North Carolina Background Check and Gun Laws
To acquire a handgun in North Carolina (including private sales, gifts, and inheritance) an individual must go to the county sheriff's office in the county in which they reside and obtain a pistol purchase permit. This is not required if one has a CCW (Carrying a Concealed Weapon) permit. State law requires the applicant to appear in person with government ID, pay a $5 fee, undergo a background check similar in scope and scrutiny to NICS, and have a reason for owning a pistol (hunting, target shooting, self defense, or collecting). Because there are 100 different county sheriffs in North Carolina, there are different sets of rules and requirements for obtaining such a permit, which can be determined arbitrarily by the local sheriff. Some sheriffs impose other restrictions such as a limit on the number of permits applied for at a time, waiting periods, and/or proof of good moral character (a witness or references, in some cases notarized with affidavits). This requirement is a holdover from Jim Crow laws that were designed to prevent African-Americans and other minorities from obtaining handguns.
Durham County requires the registration of handguns. In accordance to North Carolina Law, no other county or local government may require handgun registration.
North Carolina is a "shall issue" state for the concealed carry of handguns. Application for a concealed carry license is made through the local county sheriff's office. Applicants must complete a state approved training course. A CCW license is valid for a period of five years. Regardless of the possession of a CCW permit, absolutely no person may possess a concealed weapon at any government-run facility or any educational establishment.
North Carolina honors concealed carry permits issued by Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. North Carolina's permit is valid in approximately thirty states, more than any other CCW permit.
Open Carry is also legal throughout North Carolina except within the town of Cary, which forbids it by local ordinance. In the city of Chapel Hill, open carry is restricted to guns of a certain minimum size, under the theory that small, concealable weapons are more often associated with criminal activity. No permit is required to carry a weapon openly in North Carolina. You shall be able to carry weapons if no one is harmed. If someone feels threatened by your open carry, you may be arrested under the state's "Going armed to the terror of the public" common law.
New York State requires that anyone buying a gun at a gunshow must have a background check done.