Weapons Charges


Ensuring your rights are protected in gun possession cases throughout Guilford County

For criminal defendants facing weapons charges, the penalties have never been greater. For the gun owner or collector, ever-changing gun laws make it difficult to know what is legal to purchase and possess. You can quickly find yourself facing criminal charges.

Clifford & Harris, PLLC keeps abreast of revisions to state and federal weapons laws and how they impact owners and criminal defendants.

Our attorneys also are on the cutting edge of legal strategies in order to provide optimal defense of misdemeanor and felony weapons charges of all types in North Carolina.

Use of a weapon in a crime

Weapons charges are extremely serious, particularly when combined with another criminal offense, such as robbery or assault. Penalties can be severe, especially if you have a criminal record. Some examples for a first-time offense in North Carolina include:

  • Assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill that causes serious injury; Class C felony; sentence range is 44 to 92 months
  • Assault with a deadly weapon that inflicts serious injury; Class E felony; range of 15 to 31 months in prison
  • Assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill; Class E felony; range of 15 to 31 months
  • Firing a weapon at a law enforcement officer; Class F felony
  • Firing at a law enforcement officer; Class F felony; 10 to 20 months
  • Robbery with a firearm or other dangerous weapon; Class D felony; 38 to 80 months

Using a firearm in a federal drug or violent crime can increase punishment by five years, up to life in prison, or a death sentence if a death resulted from the crime.

Illegal possession of weapons in North Carolina

To legally purchase or receive a pistol, you must first obtain a permit from the sheriff of the county where you live. Failure to do so is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

If you have a legally obtained weapon, including a knife or handgun, it still is illegal in North Carolina to conceal it. Under some circumstances, you may apply for and obtain a permit from your local sheriff to conceal a handgun. Carrying a concealed handgun without a permit is a Class 2 misdemeanor for the first offense (up to 30 days in jail if you have no criminal record) and a Class I felony for subsequent offenses.

It also is illegal to sell or give a handgun to a minor. Weapons are prohibited by law in schools, at state buildings and at public assemblies and establishments.

Additionally, possession of a firearm is illegal under federal and state law for people in a broad range of categories, from convicted felons to drug addicts and illegal immigrants.

Under state law, some weapons are illegal, period. They include:

  • Projectile or ballistic knives
  • Weapons of mass destruction (bombs, chemical weapons)
  • Machine and sub-machine guns
  • Teflon-coated bullets

Under federal criminal law, possession of any of the following is punishable by up to 10 years in prison:

  • A machine gun or fully automatic firearm
  • A firearm silencer
  • A sawn-off shotgun or rifle
  • A destructive device
  • A semi-automatic assault weapon manufactured after Oct. 1, 1993
  • Any firearm that lacks a serial number or contains an altered serial number

When you need an attorney skilled in weapons violations defense

In North Carolina, Clifford & Harris, PLLC has a demonstrated record of helping clients who face weapons-related charges. The sooner you call us, the sooner our lawyers can put your defense on the right track. Contact us at 336-574-2788 or online for a free consultation.