NC, SC, GA - help with gun friendliness!!


January 8, 2003, 08:37 AM
I am in Colorado now and want to buy waterfront property in one of these states. The order above is my preference based on real estate cost, availability, etc. What are the firearms issues I will face (good/bad) in these states. One concern I have about NC is the need for a permit just to purchase a gun. NC looks to limit it to five per year. Here in Colorado I have gone into a gun store and bought five in a day!!

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January 8, 2003, 08:51 AM
I'm not familiar with any limit to firearms one's allowed to purchase annually. I've been told that purchases greater than two-per-month is typically reported to the ATF per protocol.

The required permits are for handguns only; there is no permit required for rifles or shotguns, just the usual instant background check* and ATF forms. (*bypassed once you obtain a CCW).

Overall, I would consider NC to be "middle-of-the-road" concerning firearm friendliness. It certainly isn't Vermont or Texas, but it sure ain't ********** or New Jersey, either!

January 8, 2003, 08:53 AM
NC is the probably the most restrictive, GA the least. SC used to have a residency requirement before you could get a CCW permit, but I'm not sure it's the case now. Here in Ga, there are no purchase permits, no purchase limits, CCW is essentially shall-issue w/no training requirements, you can own Class III firearms, vehicle carry rules are quite liberal even for non-CCW holders and non-residents, and we have CCW reciprocity with abt a dozen states now. My main complaint is we're too restrictive on no-CCW allowed locations (like any place serving alcohol for on-site consumption). Check for good info, tho verify on relevant state gov't sites, as this stuff changes.

January 8, 2003, 08:57 AM
Also, in Georgia there is no NICS check if you have a toter's permit.

January 8, 2003, 09:08 AM
The one-year residency requirement for CCW in SC was removed last May. I got my permit almost immediately after moving here. You still have to be a resident, but you don't have to wait a year anymore.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with SC's CCW laws. Still can't drop off the kids at school while carrying and can't carry anywhere that serves alchohol (even a nice fancy restaurant), but other than that, pretty sensible.

SC is also a Class III state and CLEOs are OK with it.

The only limit on purchases I'm aware of is one handgun per 30 days. No permit required, though if you have your CCW most retailers will waive the NICS check.

January 8, 2003, 09:31 AM
I think that GA's firearms laws are much less restrictive than North or South Carolina. I've lived in both North Carolina and was born, raised, and moved back to Georgia. I won't live in NC again. I don't like having to get permission from anyone, much less the county sheriff, to buy a firearm. In GA, you can buy a firearm from anyone and you don't have to get anyone's permission to do so (aside from an NICS check if you buy from an FFL, and that is only required if you don't have a carry permit). Georgia's carry permit also has reciprocity with Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, and a number of other States. I don't think that NC or SC have permit reciprocity with any other States. Plus, take a visit to Savannah, and I guarantee you won't want to buy waterfront property in NC or SC :).

January 8, 2003, 09:38 AM
How many pistol permits can I get at any one time?

Answer: State law sets no limit on the number of permits which can be obtained at any one given time. However, consistent with their authority to regulate the issuance of pistol permits, most Sheriff Departments will limit the number of permits that one applicant may receive. Typically, it is not uncommon for a Sheriff Department to limit an applicant to a maximum of five such permits in one year.

Thanks all for input. I as well prefer Georgia, but can only get half or less of the quality of property for the same price. Upside is it can also be looked at as twice the benefits for the same cost!!

Gotta love the Savannah area.

January 8, 2003, 09:47 AM

That data is somewhat in error. The limitation is placed at 5 permits per application, with no limit on the number of applications you can fill out. There is no "per year" limit, only a per application limit. The permit amounts to the rough equivalent of a NICS check. You fill out your form and the Sheriff's dept runs or has run by the SBI, the local, state and federal background check. Once your clean record is established, you can pick up your permits at $5.00 per (a 5 day process). I believe the whole logic behind them was to alleviate fears that local violations and domestic violence transgressions are not readily picked up by the feds. This permit therefore takes place of the NICS check and fulfills the federal option that a state may designate an equivalent process. I can't speak for other locations or counties, but in Wake County where I live, both local PD and SD are very pro 2A and strongly support our rights.

January 8, 2003, 11:15 AM
All three states are reasonable when to comes to firearms. All three have procedures. All three have their quirks. My only compaint with NC is its lack of reciprocity (which I understand is about to be fixed).

What kind of water front you're interested in. Salt or fresh.

If salt are you interested in urban // highly developed areas or are you interested in undeveloped // rural areas?

Along the SC coast you can spend any amount you want. Hilton Head is $$$$$$.

Charleston water front is uber-$$$$$$.

KMart-by-the-Sea (opps, Myrtle Beach) is well developed.

NC coast above Wilmington is decidedly rural.

Just curious.

