival in downtown Southern Pines NC and was surprised to see several men walking around open carrying. This is a family affair, lots of children are present. Our town often has street fairs, holiday parades, etc in the downtown area. In addition, the downtown merchants host First Friday evenings from 5-8pm for families with food and beer vendors. All of these events are free and open to the public. Many of us would like them to be hand-gun free. It’s my understanding that some limits may be placed on concealed and open carry via admission fees, etc. Is that true?

    • Making an event hand gun free is beyond foolish and asking for a whack job to show up knowing it’s a gun free zone….

      • Agreed. Advertising gun free would be ridiculous. Instead of shielding our children from firearms, they should be taught as responsible citizens to be comfortable and safe handling procedures.

      • Who delineates who is the “whack job?” My concern is this…..what’s to say the “average looking” person isn’t the one who is going to go nutso and start shooting up the place? And, moreover, does the carrier have the necessary weapons retention training to keep the whack job from getting to theirs? I always cringe when I observe carriers turn their backs to others without taking the necessary precautions to protect their weapon from being snatched by a passer-by, which could be the whack job.

    • Have you ever experienced any gun violence at these events? If you have not, there may be a good reason for that. If you do not like guns, do not own one but for those of us who would like to defend ourselves and you if need be, stop trying to limit our constitutional rights.

      • Brandi i love your answer, If you do not like guns, do not own one but for those of us who would like to defend ourselves and you if need be, Stop Trying To Limit Our Constitutional Rights.

  17. If I want to keep a small 22 loaded in the car without A ccp can it be done? When a LEO stops me, what then? (I would inform him- then what?) I wouldn’t use it except to save me or someone else from extinction.. It appears to me that concealed carry only establishes me before a court as an “expert” before a jury of those who probably shouldn’t vote.Darren Wilson didn’t do well and he appears to be a model policeman.

    • I have obtained my SC CWP and one of my states to concealed carry is NC. my question is on open carry. Is this something I’m allowed to do? Open carry on my person through through the state of NC? Does anyone know about the law in Virginia too?

      • The laws don’t say you have to be a resident to open carry, so I assume you don’t have to be. I think VA is similar for the most part. Just make a note of off-limits places (athletic arenas, schools etc.)

      • I am a retired Virginia police officer. One can open carry in VA w/o a permit, but you MUST have a permit to carry concealed. Is the open carry safe? Is it prudent? I would say it depends upon your level of training/expertise, and just bare in mind that many business establishments in VA aren’t as tolerable as those in NC of those who wish to enter the business even in open carry situations. In fact, I would wager (if I were a betting man) that should you walk down the street with open carry in any city in VA that you’d PROBABLY be approached by a police officer very quickly which could lead to an embarrassing, and possibly dangerous, situation for you. That’s why I say that what is a norm for one state quite simply may not be normal for another, even neighboring state. Use your best judgment when traveling interstate and ALWAYS familiarize yourself with the state’s open and CC Laws. Knowing these will save you a LOT of grief.

    • As long as it is not concealed it is legal. Keep it in plain view or well out of arms reach.

    • I believe there was a bill being pushed through regaurding this, however at this time, you MUST have a permit to have it in a glove box, or such. If vehicle carrying WITHOUT permit, it must be in sight of Law Enforcement. Also, even with a permit, you still have to inform the officer. So, as long as it is kept in plain sight, yes. If you have it in a glove compartment, center console, and even in most instances, in your holster on your hip, you must have a carry permit. The bill being looked at would allow you to keep it in a briefcase,purse or glove compartment, without permit, if my memory serves correct. Just not on your person, without permit.

    • What I have done when stoped by LEO is what you have said I let him know I had A LOADED WEAPON ( in view ) in the car and kept my hands in view of the officer.. He asked me to exit my car.. He got my gun and my ID ran the numbers… He gave me my gun and a ticket for running a stop sign and I as on my way

  18. Some people are comfortable with others open carrying while some are not. Personally I would say that concealed carry is better. As some stated before out of sight out of mind. Also of more people conceal carried as also stated the bad guys out there would be more hesitant for the fact that they don’t know who has what. Everyone of legal age has the right to bear arms, we as a people have a right to protect ourselves, homes and families. In some cases, each other 🙂

    • My only question is, does it really make them second guess? How many actually wonder whether someone conceal carries? While at first it sounds like it might be true, I go back to the out of sight out of mind on that. Personally, I don’t think who does or does not conceal carry when I am out and about. Honestly, the only time I ever think about carrying period, is when I see someone open carrying. Of course, I am not a criminal, either. So, that may very well be why.

