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Changes in North_Carolina Firearms Laws


Effective February 4, 2014, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce that we are implementing an online scheduling and application tool for our Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) process in conjunction with Permitium, LLC. It is similar to the online purchase permit application process that was implemented in August 2012.

Now you will be able to schedule appointments online as well as complete the entire application packet for a new CHP or renew your CHP. You will also be able to pay for the CHP online with a credit or debit card. Once you complete, print the packet and bring to our office at 715 East 4th Street and we will verify the documentation and notarize the paperwork. You will receive confirmation via email and text message when your new permit is ready for pickup.

We are excited about this new tool and hope you will find the process easier and more convenient. Should you have any questions, please call our office at 704-336-3664.

Effective 04/21/14, all persons applying for a Concealed Carry Permit will be charged $20.00 for their medical records/history to be sent to the Sheriff’s Office. You will receive an invoice directly from Presbyterian Hospital for this service. Presbyterian is allowed to charge this fee under N.C. General Statute 90-411. Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office will not be responsible for payment nor will they be responsible for any delay in receiving information from Presbyterian Hospital. If you have any questions regarding your invoice, please contact Presbyterian Medical Records Department at 704-384-4150.

Effective 10/01/13, the NC General Statute 14-404, requires the Sheriff's Office to process the handgun purchase permit within 14 days of the application. Once your application is completed you will be notified by email. If your application is approved, the permit must be picked up within 30 days of the email.

All concealed handgun permit appointments are available on-line based on availability. At the end of your application process you will be prompted to choose an appointment. Once your application has been received, MCSO has 45 days to issue or deny once we receive ALL of the information back from the mental health facilities. We apologize for the inconvenience, but our goal is to ensure each citizen is given the attention needed to complete the process.

If you are filing an appeal for a handgun or carry-concealed denial, you must fill out the appeal form. Once you have completed the form, you may mail it to the below address or deliver in person at the same address.

Mecklenburg County Courthouse
832 E. 4th Street (Directions)
9th Floor
Charlotte, NC 28202
Attn: District Court Judge



Appeal Form For Gun Permit

Gun Owner Information Handout


Learning the laws regulating the use of firearms is a must for responsible ownership. Local regulations differ and laws vary from state to state. Citizens must check with the jurisdiction where the gun is to be used. Generally, laws require the following:

Permits to buy handguns in North Carolina can be obtained from the county sheriff.

The office hours to fill out a handgun purchase permit are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Cost is $5.00.

Anyone wishing to apply for a handgun purchase permit should click on the “Order Permits Online” button above. This will allow you to pay with a credit card. If you wish to apply using cash, you will need to come to the office located at 715 E. Fourth Street, Suite 200. Our office is behind the historic Mecklenburg County Courthouse, slightly below street level. Parking is available at the McDowell Street parking deck located at the corner of McDowell and 4th Street or at the Davidson Street deck located at the corner of Davidson and 3rd Street.

Guns must be carried in plain view. Guns must not be carried in a pocket, purse, under a car seat or in any other concealed manner unless you have a concealed handgun permit.

The North Carolina General Assembly enacted a concealed handgun law that allows qualifying citizens of North Carolina the opportunity to obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun. This law became effective on December 1, 1995, and requires that the permit be secured from the sheriff of the permit holder's county of residence.

Gaining competency with firearms is like learning to drive a car or fly an airplane. You need expert instruction and practice. There is no shortcut. If you are not willing to invest the time and effort to become competent, then having a firearm and trying to use it can, in many instances, be more hazardous than any impending threat.

Storage of firearms and ammunition presents a unique responsibility. Children may see weapons as toys, and thieves view them as a tool for crime or an item that can be sold for quick profit. Keep all firearms locked away in a secure place.

N.C. General Statute 14-415.11(d)

  • Any individual who has been issued a valid permit must notify the issuing sheriff of any permanent change of address within thirty (30) days. In order to change your address on your CHP you must bring your updated driver’s license to the office and fill out the appropriate paperwork.

  • If the permit is lost or destroyed, he/she must notify the issuing sheriff of such loss. The permittee is then eligible to obtain a duplicate permit by submitting to the sheriff a notarized statement that the permit was lost or destroyed and by paying the required duplicate permit fee of $15.00. Please make sure you bring your driver’s license with you.


Applicant must:

  • be a citizen, a naturalized citizen or a resident alien

  • be twenty-one (21) years of age

  • have attained at least one month's residency in Mecklenburg County

  • provide a valid driver's license or other picture ID with current address provided by the state of North Carolina
A criminal background check must be performed before granting of permit.

A permit to purchase a handgun cost five dollars ($5.00). You may purchase a total of three (3) permits with one (1) application.

Permit to purchase a handgun is valid for a period of five (5) years from date of issue.


