Article 1, Section 30 of the North Carolina State Constitution states, “Nothing herein shall justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons, or prevent the General Assembly from enacting penal statutes against that practice.” While the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives the right to bear arms, that right has limits. It is important to understand that certain individuals may face criminal charges for possession of a weapon or firearm in specific locations or while engaging in certain activities.
The possible penalties of a person convicted of a firearm or weapon crime are quite serious, and an alleged offender could face either misdemeanor or felony charges. A person who is accused of one of these offenses can understandably feel frightened and confused about how to defend himself in court against these allegations.
If you have been arrested for any type of weapon or firearm offense, contact our office immediately so that our experienced criminal defense attorneys can start protecting your rights. There could be any number of legal issues, such as illegally obtained evidence or unknowing possession that could result in your charges being reduced or even dismissed.
Coolidge Law Firm aggressively defends the rights of clients in the greater Wake County area, including Raleigh, Knightdale, Zebulon, Fuquay-Varina, Apex, and Wake Forest. Let our firm provide a complete evaluation of your case by calling (919) 239-8448 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
Under North Carolina General Statute § 14-269, it is illegal for any person to willfully and intentionally carry a concealed deadly weapon on his person, except when the person is on his own premises. The statute does not apply to people who have concealed handgun permits.
This crime is classified as a Class 2 misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class H felony for a second or subsequent offense. The statute also lists several defenses against these charges, including that the weapon was possessed for a legitimate use, the alleged offender did not use or attempt to use the weapon for an illegal purpose, or the alleged offender is a military permittee.
North Carolina General Statute § 14-269.2 makes it illegal for people to possess, carry, or cause, encourage, or aid a minor who is less than 18 years old to possess or carry certain weapons on campuses or other educational property in North Carolina. The possible penalties for an individual convicted of this offense depend on the type of weapon involved, whether the alleged offender was a student or employee of the school, and whether the weapons was a firearm that was loaded or discharged.
Charges for this crime range from a Class 1 misdemeanor offenses up to a Class F felony. An alleged offender cannot be found guilty of a crime if he comes into possession of a weapon by taking or receiving the weapon from another person, finding the weapon, or delivers the weapon, directly or indirectly, as soon as practical to law enforcement authorities.
North Carolina General Statute § 14-269.3 prohibits people from carrying any gun, rifle, or pistol into any assembly where a fee has been charged for admission thereto, or into any establishment in which alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed. This offense is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Certain individuals are exempt from this statute, including owners or lessees of premises or business establishments, people with valid concealed handgun permits, people participating in events and carrying guns, rifles, or pistols with the permission of owners, lessees, or persons or organizations sponsoring the events, and people registered or hired as security guards by owners, lessees, or persons or organizations sponsoring the events.
A convicted felon in possession of a firearm could face state and/or federal charges. North Carolina General Statute § 14-415.1 makes it a Class G felony for any person convicted of a felony to purchase, own, possess, or have any firearm in his custody, care, or control. However, this offense is a Class C felony under 18 U.S. Code § 922, and a conviction could result in up to 25 years in prison as well as a fine of up to $250,000.
North Carolina General Statute § 14-269.8 also forbids any person with a protective order entered against him or her to possess, purchase, receive, or attempt to possess, purchase, or receive a firearm, machine gun, ammunition, or permits to purchase or carry concealed firearms. This crime is classified as a Class H felony.
Because guns sold by licensed firearms dealers in North Carolina can fetch much higher values when sold on the streets of other major cities, federal and state agencies consider weapons trafficking to be a major problem. These charges may involve any of the following:
These alleged offenses are usually alleged as a violation of a section of 18 U.S. Code § 924, and convictions may result in lengthy prison sentences and significant fines.
Under North Carolina General Statute § 14-7.36, any person who has been convicted of or pled guilty to one or more prior firearm-related felony offenses in any federal court, state court, or combination thereof, may be charged as a habitual armed felon. This is an aggravating factor that can trigger enhanced sentences for certain crimes.
Any alleged offender who is at risk of being considered a habitual armed felon needs to have highly skilled legal counsel, as there are a number of complex issues that need to be addressed in such cases. This may include that nature of the alleged offender’s previous felony convictions and challenges to deadly weapon enhancements as well as other procedural issues.
Were you recently arrested for any kind of an alleged weapon or firearm crime? You should not delay in contacting a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
Coolidge Law Firm represents clients in state and federal courts in North Carolina, serving such Wake County communities as Raleigh, Morrisville, Wendell, Cary, Garner, and Holly Springs. Our practice is devoted 100 percent to representing those charged with criminal offenses, including gun and weapons crimes. Our attorneys practice what they do best, successfully defending the accused. Call (919) 239-8448 right now to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation that will let our firm review your case.