January 8, 2003, 12:24 PM
Most interested in rural areas of Pamlico County/sound area, south to Beaufort. Looking for 10+ acres, 6' water depth, blue water accessible to 64' bridge clearance, protected for a sailboat. NC is the most affordable and protected. About all I can afford when adding th boat into the mix.

January 8, 2003, 01:42 PM
Waitone said:

My only compaint with NC is its lack of reciprocity (which I understand is about to be fixed)

Do you have any details on this?

January 8, 2003, 02:03 PM
NC is a little strange. The county sheriff has the power to set his own limitations as it pertains to issuing purchase permits. For example, in Durham County, where I live, the Sheriff limits you to a maximum of five purchase permits per year, with a max of two at any one time. The time to making application and picking up your permit is about ten working days. You have to get statements from two people who know you, and have their signatures notorized to submit with your application. By the same token, the Sheriff can authorize immediate issue of a purchase permit. (:D Been there done a permit in less than24 hours when I talked to the Sheriff. He wasn't available when I went to his office. I left my phone number and he returned my call within two hours. Told him I possessed a CCW and wanted to pick up a new pistol, which was the last one the shop had.)

My guess would be that the more rural coastal counties Sheriffs have less limitations on number of permits per year/at one time.

Permits cost $5.00 each and are good for a period of five years.


January 8, 2003, 02:13 PM
This is the official status on House Bill 442. I haven't heard anything new on it, but I'm a lookin'.

January 8, 2003, 02:13 PM
Elizabeth City is a small town on inland waterway.

New Bern is historic and on inland water.

"Beaufort" I assume is the NC city (pronounced boe-fort). SC has a "Beaufort" between Charleston and Hilton Head (pronounced beau-fort). Oldest city in North America. Harbor is downtown. Truly an interesting place.
One of the great unknown and undeveloped cities on the coast.

January 8, 2003, 05:01 PM
Oracle, according to, SC DOES have reciprocity with the following states:

Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Montata, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming

January 8, 2003, 05:33 PM
Georgia's gun laws are really some of the best in the country I think. Easy for a citizen to get a permit, too.

I don't really mean to bash the North Carolina, but it
should have been located about 600 miles further north.

mtonetwo, what kind of waterfront property are u looking for??

January 8, 2003, 06:16 PM
There must be something in the air. I also am looking for waterfront property in the nearly same area, except, I have eliminated NC from the search. I don't have a sailboat but just looking for something kinda pretty to build on and enjoy life.

We are taking a trip to GA and SC in mid March to have a looksee. Going into SC mainly to visit friends in Anderson. I like what I see and know abot GA.

January 8, 2003, 06:28 PM
I'm looking for property that has a boat dock that I can see from my house and neighbors that I can't, haha.

Seriously, from my provious post -
Looking for 10+ acres, 6' water depth, blue water accessible to 64' bridge clearance, protected for a sailboat.

Have something you might want to sell?

January 8, 2003, 08:09 PM
Well, don't know much about GA or SC rules, but lived most of my life in NC. In the eastern county I live in I get 4 permits at a time (no limits I have ever been made aware of, I just limit my $5.00 per permit "investment" to $20.00 each visit). If the Sheriff's office is not busy I get them on the spot (no signatures of witnessess or any of that other "urban county stuff"), if the office is busy I pick them up the next day. There is no state limit to one handgun per day/week/month (as in SC and VA) here you are only limited to whatever Federal limits may be (such as the FFL dealer must report mulitple purchases to BATF). I can get 4 permits on Monday, another 4 the next week, etc., whatever I want. The urban counties (such as Wake and Durham are more restrictive, probably due to volume in Wake and liberal bias in Durham). Nice thing about our state permits - you avoid NICS when using them (such as at weekend gun shows for long guns). There is no state registration of your firearms, no FOIDs, no requirement that private transactions must go through dealers, etc. Of course I would like for the permits to be free, but the $5.00 "tax" is not too bad compared to restrictions that I read of in other places. As for moving down here to our coastal area - just go onto GA or SC they are MUCH nicer (if we get too much population growth it may change our good life!) Odessa

January 8, 2003, 08:16 PM
as they will not recpricate with TN. As the same with Alabama, I refuse to give them one thin dime or my tourist money!

Do Georgia.

January 8, 2003, 08:23 PM
Come on down the waters fine mtonetwo. Sounds like the ICW in the Pamlico sound will work, Oriental area is nice. Try these;

Good luck.

January 8, 2003, 10:18 PM
Durham County is pretty good about doing the paperwork.

January 8, 2003, 10:27 PM
One concern I have about NC is the need for a permit just to purchase a gun Just to clarify, you only need a permit to purchase a handgun. You can buy a long gun on a whim while picking up masking tape at Walmart.

I just get three or four pistol purchase permits and keep a couple in my wallet just in case I run across something I want to buy. They are good for three years and you don't have to state what or where you intend to purchase

I agree that the CWP regs stink though. Can't carry in bank, gov. office, school, anyplace that sells alchohol, any parade or even anyplace that charges admission. Dinner and a movie is out of the question.