Applicant must:

  • be twenty-one (21) years of age

  • be a resident of Mecklenburg County and a resident of North Carolina for thirty (30) days

  • be a citizen or naturalized citizen of the United States of America

  • not suffer from any mental or physical infirmity which would prevent safe handgun handling and operation

  • provide a valid N.C. driver's license or other picture ID with current address provided by the state of North Carolina

  • successfully complete a firearms training and safety course that has been designed by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Standards Commission (See Yellow Pages or a firearms dealer for businesses that provide training)
A criminal background check is performed on each applicant before granting the permit. The processing of the concealed carry weapons permit takes much longer than the handgun purchase permit. The Sheriff has forty-five (45) days from the time all application materials, to include receipt of the mental health records, are received to either issue or deny a permit. N.C. General Statute 14-415-15(a).

Anyone interested in applying for a concealed carry weapon permit must use the link provided and apply online. Prior to applying, please make sure you have the following information available.
  • NC driver’s license number

  • NC Firearms Training Certificate number (located in the bottom right corner)
Applicant must apply in person and have a verifiable training certificate and a valid picture ID in hand (NC driver's license or other picture ID with current address provided by the state of North Carolina).

A Concealed Weapon Permit requires a $90.00 non-refundable fee (which includes a $10.00 fingerprint fee) payable by cash, money order or certified check. If paying with cash, please bring exact amount since we have very little cash on hand. Personal checks are not accepted.

Visit the Attorney General's website for additional information.


For a current list of states that have concealed handgun permit agreements with North Carolina, click here.


Persons not eligible include anyone:

  • found guilty or received a prayer for judgment continued or suspended sentence for any crimes of violence or misdemeanor assaults as defined by General Statutes

  • under indictment or against whom a finding of probable cause exists for a felony

  • found guilty in any court for a felony

  • receiving a prayer for judgment continued for any criminal offense which disqualifies a person from receiving a Concealed Handgun Permit

  • who is a fugitive from justice

  • who is an unlawful user of or addicted to illegal drugs

  • discharged from the armed forces for other than honorable reasons

  • who has been ruled mentally ill

  • ineligible to own, possess or receive a firearm under the provisions of state or federal law

  • free on bond or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal or sentencing for a crime which disqualifies a person from receiving a Concealed Handgun Permit

  • convicted of an impaired driving offense within three years prior to application date


You must notify the Sheriff issuing the permit of any change of address within thirty (30) days of the change. This must be done in person at the agency that is the holder of the record. Please make sure you bring your updated driver’s license and concealed permit with you when changing your address.

You may not carry a concealed handgun while consuming or after having consumed alcohol or other controlled substance which alters judgment or physical control.

Handgun may be concealed in purse or pocket.

Permit and a valid North Carolina issued picture ID must be on your person when carrying a concealed handgun.

You must tell any approaching law enforcement officer that you are carrying a concealed handgun.

Failure to carry permit or to notify approaching law enforcement officer is an infraction for the first offense, a misdemeanor in subsequent instances.

Permits can be revoked for lying on application, lending your permit to another person or being charged with a crime.


If a permit expires, an individual may not carry his or her weapon concealed until a new application has been approved and issued.

The renewal process will be similar to the original application except the Sheriff has waived the necessity for existing permit holders to re-take the firearms safety course. However, if a permit holder allows a permit to expire, he or she will be treated as a new applicant and will be required to take the firearms safety class again.

Anyone interested in applying for a concealed handgun permit must use the above link and apply using our online system. Prior to applying, please make sure you have the following information.

  • Concealed permit number

  • NC driver’s license number
At the appointment, applicants will fill out a concealed handgun renewal form, sign a notarized affidavit stating they remain qualified under the concealed handgun law, sign mental health release forms and pay a non-refundable renewal fee of $75 payable only in cash, money order or certified check. Personal checks are not accepted.

An applicant also must bring to the appointment a valid picture ID (NC driver's license or other picture ID with current address provided by the state of North Carolina).

The Sheriff's Office Permit Bureau is located at 715 E. 4th St., behind the historic Courthouse.


  1. If you keep a handgun in your home, always keep it unloaded and locked up!

  2. Always lock and store bullets separately from your gun. Young children can figure out how to load a gun.

  3. Keep a gun lock on your gun after it is unloaded. [Gun locks are excellent devices when used in combination with other safety habits. Gun locks can provide a false sense of security. All it takes is forgetting to lock a gun just one time. Or leaving the key where a child can find it. Always be diligent when using a gun lock. Always double check to make sure that it is locked at all times.]

  4. Make sure children don't have access to the keys to gun locks and gun and ammunition storage areas.

  5. Even if you don't own a gun, talk with your children about the danger of guns and what to do if they find one while playing or at a friend's house.

  6. Explain to your children that guns are dangerous and that they should never touch them.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office
715 East 4th Street (Directions)
Charlotte, NC 28202 Tamara Rhode
TEL: 980-314-5061
Fax: 704.432.5246