The Law offices of Arnold & Smith - John Price Carr House
You cannot reason with the unreasonable;
When it is time to fight,

Reasons You May be Denied a Gun Permit in North Carolina

North Carolina is considered a “permissive” state in the context of gun laws; this means that it should be easy for the average citizen to obtain and use a firearm. Although gun laws have changed considerably throughout the country, North Carolina is sticking to its “guns” and offering the same levels of freedom to its citizens without notable restrictions.

There are only a few things that can prevent you from owning a firearm in Mooresville, and if you have been denied, the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office must inform you why you were denied. If you feel that you were denied on grounds that were unconstitutional or unjustified, you can appeal the decision in a court of law. An attorney can review your denial and help you with the appeals process.

With that said, it is important to understand the various reasons why you might be denied a pistol permit in Iredell County.


One of the most basic requirements for a pistol permit in Iredell County is age. You must be at least 21 years of age to obtain a permit; however, if you are between the ages of 18 and 20, you may obtain a restricted permit. If you are between 18 and 20 and your permit was denied, the Sheriff’s Office should have issued you a restricted license instead or provided another reason for the denial.


The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office requires you to live in the county for no less than one month before obtaining your license. Federal law also restricts permits if you are an illegal alien or you have renounced your citizenship. If you have been denied based on your residency, an attorney can help you prepare documents to prove you live in the county.

Criminal Record

The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office will also take your criminal record into account. According to North Carolina state law, you will be denied a permit if you have been indicted for a felony. The only exception is if you have been indicted for felonies related to anti-trust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraints of trade. An attorney can help you deal with this obstacle in several ways, such as obtaining a pardon.

Mental History

When you apply for a pistol permit, you must authorize the Iredell County Clerk of Superior Court to inform the Sheriff’s Office whether you have any history of involuntary commitments to a mental institution. Note that the Sheriff’s Office does not have the authority to view your medical records, as they only have access to court orders. If you have been denied based on your mental history, an attorney can help you try to show that you are mentally stable after recovering from past ailments.

Drug Issues

Even if you have a clean criminal record, you may be denied a permit because of alleged substance abuse or unlawful use of drugs. These include marijuana and several other narcotics. If your criminal record does not state anything about drug use, and you have been denied for drug-related issues, an attorney may be able to argue that the Sheriff’s evidence is not accurate.

Military History

Dishonorable discharges from the military may also serve as the basis for permit denial. An attorney can help you try and show the court that the circumstances regarding your discharge were misunderstood or baseless.

Court Orders

You may also be denied the right to a gun permit if you have been issued a restraining order against a family member or a child. Usually, these restraining orders must involve some kind of imminent threat posed by you to intimate partners or children. Again, you can work with an attorney to try and overcome this obstacle.

Lack of Good Moral Character

Perhaps the most open-ended requirement for gun permits in North Carolina is good moral character. The exact meaning of “good moral character” is difficult to define; at the end of the day, the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office can use their discretion to determine this. That being said, this quality is usually based on things like trustworthiness, responsibility, and service to the state and nation. Also, the Sheriff’s Office will look at your criminal history within the past five years to determine your moral character.

Wrong Reasons For Using Firearms

In North Carolina, you must state your reasons for using firearms when you apply for a permit. There are only four acceptable reasons to own and use a firearm in North Carolina:

  • The defense of your property or family
  • Target practice
  • Collecting
  • Hunting

If you tell the Sheriff’s Office that you plan to use your firearm for any other reason, you could be denied. Also, you may be denied if the Sheriff’s Office has reason to believe that you will use firearms for other reasons.

Contact Us Today

If you have been denied a pistol permit and you believe that you are not in violation of any of the regulations listed above, it may be time to take legal action. Reach out to Arnold & Smith, PLLC today, and we can help you appeal your permit denial and protect your rights.

For your convenience and safety, we now offer phone and video conferencing. If you prefer an in-person consultation, we have three easy to reach locations in Uptown Charlotte, Monroe, and Mooresville.