  19. While legal to open carry, and I agree with both arguments regarding of opinion or concealing prefer open. That being said I have been through considerable qualification courses with both state and federal.

    Open carry only poses a problem if it is considered disturbing the peace. Then authorities could try to trump up charges.

    Responses to authorities can vary state to state. For example: in Florida (not an open carry state) you can open carry if you are going to the range, going hunting or fishing.
    Strange I know.

    At the end of the day I believe it comes down to the individual and how they carry themselves.

  20. does a gun purchase permit allow me to open carry in north Carolina?

  21. Everyone should open carry, it is a huge deterrent to the 2 legged animals that prey on the innocent in our society now. We live in a lawless drug infused society! CCP is stupid and is only the State’s and local Sheriffs personal loophole to get around the 2nd Amendment. Federal background check for all prior to purchase and after that it’s none of anyone’s business. Local law enforcement Einsteins making up the law as they go along should have harsh penalties for violation of Constitutional Rights. We can’t depend on them to protect thin air from violent criminals in this country. It’s always after the fact they do their jobs!

    • If you don’t get the permit, you can’t carry in so many places though. I am an open carry advocate but I’m debating getting ccw to be able to take it into select bars etc. Concealing without a permit is getting so dangerous to look like a criminal and not a full blown second amendment guy who doesn’t believe any government should be able to decide when you should be able to defend yourself in public and when you can’t.

  22. the 2nd amendment plainly says that you have the right to own firearms no if , and , and buts about it. It plainly says those rights can not be infringed. What part of this does people not understand? If you are a legal U.S. citizen, have never been in any kind of trouble, you are a good, trust worthy person, then you should be able to own a M1 Abrams tank with all the bells and whistles on it setting in your front yard so you can protect your property, your home, your family, your life. Of course that’s just my opinion

  23. Well, by the questions and comments, They new laws in North Carolina are still as clear as ‘mud!’
    Can a citizen drink alcoholic beverages when he/she carry’s a weapon into a bar? If so , how much? If not, why can he/she carry open or concealed into a bar or restaurant? Also , who determines legally what constitutes ‘inspires terror,causes terror ‘ ‘or acts in a manner to cause terror’ ? The laws as rewritten By Jacqueline Schaffer (R) , Mecklenburg look like they written by a fool or a Law School graduate from an online, sketchy law school run by a televangelist. Oh, that’s right she is a graduate from Regent’s School of Law. Another law passed by another incompetent legislator/’lawyer’ with a 2nd rate law degree.

  24. […] without a permit, where it’s allowed with a permit, and where it’s prohibited. As I’ve noted previously on the blog, open carry is generally legal in North Carolina and does not require a […]

  25. These NC weapon laws is full of shit, you can’t stop Criminals from getting weapons without permits, but you would make it hard for law Biden citizen to get a weapons permit. If We start voting some of these Clowns out of office we can get something done. We are the highest state in USA with taxes. Looks like the Rich is getting Richer and the Poor is getting Homeless.I can see it now that NC is on the path of Destruction if they don’t start treating North Carolina Citizens Right.STOP THE GREED FROM THE ON DOWN.

  26. The fact of the matter is you have to pay around $ 100.00 and wait around for weeks to do a simple act that my our constitution gives you the right to do. No where does it say in the Constitution you have the right to open carry, but have to attend a class to conceal carry. It states you have a right to carry. I am in the Military and have been for 22 years. I feel that I should have the right to carry and not have to pay and wait several weeks in order to cover it with my shirt. Think about it for a minute. A single act of un-tucking your shirt over your weapon cost you more than just wearing it outside of your shirt. A days pay from work, $100.00 and wait time at the Sheriff Office. I think it is just another way for the government to get paid for something they make up to enforce. I have no problem open caring my Firearm, I should have the right to untuck my shirt over it.

