Areas Where Weapons are Prohibited

Possessing a firearm is a right, not a privilege. With this right comes laws and regulations gun owners are required to abide by. To ensure the safety of North Carolina citizens, it is illegal to possess weapons in certain places.

Some of the areas weapons are prohibited in North Carolina include schools, state buildings, public events, and places where alcohol is sold. Being arrested for possession of a weapon in a prohibited area has the potential to end in a felony conviction.

If you are charged with a weapons crime, you could be looking at serious jail time.  The sooner you retain legal counsel, the better your chances of a more favorable outcome in court. The Coolidge Law Firm represents clients charged with weapons offenses in areas across Wake County that include Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Garner, Apex, and many others. For more information reach out to the firm at (919) 239-8448.


When parents send their children off to school, they expect them to be safe. While North Carolina is a traditionally conservative state there are still gun restrictions in sensitive areas. North Carolina heavily prosecutes those charged with  possessing a weapon on any school grounds in particular.

The term “school” includes any school building, bus, campus grounds, other property used or owned by the school, or any property where a school is sponsoring curricular or extracurricular activities.

Just possessing a firearm on school property is a class I felony.  To be convicted, you must knowingly possess the weapon.  A class I felony is punishable by four months to a year in prison.  Firing a gun on school property is, unsurprisingly, a more serious offense. Discharging a firearm at a school is a class F felony that can result in 10 to 41 months of incarceration.

Explosives are also prohibited on school grounds. An explosive device can include grenades, mines, or bombs.  Whether the explosive is bought or homemade, if you are found guilty of possessing an explosive device on school grounds, you could be charged with a class G felony that is punishable by eight to 31 months behind bars. It should be noted that fireworks are not considered an explosive device.

Fireworks are an exception and are not considered explosive devices, but they are still forbidden on educational property. Other prohibited weapons include loaded canes, switchblades, brass knuckles, BB guns, knives, and air guns. It’s not uncommon for a child to bring such a weapon to school to show their friends. The child may not have had the intention of using the weapon, but carrying one is a class 1 misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 150 days in jail.

Establishments and Assemblies

Concert venues and bars are places people go to unwind and have a good time.

In the interest of protecting its citizens, North Carolina prohibits anyone from carrying a firearm into any place where a fee is charged for admission or into any establishment where alcohol is sold and consumed.

Establishments and assemblies can include restaurants, fairs, bars, and concerts, to name a few. Possessing a firearm in an establishment or assembly is a class 1 misdemeanor. There are certain individuals that are lawfully able to carry a firearm in these areas. These individuals include the following:

  • The owner or lessee of the business or premises
  • An individual participating in the event who has permission to carry the gun
  • A hired security guard
  • An individual with a concealed handgun license and the premises permits the concealed carry

If you have a concealed carry license and you take the weapon with you to a business or event that is selling alcohol, you are prohibited from consuming alcohol. Possession of a handgun while intoxicated is a class 2 misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 60 days in jail.

Public Events and Riots

Public events such as parades, picket lines, and funerals typically attract large crowds, so North Carolina makes it illegal to possess a weapon at events that take place in public spaces.

This provision of the law does not apply to guns carried with a valid permit in a pickup truck rack during a parade or funeral procession. If you are caught carrying a weapon during a public event, you will be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor.

A public disturbance that has three or more people engaging in violent behavior is considered a riot.  Participating in a riot is typically charged as a class 1 misdemeanor, but if you were in possession of a dangerous weapon, it’s a class H felony. A class H felony is punishable by four to 25 months behind bars depending on your criminal record.

State Buildings

There are certain state buildings where weapons are prohibited. These buildings include the State Capital Building, Executive Mansion, Western Residence of the Governor, and any building used for the General Court of Justice.

Unless you are a detention officer, court judge, or magistrate, it’s a class 1 misdemeanor to carry a weapon in any state buildings. There are circumstances, though, where you can carry a weapon in a state building, even if you aren’t a permitted official. It’s legal to possess a weapon in a state building for evidentiary purposes, delivering a weapon to a law enforcement agency, or for registration purposes.

Additional Resources for Areas Where Weapons are Prohibited

North Carolina Firearms Laws– Follow this link to read the complete text of the state’s gun laws. Chapter three section E covers areas where weapons are prohibited. In this section, you can find translations of the General Statutes that cover weapons in prohibited areas, the penalties for unlawful carry, and how is permitted to carry in a prohibited area.

Prohibited Carry Chart– Follow the link to view a chart that shows where concealed weapons are can and cannot be carried. You can also find an exhaustive list of individuals who are lawfully able to carry in restricted areas.

Speak to an Attorney Today!

Being caught with a weapon in a prohibited area will not look good to prosecutors. They will be quick to believe you intended to cause harm and will do everything they can to prove it. Let the Coolidge Law Firm fight for you.

We will do everything in our power to get the charges reduced or dismissed. The sooner you contact the Coolidge Law Firm, the sooner we can plan your defense. Call (919) 239-8448 to schedule a free case consultation, or submit your information in the contact form below.

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