North Carolina State Law Summary

Posted on January 1, 2012

Last updated December 9, 2013

In our publication 2013 State Scorecard: Why Gun Laws Matter, the Law Center ranked each state based on a review of state laws in 30 different firearms-related policy areas. North Carolina ranked 20th out of 50 – having enacted some gun violence prevention laws.

In 2013, the North Carolina legislature enacted new laws that relate to firearms. These new laws are described below.

enacted in 2013

Laws that Weaken Gun Regulation

NC H 937 Allows firearms in bars, assemblies, vehicles in state government parking areas and vehicles on educational property (including k-12 and university and college campuses); allows employee who resides on grounds of an institution of higher education to possess a firearm in residence; further restricts local authority to regulate firearms, strengthens law against permitting children to use firearms; requires submission of mental health records to NICS.


Among other things, North Carolina requires all handgun purchasers to first obtain a license, after undergoing a background check. However, North Carolina does not:

In 2010, North Carolina had the 20th highest number of gun deaths per capita among the states. North Carolina had the 20th highest rate of crime gun exports among the states in 2009–meaning that crime guns originally sold in North Carolina were recovered after being used in crimes in other states at the 20th highest rate among the states. Based on data published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, in every year from 2006 through 2009, North Carolina was one of the top ten interstate suppliers of crime guns. North Carolina is the top interstate supplier of crime guns to Virginia and South Carolina.

North Carolina Firearms Laws

For details about specific firearms laws in North Carolina, choose a topic below, or see all of the firearms laws in this state.