  27. […] “military-style rifles” according to this report from the New York Times.  As it is in North Carolina, it is legal to open carry a rifle in public in Texas.  The Times report says that there is […]

  28. I got stopped going into Walmart one day I had my Taurus raging bull 454 casull and a officer say hey you stop freeze he cuffed me and disarmed me and said what are u doing taking a gun in there I said u must be new and not know shit about law enforcement lol had said what about the law I said this state has open carry of firearms he said really I said oh dam u are new lol I said open google and type in open carry in this state he said oops my bad he uncuffed me and handed my cannon back to me he said is that firearm registered I said well don’t u think that should have been the first words out of your mouth instead of freaking out duhhhhhhhh #DUMBA** !!!
    He called back up I said u don’t need back up u just uncuffed me I need to run the numbers on your forearm and do a quick background check and we are in Walmart parking lot right by front doors everyone recording it and saying he’s a murder he tryed to bring a gun in and shoot people backup came up and said why do u have to carry a hand cannon u trying to go bear hunting I said no I like to have nice expensive things he said can I see it I said sure u have a permit I said yes I handed him it and he ran numbers and clean lol he started screaming at the other officer it was hilarious I nearly pissed my pants from laughing so hard ??? he handed my firearm back to me with my permit and he said your free to go the other cop said u can’t go in Walmart with that the other cop said hey stupid do u see a no firearms sign anywhere he said no then he can go in so shut up and get out of here lmao I almost died so everyone study your laws of your curious ask someone or look it up don’t believe the first thing u see tho it could get u in trouble if the info is wrong.

    Have a good one and be safe out there #ALWAYS PACKING CRAZY WORLD IDK ABOUT PEOPLE ! It so worth the money for a permit for your safety and the safety of your loved one I would like to see all eligible people open carrying a firearm


  29. Where is the line between open carry and brandishing? Are you able to walk around with the pistol in your hand or must it be holstered in some way?

    • You can bet that if you walked around carrying a handgun in your hand you would be stopped and at least told to holster it…likely would get charged with brandishing or some other breach of the peace charge. Common sense says you use a holster and the gun does not leave it until you are ready to use it. That is a legal battle you don’t want, believe me. The ” threat assessment ” cops use would go off the charts if they see a gun in your hand.

  30. I am surprised no one has updated this. At this time open carry is allowed without a license, and concealed with a license. You may carry in a place that serves alcohol, as long as you do not consume any alcohol. The restrictions on where have been changed to: where posted no weapons, no guns, etc., not into government buildings, and firearms must be locked in a container affixed to a vehicle in a locked area of the vehicle on educational property (public) Private Ed makes they’re own rules concerning firearms.

  31. I am wanting to see that legal CCW can carry everywhere. The background check is as detailed as LEO.

  32. Would someone please tell me the consequence for carrying concealed, not having a permit, and getting caught? I am a middle aged female who was trained by my Marine dad to shoot. I often carry concealed and don’t have a permit. Is this a felony? There is no way I am getting a license, I take the 2nd Amendment literally. I will take my chances with a judge, should I ever get caught. Thank you for your response.

    • You should follow the law, the fact that you don’t is an issue. This shows a blatant disregard of the law and its citizens. Please conceal carry LEGALLY with a permit that gives you (not the “right” but) luxury of possessing a firearm in that manner. It also allows those that follow the laws properly to continue to do so… don’t give us a bad name….

    • I agree with you. You shouldn’t have to “register or pay a fee” and you shouldn’t be restricted in public from protecting yourself except a courthouse or other gov building. I am debating getting a ccw or not, as well. Some have said you will be signing a doc that says you agreed and understood every gun law and held to a higher standard which can bring so much trouble it bars you from owning guns in the future. This is bs and has made many steer clear of ccw. I’ll immediately concede and offer disarmament to a cop and take the misdemeanor for concealing without a license. People already giving guns a bad name in 2019 by shooting innocent strangers. I want to be someone that surprises the active shooter and saves peoples lives. Open carry doesn’t accomplish that goal and as I said before, I don’t agree with the current infringement of this god-given right. More people than you ever know conceal without “paying the fees.”

