What Do I Do if I Have Been Denied a Gun Permit in North Carolina?

The right to bear arms is one of the foundational principles of the United States. While it is true that local authorities can deny you the necessary permits to obtain and use firearms, many Americans should be able to gain a permit without much trouble. Unfortunately, some people are denied a pistol permit; this might come as a shock, especially if they are unaware of violating any regulation or requirement.

With the assistance of an attorney, you can pursue your right to bear arms in an efficient, organized, and constitutional manner. There are many reasons why your gun permit might have been denied. An attorney can look into your unique situation and prove to the court that there is no reason you should not be able to protect yourself, your property, and your family with the necessary equipment.

North Carolina is a “Shall Issue” State

If you are trying to obtain a concealed carry license in Charlotte, you should know that North Carolina is a “shall issue” state. This means that as long as you go through the necessary steps and undergo training, the state should issue you a concealed carry license. On the other hand, “may issue” states may deny your concealed carry permit for any reason they deem necessary.

The key distinction here is the discretion of the state. “May issue” states use their discretion when issuing concealed carry permits. Sometimes, this means that it is substantially more difficult to get a concealed carry permit in certain states.

So, what does this all mean? If you have been denied a concealed carry permit and you have gone through all of the necessary steps with no reason to warrant such a denial, your rights as a citizen of North Carolina may have been violated. In this situation, you can appeal the decision of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

The Requirements for a Purchase Permit in North Carolina

The requirements for a purchase permit (not a concealed carry permit) in North Carolina are very similar to the requirements laid out by Federal law. When you apply for your permit, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office will consider several factors:

  • Past felony charges
  • Fugitive status
  • Addiction or unlawful use of drugs
  • You have been committed to a mental institution in the past
  • You are an unlawful alien living illegally in the country
  • Dishonorable discharge from the military
  • You have renounced your citizenship
  • Court order for stalking or threatening a child or partner

All of the above factors can be a reason your permit is denied. Note that these are the only real reasons the Sheriff’s Office can deny your permit, so there is no reason you should be denied, as long as none of the above applies to you.

The Definition of “Good Moral Character”

One of the vaguest requirements for a gun permit in North Carolina is “good moral character.” As the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office freely admits, there is no legal definition of “good moral character” in any statute. This means that the Sheriff’s Office is essentially free to decide what constitutes “good moral character” according to their guidelines.

If you have been denied access to a gun permit because the Sheriff’s Office claims that you lack “good moral character,” you have a chance of appealing the decision and winning back the right to bear arms. There have been many notable cases in the past where plaintiffs have successfully proven that they do possess good moral character, regardless of what the Sheriff’s Office may have decided.

The Supreme Court of North Carolina has issued a statement saying that “good moral character is honesty, fairness, and respect for the rights of others and the laws of the State and the nation.”

The Five-Year Rule

While the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office can review your entire criminal history, they face limitations when determining whether you have “good moral character.” To determine the latter, they are only able to consider your criminal record over the last five years. The only exception is if you have committed a crime that would disqualify you from a gun permit anyway, such as a felony.

Contact Us Today

As you can see, there are quite a few inconsistencies and vague guidelines when it comes to obtaining a gun permit in North Carolina. If you believe that you have been wrongly denied a pistol permit, we are here to help. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we can help you navigate the appeal process. Contact us today for your initial consultation.

For your convenience and safety, we now offer video and phone conferencing. If you prefer an in-person consultation, we have three easy to reach locations in Uptown Charlotte, Monroe, and Mooresville. Contact us today at 704.370.2828 to learn how we can defend your right to bear arms.