North Carolina firearm vendors are required to perform a background check for the sale of long guns and, for handguns, the purchaser must present a permit to purchase or concealed handgun permit. State law does not require background checks for individuals who carry a valid permit, and therefore such individuals are exempt from having a background check performed when purchasing a firearm. In order to conduct a background check, the vendor must contact the FBI or perform an online NICS background check. If a resident carries a valid handgun permit, they may purchase firearms without requiring a background check.

North Carolina Gun Laws – §14-402,  §14-409.40§14-415.10

Application for Permit to Purchase Handgun – Required to obtain permit to purchase a handgun in North Carolina

Concealed Handgun Permit Application Form – Required to obtain permit to concealed-carry a handgun in North Carolina

Firearm Bill of Sale – Used by firearm dealer as a record of the transaction

Eligible for Purchasing – In order to be eligible to purchase a firearm in North Carolina, an individual must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Be a North Carolina resident
  • Be at least 18 years old (21 for concealed handgun permit)
  • Have no prior felony or conviction
  • Be of good moral character
  • Have a legally recognized reason to possess or carry a firearm

NICS Background Check For Sale of a Rifle/Shotgun

Step 1 – In North Carolina, firearm dealers are required to conduct a NICS background check before transferring a rifle or shotgun to a buyer. However, if the buyer has a North Carolina handgun permit to purchase or carry, a background check is not necessary.

To conduct a NICS background check you can either call 1 (877) 324-6427 to do so over the phone or you can make the check online. For online NICS checks, you must first log into the NICS website. If you need to create an account, go to this webpage and click the Agree button.

Step 2 – On the subsequent page, you will be asked to supply all of the information listed below.

  • FFL ID number
  • FFL code word
  • Name of FFL business
  • Street address of business
  • City
  • State or territory
  • Zip code
  • FFL business phone
  • Phone extension (optional)
  • Last name
  • Cadence (e.g. Jr., Sr.) (optional)
  • First name
  • Middle name (optional)
  • Date of birth
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Email address

Next, click Registration and, by following the instructions in the pages that follow, you will be able to finalize your NICS e-check account creation.

Step 3 – You should now be able to log in through this webpage. In order to log in you must provide your username and select either Password or Token as your verification method before clicking Sign In.

Step 4 – Enter your chosen verification credentials before clicking Next or Token Sign In.

Step 5 – You can now perform a NICS background search on a purchaser. If you require further assistance, read through the FBI NICS E Check Help Pages.

North Carolina Permit to Purchase

In order to apply for a North Carolina permit to purchase, you must fill out the Application for Permit to Purchase Handgun and present yourself at your County Sheriff’s Office. You will be required to show a valid photo ID and, if you were born outside of the US, a proof of citizenship. You may also be able to apply online through your County Sheriff’s website. The permit application fee is $5, and for online applications there is an extra $3 convenience fee.

The approval process can take up to 30 days from the time that your application was received. You will receive a letter or email to inform you whether your permit application is approved or denied. If your application is approved, phone the sheriff’s office before attempting to pick it up to ensure that it is ready for pick up.

  • 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 $200.

North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit

Before being able to apply for a concealed handgun permit, you must complete a firearms safety training course that is approved by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Standards Commission. You will need to search online to find a facility which offers such a course in your area. Next, you will need to fill out the Concealed Handgun Permit Application Form. For certain counties, you may be able to apply online through your County Sheriff’s Office website.

Once the form has been completed, you will need to bring the completed application, along with a valid photo ID and the $90 application fee to your local County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff will inform you on how to get a set of fingerprints from your City-County Bureau once your application has been submitted. Your application will take up to 45 days to be processed, after which you will receive a letter/email of approval or denial. If your application is approved, you must present a valid photo ID when you collect your permit.