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North Carolina Criminal Law 14-269(a1): Carrying Concealed Pistol-Handgun
In North Carolina, unlawfully concealing a pistol or handgun is often referred to as “carrying a concealed gun.”
It’s a type of Carrying Concealed Weapon offense and may be described/referred to as a “CCW” charge by criminal defense lawyers.
Depending on the facts and circumstances of the allegations, this offense can be considered a misdemeanor or felony offense.
The right to bear arms is covered under the Second Amendment to the US Constitution and Section 30 of the North Carolina Constitution.
The 2nd Amendment Rights are part of the Bill of Rights, which include things like the Right to Remain Silent (Miranda Rights) and the right to a defense lawyer.
However, there are certain guidelines that must be followed in exercising your 2nd Amendment Rights in North Carolina.
It is against the law in North Carolina to conceal a pistol or handgun unless you are on your own property or you have a valid concealed handgun permit.
North Carolina is an Open Carry state (so long as the person can otherwise legally possess a weapon).
You cannot possess a weapon in North Carolina if any of the following apply:
- You have been convicted of a felony,
- You have been acquitted of certain crimes by reason of insanity, or
- You have been determined to lack capacity to proceed in a court setting in relation to certain crimes
If you are charged with carrying a concealed pistol or handgun, the District Attorney’s office is responsible for proving each of the following elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant (the person accused of criminal wrongdoing) was carrying a pistol/handgun
- The pistol/handgun was concealed
- The defendant intended to conceal it
- The defendant was not on their own property or did not have a valid concealed weapon permit
Concealing a pistol or handgun means that it is not readily visible during an ordinary course of an interaction (i.e. in the glove department of a vehicle, under clothing, etc.).Examples of Carrying a Concealed Handgun/Pistol
The Defendant is stopped for a traffic violation in Charlotte, North Carolina. In response to getting pulled over, the Defendant takes a gun he keeps under seat and places it in the center console. When the Officer approaches the driver window, the Defendant does not mention the gun because he does not have a permit and has previously been convicted of carrying a concealed handgun in NC. The officer locates drugs on the Defendant and finds the gun while conducting a search of his car. The Officer may seize the gun and charge the Defendant with Carrying a Concealed Gun, a Felony offense due to the Defendant’s prior conviction.
The Defendant is stopped by State Highway Patrol speeding on I-77 south in Mecklenburg County. When the State Trooper approaches the vehicle, he notices a gun handle sticking out of the defendant’s belt. The Defendant never mentioned there was a gun in the car, nor did he have a concealed carry permit. The State Trooper seizes the handgun and the Defendant may be charged with speeding and Unlawful Carrying of a Handgun (in a vehicle), a Misdemeanor Offense.Related Offenses
Other related crimes offenses include:
- North Carolina Criminal Law § 14-269(a1): Carrying Concealed Handgun or Pistol
- North Carolina Criminal Law Chapter(s) 14-269.2(b): Willfully Discharging a Firearm on Educational Property (Felony)
- North Carolina Criminal Law 14-32(b): Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury
- North Carolina Criminal Law 14-34: Assault by Pointing a Gun
- North Carolina Criminal Law 14-72(b)(4): Felony Larceny of a Firearm
A Defendant may be able to challenge this offense by showing the he or she was on their own property, that the handgun was visible, the concealment of the handgun was not intentional, and/or that the defendant had a valid concealed weapon permit and was acting within the scope of such permit, etc.
It is important to consult with a criminal defense attorney to discuss the appropriate defense for your specific case based on the facts and circumstances surrounding your charge.Penalties and Punishment
Unlawfully concealing a handgun or pistol in North Carolina can be a Misdemeanor or Felony offense depending on the circumstances.
It is a Class 2 Misdemeanor if you are convicted of Carrying a Concealed handgun/pistol and it is your first offense. A Class 2 Misdemeanor carries a maximum punishment of 60 days in jail, $1,000 fine, and court costs.
Any subsequent conviction of Carrying Concealed handgun/pistol is a Class H Felony offense. A Class H Felony carries a maximum punishment of 39 months imprisonment.
Depending on the defendant’s prior criminal record, the North Carolina Misdemeanor and Felony Punishment Charts both provide for Active, Intermediate, and Suspended punishments.Legal Counsel / Representation
If you’ve been charged or cited with unlawfully concealing a handgun or pistol, it is important to immediately seek legal representation to represent you in court.
"We believe effective defenses often begin with talking to a lawyer early-on in the process. Don’t wait. Even if only accused or subject to a criminal investigation, we think it’s imperative to retain a defense lawyer."
- Bill Powers, Charlotte Criminal Defense Attorney
Powers Law Firm offers free, confidential consultations for criminal charges in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties.
CALL NOW 704-342-4357.