The County Sheriff is the only official authorized under N.C.G.S. 14-402 to issue a permit to receive or purchase a handgun when a person who is a resident of his or her particular county submits an application. The sole exception is that the sheriff may issue a permit to a non-resident when the purpose of the permit is for collecting firearms. Prior to issuing a permit, the Sheriff must certify by affidavits, oral evidence, or otherwise, that the applicant is of good moral character and that the person, firm, or corporation wants to possess the weapon for one of the following purposes:
- The protection of the applicant’s home, business, person, family, or property
- Target shooting
- Firearms Collection
Additionally, the Sheriff must verify 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 history of any applicant by accessing computerized criminal history records as maintained by the State and Federal Bureau of Investigations, by conducting a national history records check, and by conducting a criminal history check through the Administrative Office of the Courts. N.C.G.S. 14-404.
There are specific reasons that a permit may not be issued.
(For a list of questions please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 704-869-6801)
The Sheriff shall inform each applicant for a permit within fourteen (14) days of the date of his/her application as to whether the permit would be granted or denied.
When a Sheriff is not fully satisfied with the applicant’s good moral character or eligibility to receive a permit, he or she shall notify the applicant of the reason for his or her refusal to issue the permit within seven (7) days of his or her decision. An applicant who has been refused a permit has a right to appeal such refusal to the Superior Court Judge for the district in which the application was filed. N.C.G.S. 14-404.
A five-dollar ($5.00) fee for each permit application shall be paid to the Sheriff’s Office at the time the application is submitted. If additional permits are desired, a five-dollar ($5.00) fee for each additional permit will be charged when the application is approved.
Gun permit applications may be completed in the following ways:
- Applications can be picked up in person at the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office weekdays Monday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Tuesday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. You may then complete the application and turn it in for processing.
- The permit application can also be downloaded from the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office website by clicking on the link below. You can then bring the completed application to the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office and turn it in for processing.
- After all record checks have been completed and the application is approved, the final permit/permits can be picked up at the Sheriff’s Office Monday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Tuesday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. When you turn your application in, you will be given a phone number to call back in eight to twelve days to see if your application has been approved. You will need a photo ID to pick up your gun permit.
- The fee charged by the Sheriff’s Office for issuing gun permits is $5.00 each. You may purchase as many permits as desired from one application. This is payable (CASH ONLY) to the Sheriff’s Office and is set by state law (G.S. 14-409). When the permit is picked up at the Sheriff’s Office, you will need to have correct change. If you do not have the correct change, we cannot issue the permit.
- Gun permits are issued for the purchase of handguns only. It does not give you the right to carry the gun concealed. Carrying a concealed weapon without a N.C. State Concealed Handgun Permit is against the law (G.S. 14-269).
ONCE AN APPLICATION HAS BEEN APPROVED AND YOU HAVE RECEIVED YOUR PURCHASE PERMITS, THE APPLICATION EXPIRES. A NEW APPLICATION IS REQUIRED IF YOU DESIRE ADDITIONAL PERMITS IN THE FUTURE. PERMITS MUST BE PICKED UP BEFORE 4:30PM. ONCE AN APPLICATION HAS BEEN APPROVED, YOU MUST PICK UP YOUR PERMITS WITHIN 30 DAYS. IF YOU DO NOT PICK UP PERMITS WITHIN THE 30 DAY LIMIT, THE APPLICATION EXPIRES AND YOU WILL HAVE TO SUBMIT A NEW APPLICATION
Concealed Weapon Carrying Permit
As of December 1, 1995, certain residents of North Carolina may be eligible to obtain a permit, which would allow them to carry a concealed handgun under certain conditions.
No other weapons may be carried concealed pursuant to such permit. The Sheriff is the only official who may issue a concealed permit. N.C.G.S. 14-415.11
In order to obtain a North Carolina Concealed Carry Permit, an individual must apply to the sheriff’s office in the county in which he/she resides. As part of the application process, the applicant must accomplish the following:
- Complete an application, under oath, on a form provided by the sheriff’s office
- Pay a non-refundable fee of $80.00
- Allow the sheriff’s office to take two (2) full sets of fingerprints, which will cost $10.00
- Provide an original certificate of completion of an approved handgun safety course
- Provide a release authorizing disclosure to the sheriff of any record concerning the applicant’s mental health capacity. N.C.G.S. 14-415.13
- Must Provide Photo ID
- If you were in the Military you must provide DD214 form.
To renew a concealed carrying permit the same process will be required except that a new handgun safety course will not be needed as long as the original permit has not expired.
The Sheriff has ninety (90) days from the time all application materials are received to either issue or deny the permit. N.C.G.S. 14-415.15(a)
There are certain requirements to be approved before the sheriff can issue a permit and the sheriff must deny the permit if certain prohibitions exist. Contact the sheriff’s office or the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office for the requirements. There is a partial list of prohibitions on the back of the concealed carry application.
If a permit is denied the applicant may appeal the denial, the revocation, or non- renewal of a permit by petitioning a superior court judge in the applicant’s residential district. The court’s determination will be based upon facts, law and reasonableness of the sheriff’s refusal to issue the permit.
Citizens may obtain a Handgun Purchase Permit or a Concealed Carrying Permit at the Sheriff’s Office or downloading an application from the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office Web Site. To schedule an appointment for a Concealed Carry Permit Application please call 704-869-6830. For any questions concerning Handgun Purchase Permits or Concealed Carry Permits contact Sgt. Mark Shepard at 704-869-6829.
APPLICATIONS EXPIRE WHEN PERMITS ARE ISSUED. A NEW APPLICATION IS REQUIRED WHEN APPLYING FOR ANOTHER PERMIT. PERMITS MUST BE PICKED UP BEFORE 4:30PM AND WITHIN 30 DAYS OF APPROVAL. AFTER 30 DAYS THE APPLICATION WILL EXPIRE AND YOU WILL NEED TO RE-APPLY.