The following is a video transcript.
Hi, Mark Edwards here. There are many pitfalls law-abiding gun owners face. Let’s discuss the three most common mistakes that North Carolinians make regarding gun laws in our state.
Notifying Law Enforcement
The first mistake gun owners make is failing to immediately notify a law enforcement officer that they have a concealed weapon and a concealed carry permit during official police encounters. North Carolina law requires this be the first thing you do during an official police encounter. The most common example of an official encounter occurs during a traffic stop.
Several years ago, I had a client who was a concealed carry holder and was the victim of a hit and run. He chased the person who hit him and called the police. When the officer arrived, my client was very stressed by the situation and forgot to notify the officer of his concealed carry status. The officer then charged him for not notifying in a timely manner. I was sure the district attorney would dismiss the case given the circumstances, but boy was I ever wrong! Although casual encounters with law enforcement officers do not require notification, law enforcement officers and district attorneys can be sticklers about the duty to notify.
The Castle Doctrine
The second most common mistake people make concerns the Castle Doctrine and the idea of occupancy. If you’re outside your home and realize someone is illegally in your house, and you choose to enter the house with your weapon, the presumptions of fear and danger likely will not apply in that situation. Further, the Castle Doctrine applies to an occupied car, but not an unoccupied car. You can lawfully use deadly force to defend yourself or loved ones, if either of you are inside a car that someone is breaking into. However, you cannot use deadly force to protect your property from an unoccupied car break-in.
Transfer of Ownership of a Firearm
Finally, the third mistake involves the transfer of ownership of a firearm. If you conduct a private transfer of ownership of a gun, you must remember, under North Carolina law, it is unlawful for any person to sell, give away, transfer, purchase, or receive, at any place in the State, any pistol, unless the purchaser or receiver has first obtained a permit to receive such pistol by the sheriff of the county where the purchaser or receiver resides, or the purchaser or receiver possesses a valid North Carolina-issued Concealed Handgun Permit.
If you have any questions regarding the issues just discussed, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.