I saw a post by a 20-year-old on a forum recently and they posted they were told incorrect information by a range and denied access to shoot there. The range can certainly deny access if they have a policy everyone must be 21 or older, but according to his story that was not the case. So let’s take a few minutes and clear up any confusion.
First according to §14-315 no minor can legally own a handgun . The term minor is defined as someone under 18 years old, §14-269.7 . NC law has several stipulations where someone between the ages of 12 and 18 can posses a handgun, but that is not the focus of today’s post. As a rule of thumb remember those 18 years and older may be able possess a handgun legally.
As far as purchase no one less than 21 can purchase a handgun from a FFL, that is not NC law, it is Federal law 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(1). NC law allows the purchase of a handgun from a private individual for those with a PPP who are older than 18, §14-315. So someone between the ages of 18 and 21 in NC can apply for a PPP with their sheriff and then purchase a firearm using that PPP as a private sale. There are several statues which apply so I will defer to the NCDOJ documentation.
So now we have demonstrated an 18-year-old can legally possess a handgun and can legally purchase a handgun via private sale. The sticking point is that same federal law, 18 U.S.C. 922(b)(1), 27 CFR 478.99(b), does not allow handgun ammunition to be sold by FFLs to anyone under the age of 21. Now ammunition can be sold without having a FFL, so those between 18 and 21 can buy handgun ammunition from unlicensed stores and individuals without running afoul of the law, but if they were to purchase from a FFL it would be illegal.
So to recap:
-To purchase a hangun or ammunition from a FFL you must be 21 and in NC have a PPP or CHP
-Anyone older than 18 years old with a valid PPP may purchase handgun from a private individual
-Anyone older than 18 years old my purchase handgun ammunition from shops and individuals who are not FFLs
-Anyone 18 years or older may legally possess a handgun, they may not conceal that handgun until they have a valid CHP
I’d suggest anyone in NC between the ages of 18 and 21 bone up on the law and keep the information with them in case they run into resistance. Not everyone is up to speed and a little education can go a long way.