What do I need to Purchase a Rifle or Shotgun in North Carolina

note: NCGI is not associated with nor do we promote any particular firearms sellers. This article is intended to provide information on the legal and proper method for transferring long guns in the state of North Carolina.

While purchasing a handgun in North Carolina has some extra requirements, buying or transferring a rifle or shotgun from a licensed dealer (FFL) is straight-forward. Here’s how to do it legally:

When you buy or transfer a firearm from an FFL, you must bring proof of identity – a non-expired government-issued ID that has the following:

  • A photo of you
  • Your current residential address
  • Your birthdate

At the gun store, you will be required to fill our the Federal 4473 firearm transaction record and pay for the gun. The gun store staff will use the information you provide on the form to do a background check through the FBI (usually takes about 5 minutes) and if you pass, you will leave the store with your new firearm!

In North Carolina, you may use a pistol purchase permit or concealed handgun license in lieu of the background check. You will still be required to fill out the form 4473 firearm transaction record.


  1. This information can’t be correct I tried to purchase a shotgun from pawn USA they said I had to go online and get a hunters license or some confusing mess and take a test first

  2. What does the background check cover

    • The background check is a Federal form 4473 “Firearms Transaction Record”. The form asks for personal information (name, address, birthdate, driver’s license, etc) and asks the transferee if they have been convicted of a felony among other things. If you do not have a concealed carry permit, the information on the form is transmitted to the FBI’s NICS center. The FBI will respond with either an approval, denial or delay.

  3. Very helpful information. Thanks guys!

  4. Can i still purchase a firearm without a any type of permit?

  5. Thomas Jefferson

    I live in Charlotte
    If I want to purchase a hand gun at a large retail store in fort mill sc do I need to get a permit from Mecklenburg county? Or do I just fill out the fed form wait the appropriate number of days and pick up my purchase
    Permits from Mecklenburg county are running 90 plus days. Which is absolutely insane

    • You have to get a permit in the county in which you reside. No other county Sheriff will issue one to you.

      You are required to have a permit to purchase or transfer a handgun in the state of North Carolina.

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