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Concealed Handguns Reciprocity

Since 1995, North Carolina has allowed qualifying residents of the state to obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun from the sheriff of the applicant’s home county. The permit is valid for five years unless it is revoked. Please see North Carolina Firearms Laws for a list of “Do’s and Don’ts” for carrying a concealed handgun in North Carolina. This information is designed as a reference guide only and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Other States’ Permits Honored Here

Effective December 1, 2011, North Carolina automatically recognizes concealed carry permits issued in any other state. Out-of-state permit holders should familiarize themselves with North Carolina’s laws.

For example, in North Carolina, concealed handguns may not be carried:

  • In law enforcement or correctional facilities such as a prison.
  • In any space occupied by state or federal employees, including state and federal courthouses.
  • In schools or on school grounds.*
  • In areas of assemblies, parades, funerals or demonstrations.**
  • In any area where concealed handguns are prohibited by federal law.
  • In any place of business that has posted a sign banning concealed weapons on its premises.
  • By any person while consuming alcohol or while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substances (unless obtained legally and taken as directed by a physician).

*Effective October 1, 2013, unless prohibited by a private school, a concealed handgun permittee may store a handgun in the person’s locked vehicle or in a locked container securely fixed to the person’s vehicle while on campus. It may NOT be carried on the person.

**Effective October 1, 2013, unless posted as being prohibited, a concealed handgun permittee may possess a concealed handgun while at a parade or funeral.For more information on these exceptions see House Bill 937, Session Law 2013-369, North Carolina Firearms Laws, and our chart showing where concealed handguns cannot be carried in North Carolina.

To possess a concealed handgun in North Carolina, you must:

  • Carry your permit and a valid form of identification with you at all times.
  • Disclose the fact that you have a valid concealed handgun permit when you are approached or addressed by any law enforcement officer in North Carolina.
  • Inform the officer that you are in possession of a concealed handgun.
  • Present both the permit and valid identification at the request of an officer
    NOTE: You should not attempt to display either your weapon or your permit unless directed to by an officer.

Permits Honored in Other States

Permit holders should know that while they can legally carry a concealed handgun while visiting these states, they’re subject to the laws of the state they are visiting and are responsible for learning about those laws.

States with North Carolina Agreements

Each year, pursuant to N.C.G.S. 14-415.24, the NC Department of Justice contacts each state to determine (i) whether a North Carolina resident may carry a concealed handgun in their state based upon having a valid North Carolina concealed handgun permit and (ii) whether a North Carolina resident may apply for a concealed handgun permit in that state based upon having a valid North Carolina concealed handgun permit.

Below are the states that have responded in the past year indicating they will honor North Carolina permits. Please note – occasionally states will have delayed responses or not respond, which will result in the state not being listed below.

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Law enforcement can contact our law enforcement liaison attorneys at the Department of Justice at (919) 716-6500 or by fax at (919) 716-6760.