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.

Purchase permit applications are taken on Monday thru Fridays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Sheriff’s Office Records Division, 805 Washington St., Whiteville, NC.

Application Process:

  1. Complete application form at the Sheriff’s Office. Applicants must present a valid form of Identification at time of initial application.
  2. Sheriff’s office personnel will notify you of a date that you may return to pick up your permit.
  3. The application process normally takes 7 to 10 business days to complete. Please note: failure to fully disclose complete criminal history information or other required information may delay the application process.
  4. To pick up your permit you will be required to present a valid form of identification.
  5. The fee for the permit will be $5.00 per permit.

The Applicant Must be:

of good moral character, and

a resident of Columbus County, and

able to certify that the weapon is required for one or more of the following reasons only:

Protection of home, business or property of the applicant,

Target shooting,


Hunting, and  

21 years of age or older due to restrictions on firearms dealers.

The Applicant Must Not be:

convicted of any violent felony, arson, controlled substance felony or similar offense in any jurisdiction or currently under indictment for any felonious offense, or

a fugitive from justice, or

an unlawful user of, addicted to, marijuana, any depressant, stimulant or narcotic drug,or

an adjudged incompetent on the grounds of mental illness, nor have been committed to any mental institution. ( Statutory Authority: G.S. 14-404 )

Permit Denial Reasons:

The following is a partial list of reasons for denial. Other reasons will be considered on a case by case basis by Sheriff’s Office personnel. Reasons include but are not limited to:

Any felony conviction,

Underage Applicant,

Use of False Identification,

Any pending misdemeanor, felony or traffic charge,

Assault charges,

Resisting or obstructing a law enforcement officer,

Drug charges,

Domestic violence charges,

On probation,

Mental problems,

Moral character of applicant,

False information provided on application.

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.

Permit application and  renewal times are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Allow at least 45 minutes to complete paperwork.

If approved, you will be notified by phone when your permit has been sent to us and is ready for pick up. Please allow up to 90 days processing time.

Concealed Carry Permits are valid for five years.

Please have the following information available in order to expedite the application process: 

Original Firearms Training/Safety Course certificate,

$90. 00 EXACT cash or certified check or money order,

Valid N.C. drivers license with current address,

Copy of DD214 (military discharge papers) if you have served in armed forces,

Name, address and daytime phone number of closest relative outside your household,

Names, address, and home/work phone numbers of 3 references not related to you,

Name, complete address and phone number of any and all physicians seen by you,

All previous employers, complete addresses, phone numbers, supervisor’s names and dates of service,

All previous addresses and dates of residency,

All name changes including dates of change, location, and court file number if applicable.

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. 

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 fill out the papers 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 $85.00.

Lieutenant Renee Cole with our Office processes concealed Handgun Permits.  The forms can be picked up at our front desk Monday thru Friday between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. Lieutenant Renee Cole 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 the local government has 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.