Legal definition of a handgun under North Carolina Law
In North Carolina, a handgun is any firearm designed, made, or adapted to be fired with one hand. This includes pistols, revolvers, and other small and portable firearms to be carried and used with one hand.
The legal definition of a handgun has evolved in North Carolina. In the early 20th century, the state passed laws regulating the sale and possession of handguns. Still, these laws aimed primarily at restricting access to handguns by certain groups, such as felons and minors.
In the 1960s and 1970s, as the civil rights movement gained momentum, laws regulating handguns came under increased scrutiny. Many argued that these laws disproportionately affected minority communities and were often used to discriminate against and oppress certain groups.
In response to these concerns, North Carolina and other states began overhauling their handgun laws. In the 1980s, North Carolina passed the Firearm Purchase Permit Act, establishing a system for background checks and permits to purchase handguns.
Today, North Carolina law requires anyone who wants to purchase a handgun to obtain a permit from the sheriff of the county where they live. The sheriff is responsible for conducting a background check and ensuring that the applicant is not legally prohibited from owning a handgun.
In addition to the permit requirement, North Carolina law also imposes certain restrictions on the possession and use of handguns. For example, it is illegal to carry a concealed handgun without a permit and unlawful to use a handgun to threaten or intimidate others.
Overall, the legal definition of a handgun in North Carolina ensures that handguns are only available to responsible, law-abiding citizens and are used safely and responsibly.