Civilian Weapons Permitting through Columbus County Sheriff's Office

The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office issues two types of permits relating to handguns:

Permit to purchase a handgun, which must be obtained to purchase a handgun, and Concealed handgun permit, which must be obtained to carry a concealed handgun.

Concealed Carry Permits

On August 11th, 2004, the Governor signed into law that citizens with a CCW (Concealed Carry Weapons Permit) can purchase handguns through dealers, using their CCW.

It is no longer necessary for these citizens, who have already been approved to carry a concealed weapon and have been fingerprinted, to come to the Sheriff’s Office to obtain a Pistol Purchase Permit.

***Newly reformed reciprocity information (information about how a North Carolina CCW will be treated in another, particular state) can be obtained at the: North Carolina Department of Justice Website

Application Process:

  • You must be a resident of Columbus County .
  • The Firearms Safety/Training Course is required by the state of N.C. for any applicant.  Call your local gun dealer for a list of places that offer the courses.
  • Applicants must complete applications online. Click the external link above or below. You must complete and pass the NC Concealed Carry Training Course.
  • The Sheriff will honor your certificate for up to five years of course completion date.
  • Enter the required information for the Concealed Carry Application.
  • Pay the fee – $97.03
  • Schedule an appointment and submit your application electronically.
  • On your appointment date, you will arrive at the Sheriff’s Office at your scheduled time with the following documents:

            Concealed Carry Permit Application (We can print this for you if necessary.)
            NC Concealed Carry Training Course Certificate
            Valid NC Driving License with your current address

  • During your appointment, you will be fingerprinted and will sign the application.
  • If approved, you will be notified of the status of your application by phone, text, and email.
  • If denied, you will be notified by email and a letter.
  • If approved, you will need to pick up your permit from the Sheriff’s Office within 30 days of notification.
  • This process will take up to 90 days, after all necessary documents have been received by the Sheriff’s Office.
  • Concealed Carry Permits are valid for five years.

After the application is received, a criminal background check is done, and the medical release form signed by the applicant is mailed to local mental hospitals and care facilities. A court records check and a driver history is also completed. 

An appointment is made at the end of the application to come in and be fingerprinted.

When all data is returned, a the permit application will be approved or denied.  The applicant can be denied based on criminal history, mental check, or falsification of any information on application.


Your concealed handgun permit is valid for 5 years from the date issued.  It is your responsibility to complete the forms when your permit is near expiration.  We suggest that you do the application online at least 90 days before the date of expiration.  This will assist you in obtaining your new permit before the old one expires. Please comply and come in and renew your permit if you intend to keep the CCW Permit. Failure to renew your permit on time will require you to go through the entire initial process. Renewal fees are $75.00.

FSgt. Cindy Hammond with our Office processes Concealed Handgun Permits. She can be reached by calling 910-642-6551.


Your permit to carry a concealed handgun must be carried along with valid identification whenever the handgun is being carried concealed about your person or vehicle.

When approached or addressed by any officer, you must disclose the fact that you have a valid concealed handgun permit and inform the officer that you are in possession of a concealed handgun. You should not attempt to draw or display either your weapon or your permit to the officer unless and until the officer directs you to do so. Your hands are to be kept in plain view and you should not make any sudden movements.

Upon the request of any law enforcement officer, you must display both the permit and valid identification.

You may not, with or without a permit, carry a concealed weapon while consuming alcohol or while alcohol or any controlled substances are in your blood unless the controlled substance was obtained legally and taken in therapeutically appropriate amounts.

You must notify the Sheriff who issued the permit of any address change within thirty days of the change of address.

If the permit is lost or destroyed, you must notify the Sheriff who issued the permit and apply for a duplicate permit by submitting a notarized statement to that effect along with the required fee of $15.00. Do not carry a handgun without it.

Even with a permit, you may not carry a concealed handgun in the following areas:

  • Any law enforcement or correctional facility
  • Any space occupied by state or federal employees;
  • A financial institution
  • Any premises where the carrying of a concealed handgun is prohibited by the posting of a statement by the controller of the premises
  • Educational property
  • Areas of assemblies, parades, funerals, or demonstrations
  • Places where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed
  • State occupied property
  • Any state or federal courthouse
  • In any area prohibited by federal law
  • Any local government building if they’ve adopted an ordinance and posted signs prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons

Important Notice

If you are in a vehicle and stopped by a law enforcement officer, you should put both hands on the steering wheel, announce you are in possession of a concealed handgun and state where you have it concealed, and that you are in possession of a permit. Do not remove your hands from the wheel until instructed to do so by the officer.