A Beginner’s Guide To North Carolina Gun Laws

The question, “Can I have a firearm in my car?” is prevalent in North Carolina.

You have the right to keep and bear arms in the United States. However, that doesn’t give you carte blanche to act recklessly.

The right to bear arms comes with serious responsibilities that shouldn’t be ignored. Knowing the North Carolina gun laws in car is the best way to avoid unintended consequences when dealing with guns. Here, you’ll learn when it’s legal to conceal a firearm in a vehicle and what to do if the weapon isn’t properly hidden.

A Beginner’s Guide To North Carolina Gun Laws

Things You Need To Know

North Carolina is generally gun-friendly. Federal and state laws guarantee your right to keep and bear arms. However, not everyone is free to carry a firearm anywhere. In this post, you’ll get all the information you need about open carry and concealed carry in North Carolina so that you can be a responsible gun owner.

  • Can I Open Carry A Gun?

Those allowed to possess firearms may carry such firearms openly in North Carolina. You must be 18 and above and have no criminal record to qualify. State law doesn’t mention limiting the size of magazines or bullets.

  • Where Can I Legally Carry A Concealed Weapon?

Although open carry is legal in many locations (such as rest stops), local governments have the right to prohibit open carry in certain areas and establish “Off-Limit” zones (i.e., schools and universities, state and federal parks, and organized sporting events). Moreover, “No Weapons” signs in public places or private property prohibit open carry.

  • Is It Legal To Open Carry A Gun In Cars?

You can publicly carry a weapon if it’s visible and not concealed. This necessitates openly displaying the weapon or securing it in a locked location. North Carolina law doesn’t treat a car as an extra room in the house, as in some other jurisdictions. Individuals may lawfully carry a concealed firearm on their property, but it’s illegal to do so in a public place or on someone else’s property.

A concealed firearm is legal in North Carolina, as is a gun that’s “easily and readily available” to the driver or passenger. You’re not breaking the law if you keep it locked away in the trunk where no one can get to it.

It’s also not easily and readily accessible if the key is not in the lock and the glove box cannot be opened by simply pulling on it.

  • Where Should I Place My Gun If I Am In The Car?

Remember that if you keep your car’s insurance and registration in the glove box, you shouldn’t keep your firearm there either. When you reach for the car’s paperwork, the police officer may perceive this as a threat.

If a concealed gun was found anywhere in the passenger compartment of a car, it’s up to the discretion of the police officer to decide whether or not it was easily accessible. Vans and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) without a trunk should store firearms in a lockable container that’s as distant from passengers as practicable.

In what sense is it hidden? The North Carolina Division of Public Safety reports that carrying a concealed weapon in a motor vehicle is illegal unless the gun is out of sight and within easy reach. This means that unless the owner has a concealed carry permit, it’s prohibited to have a firearm in a vehicle where it can be concealed from an approaching person but is still readily accessible to the vehicle’s occupants. This rule applies equally to both loaded and empty firearms.

  • Do I need to disclose to law enforcement that I have a gun if I am stopped?

There’s a legal obligation to disclose your handgun possession to a law enforcement officer in North Carolina. While in possession of a concealed weapon, you must have your permit on you at all times.

The Takeaway

It’s not out of the ordinary for people to travel with guns stashed away in the glove compartment, under the seat, or even on their lap. However, without a concealed carry permit, it’s illegal in North Carolina for a driver to have a concealed firearm in the car.

Therefore, if you wish to have a firearm in your vehicle but don’t have a concealed carry permit, you must publicly display the firearm or store it in a secure location out of reach of yourself and your passengers. Even if you don’t have a license to carry a gun under your clothes, you can still drive with a gun under certain conditions.

On a side note, if you get caught in a gun-related offence in Chicago, you can always reach out to trusted attorneys for gun law matters in Chicago