North Carolina Open Carry
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Thread: North Carolina Open Carry

  1. #1

    North Carolina Open Carry

    I saw this on the Open Carry.org website. This is the best breakdown I've ever seen. I've read in the past that many people in this state think the laws about OC are very vague and can be twisted by cops. They always seem to use GATTTOTP as their reasoning as to why OCing is a bad idea legally.

    Thanks to Dreamer for his detailed explanation!


    "By common law in North Carolina, it is unlawful for a person to arm himself/herself with any unusual and dangerous weapon, for the purpose of terrifying others, and go about on public highways in a manner to cause terror to others."


    Now, this is a very complex sentence, with 4 distinct qualifying phrases, ALL FOUR of which must be met for one to be guilty of this violation.

    Let be break it down, grammar-school style for y'all... ;-)

    By common law in North Carolina,
    (meaning this is NOT a Statutory law or a Code--it is a convention based on court case decisions over decades or even centuries of common law)

    (1) it is unlawful for a person to arm himself/herself with any unusual and dangerous weapon,
    (meaning it shall be considered a legally punishable violation for a person to equip themselves with a weapon--and the courts have ruled that this covers a LOT of things, including firearms and swords, HOWEVER, you ALSO have to meet the other THREE conditions for there to be a violation...)
    (2) for the purpose of terrifying others,
    (meaning the person being charged had the specific intent of carrying the above-mentioned weapon in order to terriy other people--not for self-defense, or sporting purposes, or as some sort of public exercise of his 1A and 2A rights. And even if you meet #1 and #2, you STILL have to meet the other TWO conditions for this charge to "stick"...)

    (3) and go about on public highways
    (meaning you have to be carrying the above-mentioned weapon on a road or public sidewalk. NOT on private property (your own or someone else's). Not in a parking lot of a private business. For this charge to be applicable, you HAVE to meet #1, #2, and #4, AND be doing all those things while on a public road, highway, sidewalk, etc...)

    (4) in a manner to cause terror to others.
    (meaning that the WAY you are carrying this above-mentioned weapon has to be such that any reasonable person might feel threatened. It could be in a holster, but you are shouting that "I'm gonna shoot that dirty so-and-so". Maybe you are resting your hand on the grips and muttering to yourself. Maybe you are holding it and waving it around. Or maybe you have it tucked into your pants, "Mexican Carry" style and are shouldering your way through a crowd or being really rude and obnoxious to other people. All that matters is that the way you are carrying or handling the firearm would give a normal, rational citizen cause to think that you were a SERIOUS danger.

    It should be noted that the courts have rules that OC in a holster, absent grabbing the grips, pointing to it, or otherwise intentionally doing something to make people notice that you are carrying a firearm does NOT qualify as meeting #4...)


    Hopefully that clears "Going Armed to the Terror of the People."

    The "benchmark" case in NC on this violation is "State vs. Robert S. Huntley" from the spring of 1843.

    STATE v. ROBERT S. HUNTLEY.


    The most IMPORTANT part of understanding the GAttTotP violation in NC is that this is a "crime of intent". This means that th violator had to have the SPECIFIC intention of doing the things outlined in the law as being conditions for the violation. This charge is NOT based on the feelings, perceptions, prejudices or tender sensibilities of an outside observer.

    Just because some bed-wetting soccer mom doesn't like the idea that a Law-Abiding Citizen has taken a personal and active role in providing for their own personal protection and self-defense, does NOT mean you can be charged with GAttTotP. Her feelings about your lawfully-carried firearm have ABSOLUTELY no bearing on the case.

    Just because some carpet-bagging Yankee transplant to our fine State can't understand that Open Carry of Defensive weapons is a FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT with a history that goes back in common law at least 8 CENTURIES and their cognitive dissonance has them all dizzy and confused at the sight of a Citizen with the ability to defend themselves without relying on the non-existent "guarantee" that the police will protect them (which they CAN NOT, and are in fact, INCAPABLE of doing, and under no legal obligation to do!...), has NO BEARING whatsoever on this charge.

    It all comes down to the INTENT and ACTIONS of the person being charged.

    If you are a lawful OCer, carrying in a proper holster, conducting yourself in a polite, normal, and lawful manner, then there is NO WAY that this charge can be applied. End of discussion. Case Dismissed...

    Consider yourselves educated. In fact, you are now WAY more educated than about 90% of the LEOs in NC as to the subtleties of GAttTotP. Please use your new-found knowledge wisely. ;-)

    Carry on...

  2.   
  3. #2
    Aosailor,
    That was an excellent break down with respects to open carrying.

    Very easy to understand, and most importantly, it was not confusing to understand. Good find,two thumbs up.

  4. #3
    i wish ALL the laws were explained like that .. would save us folks who didn't go to law school a headache ..
    Stay Safe ..
    SB

  5. Use utmost caution with OC in NC. I have lived in NC all my life. I have verfied with police officers & sheriff's deputies that "armed to terror" works out to be very vague & ambiguous, in spite of the seemingly clear written words. A "reasonable person" may be one thing in a rural area or small town and altogether different in the city. Most of us gun owners would consider "threatening behaviour" to be something like pointing the gun, loading/cocking in public, shouting threats while armed, etc. But a liberal college professor sees merely having the gun as a threat. If you have it, you obviously intend harm to someone with it. After all, only bad people have guns, except maybe the police. Walk down a street in Durham or Chapel Hill with a gun on your hip. Someone will freak out pretty soon & start shouting, or at least calling the police that "someone here has a gun!". Do the same in a rural area and you will usually get less attention, though still not commonly seen there.

