Thursday, November 2, 2023

North Carolina Laws on Brandishing a Handgun- what to do and not to do


In North Carolina, the laws related to firearms are stringent, and anyone who possesses or carries a handgun should be well-acquainted with them. One key issue is the act of "brandishing" a firearm. Let's overview North Carolina's laws, helping gun owners navigate the do's and don'ts.

To begin with, "brandishing" is not a specific legal term used in North Carolina's statutes. However, the act of displaying or pointing a firearm in a manner that threatens or intimidates others can fall under several criminal offenses. For instance, "going armed to the terror of the public" is a common law offense in the state. If someone carries a gun (or any other unusual or dangerous weapon) in public in a manner that causes terror among the public, they may be charged with this offense.

Another potential charge is "assault by pointing a gun," where merely pointing a firearm at someone without legal justification is a Class A1 misdemeanor. It's worth noting that you do not have to discharge the weapon or cause physical injury for this charge to apply.

Now, for the do's and don'ts:

  1. Do: Always carry your handgun concealed if you have a valid concealed carry permit. Open carrying is allowed in North Carolina, but the gun must be holstered and should not be displayed in a threatening manner.
  2. Don't Point or wave your gun at someone unless you're facing a genuine threat and need to use it in self-defense.
  3. Do: Be aware of where you're carrying your gun. Some places, such as schools or government buildings, prohibit firearms, whether concealed or openly carried.
  4. Don't Use your firearm to intimidate or threaten someone during a disagreement. Doing so can lead to criminal charges.
  5. Do: Seek training and education on proper firearm handling and the laws surrounding them in North Carolina. Being informed can prevent unintentional legal missteps.
  6. Don't Assume that because you're in your car or on your property, you can brandish your firearm without consequences. Laws related to threatening behavior with a gun can still apply.

While North Carolina residents have the right to bear arms, with rights come responsibilities. Ensuring that one's conduct with a handgun remains within the legal framework is essential to avoid potential legal issues. When in doubt, err on caution and always prioritize safety for yourself and those around you.



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