I'm moving to Durham soon so while I was there this weekend I stopped into a small funshop to inquire about local ranges, CCW requirements etc.
They told me that NC doesn't recognize any (non NC) firearms training or prior CCW as meeting the requirements for their CCW. They also said that 3 character witnesses are required before a CCW will be issued. This is MUCH stricter than the requirements here in VA.
Anyone got any tips on making the process go smoother? Any recommeded instructors (or who to avoid) for the CCW class? The shop I checked out wanted $100 for the class. That seemed a little steep to me.
As for character witnesses...do they have to be NC residents? Can my Fiance vouch for me, and me for her? Seems like alot of hoops to jump thru to me.
They also said that in order to purchase a handgun purchase permit, I need character witnesses. Perhaps I'll just join a local range and use other members. I'll bet that happens alot. Any private ranges in the Durham area that I should join?
thanks alot for the info.
Well, if you are moving to Durham County, then you are going to the worst county in the Triange area when it comes to gun ownership. I used to work at a gun shop in Raleigh and I heard a lot of horror stories about trying to get handgun purchase permits in Durham County. They included "lost paperwork", months of waiting for the permit, only being able to get two at a time or five in a year, etc.
I don't recall any character references required on my NC CCW application when I lived there. I wouldn't be surprised however if Durham County is requiring them.
More great news: Durham County has the only handgun registration in the state. There is a state law that allows Durham county to require handgun registration. Failing to register is a misdemeanor. I suppose it is possible that has changed. The law was still in effect in 2001 when I moved back to Virginia, but there was some talk about repealing it. I don't know if that happened, but given the political climate in Durham, I'd say it is unlikely.
Is there any way possible that you can live in Wake County? Wake County is the most reasonable in the Triange area when it comes to gun ownership and obtaining purchase and carry permits.
Orange County is better than Durham County, but it is still not what I would reccomend for a gun owner. The Orange County sheriff's office will not issue a pistol purchase permit to anyone who has not lived in Orange County for at least a year prior to application and provides three character references who are also Orange County residents and not related by blood or marriage to the applicant.
The good news is that there is a bill pending to exempt CCW permit holders from having to obtain pistol purchase permits.
The NC pistol purchase permit law has been around for years, and as such, it gives the issuing authority (the county sheriff) a lot of power to delay or restrict the issuance of purchase permits. The CCW law being only eight years old was written to force the county sheriff to process the paperwork and get the permit issued in a set amount of time. Even Durham and Orange Counties will issue the CCW, often with less hassle than getting a purchase permit, because the law forces them to.
I guess the NC legislature finally saw that problems with the purchase permit law and decided to try and change it some. Hopefully it will pass.
On the bright side, the Triange is a really nice place to live (excepting the gun laws). There is lots to do there, cost of living is fairly reasonable (outside Chapel Hill), and most of the people are nice. I miss living there, but I don't miss the gun laws.
Last time I checked, there was still handgun registration in Durham County. I am originally from Durham County, and for about the last 15-20 years it has easily been one of the highest crime areas in the state. Most of the crime is in the downtown area, but with the expansion of the city limits happening so quickly, much of the crime is rapidly spreading out into the county. It is truly sad. The city of Durham was once a really nice place. I will ask a couple of friends of mine that still live over there, but I seriously doubt that much has changed.
Does that mean they want me to register any handguns I bring with me from VA? (they must be crazy).
Yes, they want you to register any handguns that you bring into Durham County. There has even been some debate about whether it is legal for someone who lives in NC can legally take a handgun into Durham County if it is not registered there.
If you do not register your handguns and they find out about it, they can arrest you. Will they? I don't know. I know a former Durham PD officer who worked there in the 1970s and 1980s before he took a job with the state. He tells me that they used to arrest people for possession of an unregistered handgun. He says that stopped in the early 90's because of record keeping problems, but I know when I was living in the Triangle in 2000 and 2001 Durham was working to update the records so they could start enforcing the law more effectively.
So, not to sound like a broken record, but avoid Durham if at all possible. Besides, Durham is kind of like the Norfolk of the Triangle, some parts of it are nice, but a lot you have to be very careful in.