Applying for Firearm Permits


No state permit is required to purchase a rifle or shotgun. It is lawful for citizens of the State to purchase rifles and shotguns and ammunition in states contiguous to this State. READ ALL

A license or permit must be obtained to purchase, sell, give away, transfer, inherit, or receive a handgun by applying to the county sheriff in which the purchase is to be made or where the receiver resides. A purchase permit is good for five years from the date of issue. Antique firearms are exempted. The sheriff shall issue such license or permit to a resident of that county, unless the purpose of the license or permit is for collecting, in which case a license or permit may be issued to a nonresident.

When the sheriff shall have fully satisfied himself as to the good moral character of the applicant, the applicant has successfully completed a criminal history check, and that the applicant desires the possession of the handgun for the protection of the home, business, person, family or property, target shooting, collecting, or hunting, such permit or license shall be issued.

For good cause shown, a license or permit may be denied, and within seven (7) days of such refusal a written statement of the reason shall be issued to the applicant. Each applicant for any such license or permit shall be informed within fourteen (14) days of the date of such application whether such license or permit shall be granted or denied, and, if granted, such license or permit shall be immediately issued to said applicant. A permit or license may not be issued to a person:

  • who is under indictment or who has been convicted of a felony except that if a person has been later pardoned or is not prohibited from purchasing a firearm under the Felony Act, or has a domestic assault conviction in court;
  • who is a fugitive from justice;
  • who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a drug;
  • who has been adjudicated mentally incompetent or has been committed to any mental institution;
  • who is dishonorably discharged from the military;
  • who has renounced his or her citizenship; or
  • who is under a court restraining order for harassing, stalking, threatening an intimate partner or a child.

An appeal from such refusal may be made to the Chief Judge of the District Court for the district in which the application was filed.

A permit is valid for the purchase of only one handgun. To obtain another handgun, an applicant must procure another permit and must convince the issuing authority that he needs more than one handgun.

Firearm Purchase Permits:  Gun Purchase Permit  *ONLINE*

Firearm Purchase Permits can now be submitted online directly to the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office by clicking the "Gun Purchase Permit *ONLINE*" above. Then, follow the directions and submit your permit application to us online.

The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office issues Permits to purchase handguns. You must be a resident of Rockingham County for at least 6 months, 21 years of age, valid North Carolina identification with current and correct information listed on ID and complete a purchase handgun request application. To fill out a Firearms Purchase Permit Application in person, come to the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office Records Division on Thursdays and Fridays from 8 am until 4 pm (except on holidays). In person applications will only be accepted during these days and times. Applications, which pass background check, can have permits available for pick-up the following week. There is a $5.00 per permit fee (Cash Only) due at the time of application, whether online or in person. This fee is non-refundable.



It is unlawful to carry concealed about one’s person a firearm except on one’s own premises, or if the person has a concealed handgun permit. The sheriff shall issue a permit within 45 days after receipt of all mental health records of the applicant;

  • is at least 21 and a citizen of the U.S. and has been a resident of the State for at least 30 days immediately prior to filing the application;
  • does not suffer from a physical or mental infirmity that prevents the safe handling of a handgun;
  • has successfully completed an approved firearms safety and training course which involves the actual firing of handguns and instruction in the law governing the carrying of a concealed handgun and the use of deadly force;
  • is not currently or has not been adjudicated or administratively determined to be lacking mental capacity or mentally ill;
  • is or has not been adjudicated guilty or judgment continued or suspended sentence for a violent misdemeanor;
  • has not had judgment continued for or free on bond or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a disqualifying criminal offense;
  • has not been convicted of an impaired driving offense within three years prior to the date on which the application is submitted;
  • is not ineligible under federal or state law to possess, receive, or own a firearm.


A person shall apply to the sheriff of the county in which the person resides to obtain a concealed handgun permit. The applicant shall submit to the sheriff an application completed under oath, on a form provided by the sheriff, an $80.00 non-refundable permit fee, a full set of fingerprints administered by the sheriff, an additional fee not to exceed $10.00 to pay for the costs of processing the applicant’s fingerprints, an original certificate of completion of an approved safety course, a release that authorizes and requires disclosure to the sheriff of any records concerning the mental health or capacity of the applicant.

The permit holder must carry the permit, together with valid identification, whenever carrying a concealed handgun, and is required to disclose to any law enforcement officer who addresses or approaches the permit holder that he or she is a permit holder and is carrying a concealed handgun.

The permit is valid throughout the state for 5 years from the date of issuance. The permit holder shall apply to renew the permit at least 90 days prior to its expiration date by filing out a new application and paying a $75.00 renewal fee. The sheriff may require the permittee to take another firearms safety and training course prior to renewal. The permit holder shall notify the sheriff who issued the permit of any change in the permanent address within 30 days. If a permit is lost or destroyed, the sheriff who issued the permit shall be notified.

If the sheriff denies the application for a permit, the sheriff shall within 90 days notify the applicant in writing, stating the grounds for denial. An applicant may appeal the denial, revocation, or nonrenewal of a permit by petitioning a district court judge of the district in which the application was filed. The determination of the court shall be final.



Concealed Carry Permits:  Concealed Carry Permit Application

You can print out a copy of the application for a Concealed Carry Permit listed below by clicking the "Concealed Carry Permit Application" above. After printing the application, fill it out and bring it to the Sheriff's Office on one of the days/times listed. DO NOT SIGN THE APPLICATION PRIOR TO BRINGING IT TO THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE; your signature must be witnessed by one the Deputies who will be processing the application.

The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office handles Concealed Carry Permits for Handguns. You must be a resident of Rockingham County for at least 30 days, 21 years of age, valid North Carolina identification with current and correct information listed on ID and complete a concealed handgun request application. Download and Print the application buy clicking on "Concealed Carry Permit Application" above, complete the application and bring it to the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office Records Division. Concealed Handgun Permit Applications are accepted Tuesday-Friday from 8 am until 4 pm (except on holidays). These application are not currently accepted electronically. The three page application can be obtained at the Sheriff's Office in the Records Division at the Law Enforcement Center. Must have completed a firearms safety training course and provide certificate. The cost of concealed handgun permit is $90.00 for new applicants, $75.00 for a renewal (Cash Only). Permits processing times varies.