You Are Accountable for the Safekeeping of Your Firearms!

Here in North Carolina, we take the security of firearms and the safety of children very seriously.  Under North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS), any person who owns or possesses firearms must take reasonable and prudent steps to ensure that persons’ under the age of 18 are not able to gain access to those firearms without the lawful permission of the minor’s parents or legal guardians.

The law is written as follows:

§ 14-315.1.  Storage of firearms to protect minors.

(a)        Any person who resides in the same premises as a minor, owns or possesses a firearm, and stores or leaves the firearm (i) in a condition that the firearm can be discharged and (ii) in a manner that the person knew or should have known that an unsupervised minor would be able to gain access to the firearm, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if a minor gains access to the firearm without the lawful permission of the minor’s parents or a person having charge of the minor and the minor:

(1)        Possesses it in violation of G.S. 14-269.2(b);

(2)        Exhibits it in a public place in a careless, angry, or threatening manner;

(3)        Causes personal injury or death with it not in self defense; or

(4)        Uses it in the commission of a crime.

(b)        Nothing in this section shall prohibit a person from carrying a firearm on his or her body, or placed in such close proximity that it can be used as easily and quickly as if carried on the body.

(c)        This section shall not apply if the minor obtained the firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by any person.

(d)       “Minor” as used in this section means a person under 18 years of age who is not emancipated. (1993, c. 558, s. 2; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 14, s. 11.)

The bottom line is this; if you own firearms, those firearms must be under your control.  Any firearm that is not on your person, under your immediate control, should be securely locked to ensure any person not legally able to possess a firearm cannot gain access to them.  In the event you have a social gathering at your home, or allow other ride in your vehicle, visit your place of work, etc., you must consider the security of your firearms.