ALERT: PISTOL PURCHASE LAW CHANGE, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
|NOTICE FROM THE NEW HANOVER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE, 3-29-23:|
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, any person seeking to purchase or transfer a handgun in North Carolina is no longer required to apply to the sheriff for a pistol purchase permit. All pistol purchase permitting laws in North Carolina have been eliminated by the enactment of Senate Bill 41, Guarantee 2nd Amend Freedom and Protections.
On March 28, 2023, the Senate successfully voted to override the Governor’s veto by a three-fifths vote of Senate members present and voting. The bill was then sent to the House for a vote to override the Governor’s veto. On March 29, 2023 the House successfully voted to override the Governor’s veto by a three-fifths vote of House members present and voting. Senate Bill 41 became law immediately once the Governor’s veto was overridden in the House. The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association has provided some helpful answers below to questions regarding this change to firearms laws in North Carolina:
Does the Sheriff Refund the $5.00 Fee for Pistol Purchase Permits Being Processed When the Law Was Repealed?
Answer: No. Under North Carolina law, the sheriff does not have the statutory authority to refund the $5.00 application fee. G.S. 14-404(e) requires the submission of a $5.00 fee at the time of application and the law does not allow this fee to be refunded once the application has been submitted for processing.
Does the Sheriff Issue Pistol Purchase Permits For Any Applications That Were Pending When The Law Was Repealed?
Answer: No. Senate Bill 41 eliminates the pistol purchase permitting laws effective immediately regardless of any pending applications at the time of repeal. The bill did not provide for any period in which pending applications would either be approved or denied. Therefore, sheriffs are required under the new law to cease processing all pistol purchase permits, effectively immediately. Any person seeking to purchase a handgun through a firearms dealer will undergo the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) criminal background check required under current law and either be sold the handgun or denied sale if a criminal history search indicates the person is disqualified from possessing a firearm. For private transfers of handguns (such as a gift or inheritance), while no National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) criminal background check is required under current law prior to making a private transfer, criminal penalties still apply to any person that knowingly transfers a handgun to a person who may not lawfully possess the firearm.
NOTE: A simple way to ensure someone you are privately selling a firearm to is legally permitted to receive that gun is to ask to see a concealed carry permit if they have one (or even an old pistol purchase permit). That will identify them as someone who has gone through vetting via the NICS system. You also have the option of conducting the transfer via an FFL at a local gun shop for a small fee. It is recommended you list their name, driver’s license, CC permit number (if applicable) and date of sale on a written Bill of Sale in case there is ever a question. Sample blank Bill of Sales are available for download in the Member’s Area of this website under “Club Forms”.
Does the Enactment of Senate Bill 41 Have Any Impact on Concealed Handgun Permitting Laws?
Answer: No. The repeal of the State’s pistol purchase permitting laws does not have any impact on our State laws governing the application for and issuance of concealed handgun permits by the sheriff. Sheriffs will continue to process concealed handgun permit applications in the same manner as before the enactment of Senate Bill 41.