In North Carolina, anyone over the age of 18 may purchase any long gun, rifle, shotgun, bow, or crossbow without a purchase permit, so long as they are not a “prohibited person”.
In order to buy any pistol in North Carolina an individual must be at least 21 years old, and must first obtain a purchase permit from the sheriff of the county in which they reside. Purchasers who hold a valid North Carolina concealed carry permit are not required to obtain a purchase permit before buying a pistol; the concealed carry permit serves as the purchase permit instead. Under federal law, there are no affirmative purchasing requirements, however, an individual may not purchase a firearm if they are a prohibited person under 18 U.S.C. 922(d).
In order to purchase any firearm from a dealer licensed by the ATF, all purchasers must complete ATF Form 4473, “Firearms Transaction Record,” and pass a background check. A copy of Form 4473 is attached to the materials for your reference. The purpose of Form 4473 is to correctly identify the purchaser and to ensure that the purchaser is not prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm. In order to ensure that the purchaser is not prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm, Form 4473 pulls language from the text of the federal penal code in the form of a series of yes or no questions addressing the following prohibited possessors:
- A person who is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
- A fugitive from justice.
- An unlawful user of, or addicted to, any controlled substances.
- A person adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution.
- An alien unlawfully in the United States.
- A person who has been dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces.
- A person who has renounced his citizenship.
- A person subject to a domestic restraining order after notice and an opportunity to be heard.
- A person who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
Generally, Form 4473 must be completed at the licensed business premises when a firearm is transferred over the counter. After the sale, the seller must make the Form 4473, and any supporting documents part of his/her permanent records. These forms must be retained for at least 20 years.