RV/Car Carry Without A Permit/License

Transporting Weapons:

Roy Cooper Attorney General

Given this general prohibition of carrying concealed weapons, individuals must be ever vigilant to ensure that their particular situation cannot be construed as concealing a weapon either on or about them without
being properly authorized to do so with a valid North Carolina concealed handgun permit. Therefore, the person’s accessibility to the weapon is of prime importance. It is for these reasons, that when transporting a
weapon in a vehicle, even greater care must be exercised to ensure that the weapon is not concealed and within the ready access to an occupant of the vehicle. North Carolina law does not specifically address how to transport a weapon in an automobile. Therefore, the central question becomes: when is the weapon concealed and readily accessible to an occupant of the automobile? Obviously, a weapon would be concealed and readily accessible, and therefore in violation of our law, if it were placed in such areas of a vehicle as, under the seat of the automobile; in a bag in the back seat; in an unlocked glove compartment; or in some other manner is covered or hidden within the easy reach of an occupant of the vehicle. A previous opinion
from this office was that a weapon would not be concealed if it were placed in a locked glove compartment, unless the key to the glove compartment was in the lock and the person was in close proximity and had ready access to it. A concern with this mode of transportation however is that it is quite susceptible to different interpretations, based on the various factors involved. Therefore, this may not be the most legally defensible method of transporting a weapon, and is discouraged.
While a weapon carried openly in an automobile would not be concealed, there are other problems attendant to this method of carrying a weapon. The principal drawback, of course, is in the event of a person
being stopped by a law enforcement official, the officer may not readily know that person’s purpose and intent for carrying a weapon. As such, it is imperative that a person immediately notify an officer of the
presence of any weapon in the automobile, for the officer’s and the vehicle’s occupants’ safety. Another obvious drawback is that a valuable weapon may be in plain view for potential thieves to see. The prohibition to carrying concealed weapons applies not only to handguns and other weapons commonly thought of as being easily hidden, but also to “long guns” as well. Therefore, shotguns and rifles concealed behind the seat of pickup trucks, and elsewhere in other vehicles, could similarly violate our law.

As to those vehicles with no easily discernible trunk area, for example vans, the question turns on a factual determination of when the weapon is within ready and easy access to an occupant of the vehicle. If
the weapon is concealed near, in close proximity to, or within the convenient control and access of an occupant, which would allow him to use the weapon quickly, then a fair probability exists that the occupant
is in violation of the law. Therefore, care must be exercised by any occupant of a vehicle to ensure that the weapons are securely locked away in as remote an area as possible in relation to the passenger compartment of the vehicle. It is important to emphasize that these prohibitions apply to passengers, as well as the driver of a vehicle.

Note: In NC you can carry the firearm loaded and in your vehicle without any type of permit/license as long as it is visible. The law says you can’t conceal it. So keep it in the open and you are legal.