Nobody wants to be a victim. We don’t walk to our cars after work hoping to get mugged in our own driveways. But would you believe the driveway is a very common place to become a victim? Think about it? Most of us are not on guard near our own homes and the bad guys know that.
The last thing you want to do is continuously worry about your safety. That’s why a good self-defense tool can give you the peace of mind that you deserve. The good news is there are a variety of self-defense items to choose from, each with its own distinct protective ability.
Legal Self Defense Weapons in North Carolina
- Pepper Spray
- Stun Guns
- Tactical Pens
North Carolina: Firearms
North Carolina has laws restricting certain individuals, such as convicted felons and domestic violence offenders, from possessing guns. You should choose a firearm or keep a gun on your premises for protection which is legal. If you intend to carry a concealed firearm you should check the law regulating it.
In order to qualify for a permit you must be:
- At least 21 years of age
- A United States citizen or legal permanent resident
- A North Carolina resident for at least 30 days
- Completed an approved firearms safety and training course
Below is the legislation about carrying concealed weapons.
“(a1)It shall be unlawful for any person willfully and intentionally to carry concealed about his person any pistol or gun except in the following circumstances:
(1)The person is on the person’s own premises.
(2)The deadly weapon is a handgun, and the person has a concealed handgun permit issued in accordance with Article 54B of this Chapter or considered valid under G.S. 14‑415.24.
(3)The deadly weapon is a handgun and the person is a military permittee as defined under G.S. 14‑415.10(2a) who provides to the law enforcement officer proof of deployment as required under G.S. 14‑415.11(a).
(b)This prohibition shall not apply to the following persons:
(1)Officers and enlisted personnel of the armed forces of the United States when in discharge of their official duties as such and acting under orders requiring them to carry arms and weapons;
(2)Civil and law enforcement officers of the United States;
(3)Officers and soldiers of the militia and the national guard when called into actual service;
(4)Officers of the State, or of any county, city, or town, charged with the execution of the laws of the State, when acting in the discharge of their official duties;
(5)Sworn law‑enforcement officers, when off‑duty, provided that an officer does not carry a concealed weapon while consuming alcohol or an unlawful controlled substance or while alcohol or an unlawful controlled substance remains in the officer’s body.”
Knives Legality in North Carolina
There has been a lot of legal proceedings recently about firearms and the Second Amendment. But guns aren’t the only “arms” sometimes carried for self-defense, and there have been several recent cases about the status of knives under the federal Constitution and state constitutions.
Our laws regulating knives include:
- S. 14-269, which prohibits the concealed carrying of any “bowie knife, dirk, dagger,” or “other deadly weapon of like kind.” The statute doesn’t apply to an “ordinary pocket knife carried in a closed position.” In Matter of Dale B., 96 N.C. App. 375 (1989), the court ruled that a knife that was “about four and one-half inches in overall length, when folded,” was an ordinary pocket knife. However, the exception doesn’t cover switchblades, i.e., knives that that may be “opened by a throwing, explosive, or spring action.” So it is illegal to carry a switchblade or a fixed-blade knife in your pocket in North Carolina. Open carry appears to be OK.
- S. 14-269.2 prohibits the possession of any “bowie knife, dirk, dagger,” “switchblade knife,” or “any sharp-pointed or edged instrument” other than instructional supplies on educational property. So it is illegal to bring a pocket knife to school in North Carolina.
- S. 14-269.6 prohibits the possession of “any spring-loaded projectile knife.”
Pepper Spray Legal in North Carolina
In North Carolina, it is legal to buy, use, own, or transport pepper spray, though there are limitations. An individual cannot carry a pepper spray container that is more than five ounces.
“It is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or association to possess, use, store, sell, or transport within the State of North Carolina, any form of that type of gas generally known as tear gas, or any container or device for holding or releasing that gas; except this section does not apply to the possession, use, storage, sale or transportation of that gas or any container or device for holding or releasing that gas.”
NC Gen Stat § 14-401.6 (2015) 14-401.6. Unlawful to possess, etc., tear gas except for certain purposes.
Please refer to our article of 10 best self-defense weapons to have.
North Carolina: Stun Guns are legal
Civilian possession or ownership is often regulated by state, county and/or local laws. The sale, possession, and use of stun guns for self-defense are legal without major limitations. The misuse of a stun device in the commission of a crime or assault can result in criminal accountability. However, it is the sole responsibility of the individual owning the stun gun to know its legalities.
Important things to remember about having stun guns in North Carolina:
- It is Legal for Security Guard Use (no concealed carry outside of own premises)
- It is Legal for Consumer Use or Possession (no concealed carry outside of own premises)
- No Permit Required for Consumers to Possess
- No Background Check Required
Kindly refer to § 14‑269.� Carrying concealed weapons.
It is Legal to Have a Tactical Pen in North Carolina?
Having a tactical pen in North Carolina is legal. The sole purpose of having or owning a tactical pen is for writing whether it is for office or personal use. While we commonly use this for writing, a tactical pen can also be used as a defense weapon. One must know that carrying this is legal and ideal as a simple device yet it can be a protective gadget for self-defense when the needs arise.