January 8, 2003, 10:38 PM
I'm not familiar with any limit to firearms one's allowed to purchase annually. I've been told that purchases greater than two-per-month is typically reported to the ATF per protocol.

The ATF's rule is two per week, and I think it only applies to handguns.


I took issue with NC's pistol purchase permit system. It sucks here in NY, so it can't be much better there.

Doesn't GA have some rule about no guns in churches, bars, sporting events and rallies?

I looked at most of the East Coast the last time I considered leaving NY, and those aspects of GA and NC seem to stick out in my mind.

Good Luck,

January 9, 2003, 12:37 AM
Interesting thread dealing in firearm purchase restrictions and real estate in nc, sc, and ga. Of interest to me cause the wife and I have been researching those places for me to retire in and play golf while she continues her work as a nurse practitioner. My requirements: friendly attitude toward firearm ownership and ccw availability, year-round inexpensive golf with a good country club; opportunities for the wife employmentwise; convenient to military facilities (will be a retired teacher and retired military). Don't need to be near the waterfront. Places that look promising:
New Bern, NC -- Cherry Pt MCAS
Columbia, SC -- Ft Jackson (27 hole course!)
Savannah, GA -- Ft Stewart
Also, these places have interesting historical sections and decent cllimates.
Presently we live on a dormant vocano on the left coast and we are looking forward to moving to the right coast in 04.
If I am not recalled to active duty, we'll be visiting the above next Spring Break.

January 9, 2003, 07:34 AM

Check out Warner Robins, GA --- Robins AFB.

January 9, 2003, 08:05 AM
Oracle, according to, SC DOES have reciprocity with the following states:

Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Montata, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming

Well, slap me and call me silly. I was sure that I had done some checking and SC's reciprocity status was similar to NC. Well, I'm glad it isn't.

If you're ever traveling through Warner Robins, GA, and want Thai food, there is a little restaurant right by the public library. Excellent Thai food.

January 9, 2003, 08:13 AM
Well, I moved to North Carolina from Michigan, so while NC may be restrictive, it is more free than Michigan.

I live in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County will limit you to three handgun purchase permits at a time; but, you can turn around an apply for three more at the same time you're picking up. And, it takes TWO WEEKS :banghead: for Meck. County to approve my constitutionally guaranteed civil rights and Sheriff Pendergraph will not approve Class 3 transfers.

Now, Union County, just southeast of here, will approve purchase permits in TWO DAYS, usually less, and the sheriff will sign class three.

Choose your county carefully. Generally rural is bettter, urban is worse.

January 9, 2003, 09:25 AM
Thank you everybody. Lots of great information and leads. I will post back any great revelations I come across next week after I get back.

Al Thompson
June 20, 2003, 09:30 PM
1) North Carolina: NC Reciprocity now law, but don't start packing heat yet.

North Carolina has finally passed a reciprocity bill into law!
Congratulations to GrassRoots North Carolina (GRNC) members and leaders who worked long and hard to get it.

The Governor of NC, who is not particularly pro-gun, signed the bill into law on Saturday 6/14/03!

Grassroots activism has achieved another significant victory.

Once the law takes effect on August 13 (60 days after signing), the NC Attorney General's office will certify which states recognize and allow NC CWP holders to carry in their respective states. People from a state so certified, with valid CWP's may then carry in North Carolina.

If a state does not recognize NC CWP, then NC won't recognize that state's CWP. This is the situation in Florida also.

At present South Carolina does NOT recognize the concealed weapon permits issued by Florida or North Carolina.


And it may take awhile too! We'll likely have a fight on our hands. SLED has had 5 years to certify that North Carolina has permit issuance standards equal to or greater than South Carolina standards. That would have let NC CWP holders carry in South Carolina. The law doesn't say anything about just looking at states that let SC CWP holders carry there. Here's what our law says:

"(N) Valid out-of-state permits to carry concealable weapons held by a resident of a reciprocal state must be honored by this State. SLED shall make a determination as to those states which have permit issuance standards equal to or greater than the standards contained in this article and shall maintain and publish a list of those states as the states with which South Carolina has reciprocity."

There wasn't much incentive for SLED to recognize NC before. That's changed. We'll just have to see. We'll keep you posted.

FYI, North Carolina CWP laws are somewhat more restrictive than in South Carolina.
For example, you can't carry anywhere they sell tickets (like a theater), or in a bank or financial institution.

For the latest details check out: and then go to the North Carolina page.

Here is the NC law that was signed on Saturday June 14, 2003:



The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. Article 54B of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

"ยง 14-415.24. Reciprocity; out-of-state handgun permits.
(a) A valid concealed handgun permit or license issued by another state is
valid in North Carolina if that state grants the same right to residents of
North Carolina who have valid concealed handgun permits issued pursuant to
this Article in their possession while carrying concealed weapons in that

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