General Information

Learning the laws regulating the use of firearms is a must for responsible ownership. Local regulations differ and laws vary from state to state. Citizens must check with the jurisdiction where the gun is to be used.

Generally, laws require the following:

  • Permits to buy handguns in North Carolina can be obtained from the county sheriff (or, in 10 counties, the clerk of superior court). In Lincoln County it is the Sheriff's Office.  Pistol purchase permits may be obtained from the sheriff where the purchaser or receiver resides. An application must be submitted to the sheriff by the individual who desires to obtain a pistol permit, and must satisfy the requirements of North Carolina law.
  • The Cost is $5.00 and is NON-REFUNDABLE even if your application is denied.
  • Gun purchase permit applications must be completed online, either from your home or online at the Sheriff’s Office Kiosk and will be processed on normal business days (Monday-Friday 8:00 AM-4:30 PM). The option to fill out this application from home is strictly VOLUNTARY and any handling fee is between the company and the applicant.

Click the "Let's get Started" button to apply for a permit.


Gaining competency with firearms is like learning to drive a car or fly an airplane. You need expert instruction and practice. There is no shortcut. If you are not willing to invest the time and effort to become competent, then having a firearm and trying to use it can, in many instances, be more hazardous than any impending threat.

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Handgun Purchase Permit Requirements: must meet ALL requirements

Applicant Must:

  • be a citizen, a naturalized citizen or a resident alien;
  • be twenty-one (21) years of age;
  • have attained at least thirty (30) days residency in Lincoln County;
  • at the time of pickup, provide a valid driver's license or other picture ID with current address provided by the State of North Carolina.

Please note that as part of the application process, you will authorize the Lincoln County Clerk of Superior Court to inform the Sheriff of Lincoln County whether or not the clerks’ records contain the record of any involuntary mental commitment proceeding under Article 5 of Chapter 122C of the General Statutes in which you have been named as a respondent. The purpose of this release is to enable the Sheriff to determine your qualification and competence to purchase and handle a handgun.

A permit to purchase a handgun has a processing cost of $5.00 (each). A convenience fee of $3.00 (per application) will also be charged for using the online application service. The total fee is non-refundable.

Storage of firearms and ammunition presents a unique responsibility. Children may see weapons as toys, and thieves view them as a tool for crime or an item that can be sold for quick profit. Keep all firearms locked away in a secure place.