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Is it legal to own a gun if the person isn’t allowed to purchase a gun due to past police records?

Jason Gonzales


There are a number of rules for those looking to purchase a gun, according to state law.

The law does not specify a complete exemption for those with past police records. It does list certain violations that exempt a person from being able to purchase a gun. The state law also lists the process, which involves applying for a gun purchase permit.

The law reads that to apply for a gun purchase permit, a county sheriff must verify in 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 determines the criminal history of any applicant by accessing computerized criminal history records maintained by State and Federal Bureaus of Investigation.

State laws say that a permit may not be issued to the following people:

a. An applicant who is under an indictment, or information for, or has been convicted in any state, or in any court ofthe United States, of a felony

(other than an offense pertaining to anti-trust violations, unfair trade practices, or restraints of trade). However, a person who has been convicted of a felony and is later pardoned may obtain a permit, if the purchase or receipt of the pistol does not violate the conditions of the pardon;

b. The applicant is a fugitive from justice;

c. The applicant is an unlawful user of or addicted to marijuana, any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug;

d. The applicant has been adjudicated incompetent or has been committed to any mental institution;

e. The applicant is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States;

f. The applicant has been discharged from the U.S. armed forces under dishonorable conditions;

g. The applicant, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced their citizenship;

h. The applicant is subject to a court order that:

(1) was issued after a hearing of which the applicant received actual notice, and at which the applicant had an opportunity to participate;

(2) 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

(3) 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.

— Source N.C. Gen. Stat. ยง 14-404


Click here for the 2013 N.C. Firearms Laws, compiled by the State Attorney’s Office

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