    I used to see a lot of people OC when fishing at a lake or river, loaded with shotshells for snakes. You may still get away with that. Deer hunters oftencarry a pistol for snakes or dispatching game shot 1st by another method. I sometimes see store managers or gas station clerks with pistols. That is fairly safe as you are on your own property & people can go there or not.

    NC really needs to rewrite the statutes on this issue.

  6. Quote Originally Posted by ncpatriot View Post
    Use utmost caution with OC in NC. I have lived in NC all my life. I have verfied with police officers & sheriff's deputies that "armed to terror" works out to be very vague & ambiguous, in spite of the seemingly clear written words. A "reasonable person" may be one thing in a rural area or small town and altogether different in the city. Most of us gun owners would consider "threatening behaviour" to be something like pointing the gun, loading/cocking in public, shouting threats while armed, etc. But a liberal college professor sees merely having the gun as a threat. If you have it, you obviously intend harm to someone with it. After all, only bad people have guns, except maybe the police. Walk down a street in Durham or Chapel Hill with a gun on your hip. Someone will freak out pretty soon & start shouting, or at least calling the police that "someone here has a gun!". Do the same in a rural area and you will usually get less attention, though still not commonly seen there.

    I used to see a lot of people OC when fishing at a lake or river, loaded with shotshells for snakes. You may still get away with that. Deer hunters oftencarry a pistol for snakes or dispatching game shot 1st by another method. I sometimes see store managers or gas station clerks with pistols. That is fairly safe as you are on your own property & people can go there or not.

    NC really needs to rewrite the statutes on this issue.
    I open carry EVERYDAY in NC. No problems.
    The problem you have is you asked cops for legal advice. Lots of LEOs think only they should be armed and don't think regular people can control a firearm. They have "special" training. Chapel Hill and Cary do have city restrictions on OC.
    I'm glad to live in a state that lets me protect me and my family not only at home but out in public, with a gun, on my hip, in the open. And for special times Concealed.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by muccione View Post
    I open carry EVERYDAY in NC. No problems.
    The problem you have is you asked cops for legal advice. Lots of LEOs think only they should be armed and don't think regular people can control a firearm. They have "special" training. Chapel Hill and Cary do have city restrictions on OC.
    I'm glad to live in a state that lets me protect me and my family not only at home but out in public, with a gun, on my hip, in the open. And for special times Concealed.
    I am pleasantly surprised you have had a good experience. Where in NC do you live?

    Actually, most cops in NC that I have known are OK with armed citizens. I have had CCW permit for nearly 3 years. Have disclosed to cops about 15 times that I was carrying. Several times involved in traffic accidents or witness to accidents, reporting crimes on jobsites, me approaching him with a question or vice versa. I never had a one ask me to disarm or show any concern over it. I never heard but a few cops anywhere say thdy didn't want citizens to have guns. I'm sure some think that way, probably more in northern states.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ncpatriot View Post
    Use utmost caution with OC in NC. I have lived in NC all my life. I have verfied with police officers & sheriff's deputies that "armed to terror" works out to be very vague & ambiguous, in spite of the seemingly clear written words.
    Seriously?! what is vague & ambiguous about this law? there are four distinct parts that must be met to be charged with this law.

    If I'm quietly shopping in wal-mart and some cop tries to arrest me GATTTOTP because someone called the cops, I can promise you my lawyer will have a field day with this in court. thats like being charged with littering for throwing your trash in a trash can!

  9. #8
    I have lived in NC since 1998 and I have yet to encounter a single OCer. I know it may be perfectly legal here but I just would not want to draw attention to myself which based on the small number of encounters I have had myself I feel fairly sure it would.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by jg1967 View Post
    I have lived in NC since 1998 and I have yet to encounter a single OCer. I know it may be perfectly legal here but I just would not want to draw attention to myself which based on the small number of encounters I have had myself I feel fairly sure it would.
    If your not doing anything wrong who cares about drawing attention to yourself. Reality is that most people don't ever see the gun. If that do...They assume your a cop. I live in the Hickory area and only seen like 3 other people OCing. But I know there out there. So put on a white shirt and do the Wally-walk. I also CC but only 1% of the time...

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by muccione View Post
    If your not doing anything wrong who cares about drawing attention to yourself. Reality is that most people don't ever see the gun. If that do...They assume your a cop. I live in the Hickory area and only seen like 3 other people OCing. But I know there out there. So put on a white shirt and do the Wally-walk. I also CC but only 1% of the time...
    I don't know ... I work in the RTP area and Raleigh in general is pretty liberal ... I think it would be freak out central around here. Mainly I just wanted to say that I myself just have never seen anybody OCing (and I would have seen it) which I find odd considering that there seems to be quite some popularity to it.

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