The following is a video transcript.
Hi, Mark Edwards here. There are many pitfalls law-abiding gun owners face. Let’s discuss the three most common mistakes that North Carolinians make regarding gun laws in our state.
Notifying Law Enforcement
The first mistake gun owners make is failing to immediately notify a law enforcement officer that they have a concealed weapon and a concealed carry permit during official police encounters. North Carolina gun law requires this be the first thing you do during an official police encounter. The most common example of an official encounter occurs during a traffic stop.
Several years ago, I had a client who was a concealed carry holder and was the victim of a hit and run. He chased the person who hit him and called the police. When the officer arrived, my client was very stressed by the situation and forgot to notify the officer of his concealed carry status. The officer then charged him for not notifying in a timely manner. I was sure the district attorney would dismiss the case given the circumstances, but boy was I ever wrong! Although casual encounters with law enforcement officers do not require notification, law enforcement officers and district attorneys can be sticklers about the duty to notify.
The Castle Doctrine
The second most common mistake people make concerns the Castle Doctrine and the idea of occupancy. If you’re outside your home and realize someone is illegally in your house, and you choose to enter the house with your weapon, the presumptions of fear and danger likely will not apply in that situation. Further, the Castle Doctrine applies to an occupied car, but not an unoccupied car. You can lawfully use deadly force to defend yourself or loved ones, if either of you are inside a car that someone is breaking into. However, you cannot use deadly force to protect your property from an unoccupied car break-in.
Transfer of Ownership of a Firearm
Finally, the third mistake involves the transfer of ownership of a firearm. If you conduct a private transfer of ownership of a gun, you must remember, under North Carolina law, it is unlawful for any person to sell, give away, transfer, purchase, or receive, at any place in the State, any pistol, unless the purchaser or receiver has first obtained a permit to receive such pistol by the sheriff of the county where the purchaser or receiver resides, or the purchaser or receiver possesses a valid North Carolina-issued Concealed Handgun Permit.
If you have any questions North Carolina gun law or the issues just discussed, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.
If I were to transfer ownership of my pistol to someone with a NC conceal carry permit in NC, what must I do to document the exchange?
I always require a pistol purchase permit, which I retain, or a NC Concealed Carry Permit. I copy the concealed carry permit and the person’s ID on the back of a Bill of Sale/Transfer, give them a copy and have them sign my copy. I’ve done that twice with handguns, and several times with rifles/shotgun. Even black powder rifles. I know, you’re not required to do that for long guns, but I want to be safe, not sorry. And, since I’m not required to retain a pistol purchase permit for a rifle/shotgun, I just keep a copy of the PPP, not the actual permit.
Go to a gun store they can do the transfer
What if the gun was transferred in another state (both parties lived there), then both parties moved to NC?
That would depend on the laws of each state, Elizabeth. With most states that is not a problem because you are transferring personal property. It would matter in states which require registration, or licensing, to possess/transfer guns in, or out of the state.
the first statement does not apply to open carry. just have the gun where they can see it.
I live in Cherokee county NC how far from a neighbors property or home do I need to be before shooting a firearm
Do you have to inform law-enforcement that you have a permit even if you’re not carrying at the time? Or is it only when you’re actively carrying the firearm?