A North Carolina firearm bill of sale proves and validates the transfer of ownership of a firearm.
This document records information about the parties, the firearm, and the sale to protect buyers and sellers from legal issues.
North Carolina law does not specify a waiting period for firearm sales, but the time it takes to obtain a permit may vary from county to county. Additionally, the state imposes restrictions on who can possess, carry, and inherit a firearm.
How to Sell a Firearm Privately
North Carolina residents can privately sell and trade most types of guns except for “machine guns” and “submachine guns” under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-409.
In North Carolina, a “long gun” (rifle or shotgun) may be transferred from one party to another without a permit.
For weapons such as pistols and handguns, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-402 mandates that the purchaser has either a pistol purchase permit or a valid North Carolina concealed handgun permit.
Exceptions to permit requirements include antique firearms and historic-edged weapons.
It is a Class I misdemeanor for a minor under 18 to purchase or own a firearm in North Carolina (NC Gen Stat § 14-315(a1)).
The state’s Felony Firearms Act, Article 54A, also prohibits the purchase or possession of any firearm if the buyer has:
- Been convicted of, acquitted because of insanity, or determined to lack mental capacity in a proceeding for felony charges except for antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraints of trade.
- Been convicted of a crime under federal or other state law punishable by more than one year of imprisonment or substantially similar to a North Carolina felony.
- Been acquitted because of insanity or deemed incompetent in proceedings for assault charges involving pointing a gun.
- Been prohibited from owning firearms by a protective order issued in a domestic violence case.
Under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-404, a North Carolina sheriff may not issue a pistol purchase permit for a handgun if an applicant:
- Has been convicted of a felony other than antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraints of trade
- Is a fugitive from justice ( G.S. 14-404)
- Unlawfully uses marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic as defined by federal law ( 21 U.S.C. § 802)
- Has been adjudicated mentally incompetent or committed to a mental institution
- Is in the United States illegally or unlawfully
- Has been dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces
- Has renounced their United States citizenship
- Is subject to a court order, issued after a hearing they had the opportunity to attend, finding that they represent a credible threat to the safety of their intimate partner or their child and restrained them from harassing, stalking, or threatening their intimate partner or their child
Criminal background checks are part of the North Carolina pistol permitting process.
Still, you may also conduct background checks on potential buyers through private services or the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
Gun Inheritance Laws
You don’t need a permit to possess or sell an inherited long gun in North Carolina. But you will need a North Carolina concealed weapons permit or a pistol purchase permit from your local sheriff’s office to inherit a handgun.
After the death of a firearm owner, an individual or business with a Federal Firearms License (FFL) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) can take possession of all firearms. At the same time, parties determine ownership and obtain permits.
Like all firearm sales to out-of-state buyers, sales of inherited firearms to buyers in other states must be conducted through an FFL licensee.
Online resources such as ATF listings and GunBroker can help locate an FFL licensee.
While county sheriffs maintain records of pistol permits, no North Carolina law requires the registration of firearms after purchase.
Per NC Gen Stat § 14-405, every county sheriff’s office must maintain a database of anyone holding a Permit to Purchase or Concealed Handgun Permit.
Under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-406, licensed dealers must maintain records of all sales, but the records are confidential and not public but must be provided to law enforcement agencies upon request.
Concealed Carry Permit
Generally, North Carolina residents eligible to own guns may carry them openly.
However, even with a concealed handgun permit, it’s illegal to carry firearms in some locations and under certain circumstances, such as:
- On school property per § 14-269.2
- On state property and in courthouses unless in a locked vehicle
- In parades, picket lines, funeral processions, and demonstrations
- Anywhere it is federally illegal
- On private property with conspicuous notice that firearms are not allowed
- When consuming alcohol, controlled substances, or having them in your body
You may carry concealed firearms in state parks with a North Carolina concealed handgun permit.
How to Apply
North Carolina law (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-415.12) requires you to be 21 or older and take an approved firearms training course to obtain a concealed handgun permit.
Having no disqualifying marks on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) would be best.
Step 1 – Apply
Download and fill out an application or obtain one from your local sheriff’s office.
Step 2 – Turn in Application and Documentation
Present the application, a certificate of completion of firearms training per NC Gen Stat § 14-415.12(4), and your driver’s license or state identification to your county sheriff.
Step 3 – Present Additional Documents As Needed
Step 4 – Pay Fee and Get Fingerprinted
You must pay a fee of about $90, including the cost of fingerprinting, and you’ll be asked to sign a disclosure authorizing the sheriff to access your mental health records.
Step 5 – Wait for Approval or Denial
The sheriff will issue or deny a permit within 45 days of your application.
A valid concealed handgun permit or license issued by another state is honored in North Carolina (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-415.24).
North Carolina Firearm Bill of Sale Sample
Below is an example of a North Carolina firearm bill of sale.