In 2012 I wrote a blog post which answered the question is a locked glove compartment concealed with a definite maybe. That answer is still valid since the law does not cover precisely what is and is not concealed, that is left up to the individual law enforcement officer and the DA. At one time the Attorney General’s website said, “A previous opinion from this office was that a weapon would not be concealed if it were placed in a locked glove compartment, unless the key to the glove compartment was in the lock and the person was in close proximity and had ready access to it. A concern with this mode of transportation however is that it is quite susceptible to different interpretations, based on the various factors involved. Therefore, this may not be the most legally defensible method of transporting a weapon, and is discouraged.” That verbiage no longer appears on the website, but would indicate if the key was not in the lock the firearm would not be considered concealed. Old information, but pertinent information.
Recently I found some interesting verbiage on an archived NC State Highway Patrol website and eventually located on an up to date North Carolina Department of Public Safety website. Here is that statement:
Handguns in Vehicles
It is unlawful to carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle unless the person has a North Carolina concealed carry permit. A person who is not a convicted felon may carry a handgun if not concealed. A handgun is concealed in a vehicle if it cannot be readily seen by a person approaching and if it is readily accessible. A handgun under the front seat or in an unlocked glove box or console is illegal. A handgun openly displayed or in a locked glove box, locked console, or in the trunk is lawful.
I’d suggest everyone take a screen shot of that website and stick it in their pocket in case they ever need it. My opinion of the situation has not changed, a locked glove box is still a grey area, but with the AG saying maybe and the NC Department of Public Safety saying you are good to go with a locked glove box if you ever find yourself in that situation any competent lawyer should be able to take the information I found and use it to dismiss any charges.