Restoration of Firearm Rights in North Carolina

Firearms law

In 2010, North Carolina passed N.C.G.S § 14-415.4, which allows a person who has been convicted of a "nonviolent felony" to apply for restoration of their firearm rights if they meet a number of statutory requirements. Restoration of firearm rights also restores the right to apply for a handgun permit and a concealed handgun permit. However, restoration is entirely different from a expungement or a pardon. 

To qualify for restoration of firearm rights, you may only have ONE (1) "nonviolent felony" conviction. The term "nonviolent felony" includes all felonies EXCEPT for the following: 

  • Class A, B1, or B2 felonies
  • Class C through I felonies that:
    • Include assault as an essential element of the offense
    • Include possession or use of a firearm
    • Offender had a firearm at time of the commission of the offense
    • Require sex offender registration

In addition to the "nonviolent felony requirement," petitioner MUST also:

  • Be a resident of NC for at least 1 year immediately preceding filing
  • Have only 1 felony conviction, or if multiple convictions, they must all arise out of the same event and consolidated for sentencing
  • Have citizenship rights restored pursuant to NCGS Chapter 13 for 20 years
  • Submit fingerprints for background check pursuant to G.S. 143B-959
  • PAY FILING FEE OF $200

Additionally, petitioner MUST NOT:

  • Be ineligible to have a firearm under any law other than G.S. 14-415.1
  • Be charged with a felony
  • Be a fugitive of justice
  • Be an unlawful user of or addicted to marijuana, alcohol, depressant, drug, or other controlled substance defined in 21 U.S.C. § 802
  • Be dishonorably discharged from Armed forces
  • Be convicted of any of the following misdemeanors SINCE the felony conviction (BEFORE IS OKAY):
    • Includes assault
    • Harassment of jurors (G.S. 14-225.2)
    • Violating orders of court (G.S. 14-226.1)
    • Furnishing poison, controlled substances, deadly weapons, cartridges, ammunition or alcoholic beverages to inmates of charitable, mental or penal institutions or local confinement facilities; furnishing tobacco products including vapor products; or furnishing mobile phones to inmates or delinquent juveniles (G.S. 14-258.1)
    • Carrying weapons on campus or other educational property (G.S. 14-269.2)
    • Carrying weapons into assemblies and establishments where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed (G.S. 14-269.3)
    • Weapons on certain State property and in courthouses (G.S. 14-269.3)
    • Possession and sale of spring-loaded projectile knives prohibited (G.S. 14-269.6)
    • Impersonation of firemen or emergency medical services personnel (G.S. 14-269.3)
    • Impersonation of a law-enforcement or other public officer (G.S. 14-277)
    • Communicating threats (G.S. 14-277.1)
    • Weapons at parades, etc. prohibited (G.S. 14-277.2)
    • Stalking (G.S. 14-277.3A) - NOTE: Statute listed is 14-277.3 but that statute was repealed in 2008
    • Throwing, dropping, etc., objects at sporting events (G.S. 14-281.1)
    • Exploding dynamite cartridges and bombs (G.S. 14-283)
    • Riot; inciting to riot; punishments (G.S. 14-288.2)
    • Disorderly conduct (G.S. 14-288.4(a)(1) or (2))
      • (a)  Public disturbance intentionally caused by person who
        • (1)  Engages in fighting or other violent conduct or in conduct creating the threat of imminent fighting or other violence OR
        • (2) Makes or uses any utterance, gesture, display or abusive language which is intended and plainly likely to provoke violent retaliation and thereby cause a breach of the peace.
    • Looting; trespass during emergency (G.S. 14-288.6)
    • Assault on emergency personnel (G.S. 14-288.9)
    • Violations of city State of Emergency Ordinances (former G.S. 14-288.12)
    • Violations of county State of Emergency Ordinances (former G.S. 14-288.13)
    • Violations of county State of Emergency Ordinances (former G.S. 14-288.14)
    • Violation of emergency prohibitions and restrictions (G.S. 14-288.20A)
    • Child abuse (G.S. 14-318.2)
    • Violations of the standards for carrying a concealed weapon (G.S. 14-415.21(b))
    •  Misrepresentation on certification of qualified retired law enforcement officers  (G.S. 14-415.26(d))
    • Any similar out-of-state or federal offense
  • Have received a PJC for a felony, other than the non-violent conviction
  • Have pending charges or pending appeal for charges that would disqualify under this statute
  • Have a 50B protective order or 50C civil no-contact order or similar out-of-state or federal order issued and in effect against them

In addition to meeting the statutory requirements listed above, a person must also meet the requirements under federal law to ensure restoration of firearm rights.  

Contact us today to determine if you qualify for restoration of your firearm rights!

Questions?

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Are you still not sure whether you qualify for an expungement? Do you have specific questions about your record you would like to discuss with a North Carolina attorney? Or are you ready to get started with the expungement process? Give us a call or send us a message today!

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