Under G.S. 14-404 the criteria to qualify for the issuance of a purchase permit include:
(a) Upon application, and such application must be provided by the sheriff electronically, the sheriff shall issue the permit to a resident of that county, unless the purpose of the permit is for collecting, in which case a sheriff can issue a permit to a nonresident, when the sheriff has done all of the following:
- Verified, before the issuance of a permit, by a criminal history background investigation that it is not a violation of State or federal law for the applicant to purchase, transfer, receive, or possess a handgun. The sheriff shall determine the criminal and background history of any applicant by accessing computerized criminal history records as maintained by the State Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, by conducting a national criminal history records check, by conducting a check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), and by conducting a criminal history check through the Administrative Office of the Courts.
- Fully satisfied himself or herself by affidavits, oral evidence, or otherwise, as to the good moral character of the applicant. For purposes of determining an applicant’s good moral character to receive a permit, the sheriff shall only consider an applicant’s conduct and criminal history for the five-year period immediately preceding the date of the application.
- Fully satisfied himself or herself that the applicant desires the possession of the weapon mentioned for
- the protection of the home, business, person, family or property,
- target shooting,
- collecting, or
If the sheriff is not fully satisfied, the sheriff may, for good cause shown, decline to issue the permit and shall provide to the applicant within seven days of the refusal a written statement of the reason(s) for the refusal. The statement shall cite the specific facts upon which the sheriff concluded that the applicant was not qualified for the issuance of a permit and list, by statute number, the applicable law upon which the denial is based.
A purchase permit may not be issued to the following persons:
- One who is under an indictment or information for or has been convicted in any state, or in any court of the United States, of a felony (other than an offense pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraints of trade). However, a person who has been convicted of a felony in a court of any state or in a court of the United States and (i) who is later pardoned, or (ii) whose firearms rights have been restored pursuant to G.S. 14-415.4, may obtain a permit, if the purchase or receipt of a pistol permitted in this Article does not violate a condition of the pardon or restoration of firearms rights.
- One who is a fugitive from justice.
- One who is an unlawful user of or addicted to marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug (as defined in 21 U.S.C. § 802
- One who has been adjudicated mentally incompetent or has been committed to any mental institution.
- One who is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States.
- One who has been discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States under dishonorable conditions.
- One who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his or her citizenship.
- One who is subject to a court order that: a. was issued after a hearing of which the person received actual notice, and at which the person had an opportunity to participate; b. restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of the person or child of the intimate partner of the person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and, c. includes a finding that the person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of the intimate partner or child; or by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury.
The North Carolina Felony Firearms Act, G.S. 14-415.1 makes it unlawful for any person who has been convicted of a felony to purchase, own, possess, or have in his custody, care, or control any firearm or any weapon of mass death and destruction as defined in G.S. 14-288.8.
Prior convictions which cause disentitlement under this section shall only include:
- Felony convictions in North Carolina that occur before, on, or after December 1, 1995; and
- Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c. 487, s. 3, effective December 1, 1995.
- Violations of criminal laws of other states or of the United States that occur before, on, or after December 1, 1995, and that are substantially similar to the crimes covered in subdivision (1) which are punishable where committed by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. When a person is charged under this section, records of prior convictions of any offense, whether in the courts of this State, or in the courts of any other state or of the United States, shall be admissible in evidence for the purpose of proving a violation of this section. The term “conviction” is defined as a final judgment in any case in which felony punishment, or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, as the case may be, is authorized, without regard to the plea entered or to the sentence imposed. A judgment of a conviction of the defendant or a plea of guilty by the defendant to such an offense certified to a superior court of this State from the custodian of records of any state or federal court shall be prima facie evidence of the facts so certified.
Under Federal Law 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), prohibited persons include any individual who:
- Has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
- Is a fugitive from justice;
- Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802));
- Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution;
- Who, being an alien, is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or, except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26)));
- Who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
- Who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;
- Who is subject to a court order that was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate; restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and, includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury
- Who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.