  33. You are giving law abiding citizens a bad name by doing what you are. It’s only a matter of time before you get caught yes you are looking at a felony charge. We have an open carry law or the option of a concealed permit if your not a felon you can easily get an open carry I just got mine when I moved here from NY it takes no more than 14 days you can even fill out info online. Also keep in mind when you get caught chances are you may never be able to own a firearm period. Do the right thing and obey the law I’m very pro-gun but very anti-criminal people like you make it difficult for people like us that obey the law as much of a pain in the ass it is. Do the right thing before you get arrested, My father was also a Marine and taught me how to shoot be safe and always obey the law.

  34. Can a person open carry HAND GUN IN N.C. USING A DROP- LEG HOSTER?

    • Not an attorney, but the location of an obvious handgun holster should not be an issue. There is no law stating that a holster must be on the hip. The main issue I think would be that the gun , or at least the grip, is viewable and recognizable as a handgun. I wonder about the ” Mounty ” type closed holster which shields the gun from the elements but which keeps the gun from being seen . It would be assumed that such a holster contains a handgun but assumptions are what keeps people in court. I could easily see a cop claiming that the gun is concealed since it is not apparent that a gun is contained there. I would say as a layman that open carry means that it is readily apparent that a person is carrying a handgun by being able to view enough of the gun to identify it as such. If the holster has to be opened in order to expose the gun, then that would seem to be concealed. In CCW a jacket or purse or whatever has to be opened to expose the gun, so avoid Mounty type holsters when open carrying unless you want to be the court case that answers the question, and at the district or superior level you would no doubt lose as they let the appeals courts and above decide on such a sticky issue.

    • Yes. Outside of your pants is open carry. Shoulder harness is too without a jacket on top of it. 🙂

  35. Personally, I have my CCH, which most of the folks here mistakenly refer to as a CCP. During the colder times, I carry concealed, because it is very easy to do. During warmer months, when shorts and t-shirts are the norm, I elect to open carry, simply because I don’t want to wear clothing that will make me much hotter. Wearing clothing that is not appropriate for the season, is a pretty good sign that the person could be hiding a firearm. When in the public, I am constantly scanning others, for any sign that would make them stand out as a possible threat. If I see someone who looks out of place, by their actions or clothing, I tend to follow them for at least a short time, to further evaluate their behavior. Some of these people have committed a criminal offense, for which I have contacted store employees and helped in their apprehension. The vast majority of these have been shoplifters, though some have been for larger crimes. At one point of my life, I helped apprehend a bank robber. I have stopped a murder in progress. I have stopped several robberies, apprehending the participants before the police arrived. I am not now, nor have I ever been a police officer, but if you pay attention to your surroundings, you will see much more than a passive citizen. Yes, I am former military, therefore I have been trained. I also worked for many years in the loss prevention profession, for several major businesses. But back to the firearm carrying debate. Even if you open carry, it doesn’t mean you are more likely to be picked out of the crowd, by criminals. If you pay attention to your surroundings, you are more likely to catch the criminal by surprise. One more tip. If you are carrying openly and are in a checkout line at any store, if someone is behind you in that line. always keep yourself sideways in the line. Never keep your back to anyone. As much as you can, always place yourself in front of your cart, keeping a barrier between yourself and the person behind you in line. Most likely, the person in front of you in that line, will have their back to you.

  36. The Town of Pine Knoll Shores, NC has just enacted an ordnance making it a $500 fine to bring a firearm onto any local government property. Is this legal to do in NC. Its not discharged a firearm on government property but just bring a firearm be it concealed or open carry.

    • Unless I am mistaken, municipalities may enact ordinances that are LESS restrictive than the state statute but cannot make it MORE restrictive than the statute. Of course challenging these local laws costs money for lawyers and so many times these often unConstitutional local laws last on the books for decades and are used as an excuse for arrests that have no real basis in law. I saw a video recently of a NC college town police officer,female in uniform, charge a man for flipping her off under some old local ordinance that had been repealed years earlier . Nobody bothered to tell the cops ,of course.