Don’t Get “Gun Burned” This Summer | North Carolina

The following is a video transcript.

Alcohol and firearms are a dangerous mix

Summer’s here with all the fun of barbecues and other outdoor activities. This is also a good time to look at the legalities of carrying to outdoor events and outings during summertime.

North Carolina is an open carry state, so if you go to a private barbecue or a party at a friend’s house, you’re allowed to openly carry if the owner does not object. If alcohol is served, you may drink and open carry only as long as you’re not on property that sells alcoholic beverages. If you’re carrying concealed with a permit, you may never consume any alcohol. Keep those provisions in mind as you enjoy the barbecue or party. These same rules apply to neighborhood or block parties.


The laws are different for summer activities at public places or businesses. You may not openly carry at any assembly where a fee has been charged for admission. So outdoor concerts, parties, or sporting events where you pay a fee to get in, you may not carry unless you have a concealed carry permit and the owners have not prohibited concealed carry.

Of course, summer is a time for travel and we all love to enjoy our parks. Open carry is allowed in all North Carolina state-owned rest areas, or rest stop along the highway, or at any state-owned hunting and fishing reservation. However, open carry is not permitted in any of the North Carolina state parks. You may conceal carry with a permit on the grounds or waters of North Carolina state parks, but concealed carriers are not allowed in any state park visitor centers or park offices.

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Federal law

Federal law prohibits any loaded firearms or ammunition on those lands and waters at Falls Lake, Jordan Lake, and Kerr Lake State Recreation Areas, because even though they are managed by the state park system, they’re owned by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. If you go to those parks, you may not carry even if you have a concealed permit.


A few other important things to remember to keep your summer enjoyable and lawful; Summer is often a time for fireworks, but fireworks, cap pistols, and air guns are not allowed in any parks, lakes, rivers, or trails managed by the North Carolina Parks and Recreation. Also, remember that while concealed carry is allowed in all state parks, a local county or town may prohibit concealed carry at athletic fields, swimming pools, and indoor athletic facilities.

Respect the homeowners wishes

So, to summarize some important rules as you enjoy your summer, generally, open and concealed carry are allowed at any private party, barbecue, or get-together if it is not prohibited by the owner.

Public festivities are dependent on the location and other factors, such as whether a fee is being charged, or whether you can open carry, but most activities and locations allow concealed carry with a permit. Because open carry is more complicated, you should check with the organizers of any festival or location before you openly carry.

Again, this is a summary of your firearms rights as you enjoy all the fun of summer. Have a great summer, and remember, if you’re not sure about the law, contact us at U.S. LawShield so we can make sure your summer is safe, legal, and enjoyable.


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Comment section

2 comments on “Don’t Get “Gun Burned” This Summer | North Carolina

  1. Just to clarify one point- hunting is allowed on the waters and lands of Butner Falls and Jordan lake Game lands. So you can be armed when hunting. The “Park” areas that are owned by the Corps of Engineers you can have weapons on the property- and I don’t see how they can prohibit me from traveling the entire lake while hunting armed-(though you cannot land your vessel on Park land while armed)

    The key point is you may possess your unloaded weapon for hunting at the state wildlife boat ramps and carry your weapon on the lake while hunting and on the game lands- but not so at the State Park boat ramps.

    Nice synopsis of our laws

  2. Addition to my above- I am speaking open carry while hunting Butner and Jordan- not concealed carry.

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