Handgun Purchase Permit

Hours of operation:
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday
Questions call: (910) 997-8383

A County Sheriff is only authorized under NCGS§14-402 to issue a permit to receive or purchase a handgun when an application is submitted by a person who is a resident of the Sheriff’s County. The sole exception is that the Sheriff may issue a permit to a non-resident when the purpose is for collecting (proof will be required).

Applicant requirements for a Pistol Purchase Permit

  • Must be 18 years old;
  • Must be a resident of Richmond County for a minimum of 30 days;
  • Must have a valid NC Driver's License or NC ID Card displaying your current residential address within Richmond County;
  • Resident Aliens: Must bring a resident alien card, social security card and a NC driver’s license or NC ID card indicating residence within Richmond County;
  • Military personnel must bring forms 1380E (active duty) or DD-214 (discharged);
  • Naturalized Citizens: Must bring your Naturalization Certificate or valid US Passport;
  • U.S. Citizens born outside of the U.S.A. to U.S. parent(s) must bring your documentation from the Department of State (Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Certificate of Citizenship, or Certification of Report of Birth);
  • Must not be convicted of any felony, or similar offense in any jurisdiction or currently under indictment for any felonious offense;
  • Must not be a fugitive from justice;
  • Must not be an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana, any depressant, stimulant or narcotic drug;
  • Must not be adjudged incompetent on grounds of mental illness, nor have been committed to any mental institution.

**Effective December 1, 2015, North Carolina General Statute 14-404(e1) requires all handgun purchase permit applicants to sign and submit a release of court orders concerning mental health and capacity for pistol purchase permits before the application can be processed. You may have the form notarized and attach it to your application or complete the form in our office Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.

**You must come in to the Sheriff’s Office to present completed required forms or to complete them on-site. Your application process will not begin until this final step has been completed.

An Applicant:

  • Must not be convicted of a Domestic Violence Offense;
  • Must not have unresolved criminal charges pending;
  • Must not have a substantial history of convictions, arrests, or reports demonstrating a continuing pattern of criminal activity;
  • Must not be discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
  • Must not be an illegal alien or unlawfully residing in the United States;
  • Must not have been a citizen of the United States and renounced that citizenship.

Apply here to start the process:
Richmond County Sheriff’s Office
1 Court Street
Rockingham, North Carolina 28379

  • Present a valid North Carolina Drivers License or ID card
  • Present five US dollars ($5) per requested permit upon application

When your permit(s) are ready you must appear in person at:
Richmond County Sheriff’s Office
1 Court Street
Rockingham, North Carolina 28379

  • Present a valid North Carolina Drivers License or ID card
  • Permits must be picked up by the applicant within twenty-eight (28) days of notification or you will have to re-apply.


Five US dollars ($5) per permit due with application, Non-refundable

If your Permit Request Is Denied, you will be notified.

What do I do if my permit is refused?
You may appeal the decision to the Superior Court Judge of Richmond County

How do I appeal?
North Carolina General Statute 14-404 provides that when an individual has been refused a pistol permit or had a pistol permit revoked by the Sheriff, the individual has the right to appeal the refusal / revocation.

The individual may appeal the decision by submitting a written or typed petition (statement) to the Superior Court Judge setting forth the reasons for appeal.

The petition along with a copy of the Sheriff’s notice of refusal / revocation must be submitted with a filing fee of $200 (personal checks will not be accepted) to the Clerk of Superior Court, Civil Division, Richmond County Courthouse located at:
105 W Franklin Street
Rockingham, NC 28379

Generally, appeals of refusal / revocation of pistol permits are considered by the Superior Court Judge without hearing. The Superior Court Judge will notify the individual of his/her decision in writing.

Buying & Selling Pistols

You must obtain a valid handgun purchase permit, whether you receive the weapon from a commercial dealer or a private person. The requirement also applies without regard to whether it is a transaction for money or a gift.

It is a misdemeanor to sell or otherwise dispose of a handgun without first obtaining a pistol permit from the recipient of the pistol.

Handgun Purchase Permit Application Forms

Complete and submit in person to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office