Are Tasers Legal in North Carolina?

If you want a self-defense tool that has more range and more stopping capability than pepper spray, but isn’t quite as devastating or as prone to litigation as a firearm, a Taser might be the right choice for you.

Although they have been in widespread use with law enforcement for a very long time, there are only now starting to see serious inroads for civilian self-defense.

However, laws can differ greatly from state to state, and they are still fundamentally illegal in some places. How about North Carolina? Are Tasers legal in North Carolina?

Yes, tasers are legal in North Carolina but may only be carried openly in places where they may legally go. The only place you can legally concealed carry a taser in NC is on your own private property, whether or not you have a permit.

This is definitely disappointing for anyone who wants to go around discreetly armed with a taser. Having a concealed weapons permit makes no difference, and the only exemptions in the law are for the personnel appointed in the statutes. Sadly that doesn’t include civilians…

There’s a lot more you want to know about North Carolina taser laws, and I’ll tell you about it below.

How are Tasers Classified in North Carolina?

Tasers don’t have a specific definition or description in the North Carolina State statutes, except as what is defined in 14-269.2 concerning weapons on campus and educational properties.

Reading through this section, we see that stun guns are basically lumped under the definition of “weapon,” but we don’t get any more explanation on what a stun gun is or isn’t. We also see stun guns mentioned alongside and lumped in with “deadly weapons” in 14-269.

Accordingly, it is presumed that stun guns and tasers both fall under this categorization. Read the text for yourself below.

14-269. Carrying concealed weapons.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person willfully and intentionally to carry concealed about his or her person any bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slung shot, loaded cane, metallic knuckles, razor, shuriken, stun gun, or other deadly weapon of like kind, except when the person is on the person’s own premises.

14-269.2. Weapons on campus or other educational property.

(a) The following definitions apply to this section:

(4) Weapon. – Any device enumerated in subsection (b), (b1), or (d) of this section.

(d) It shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any BB gun, stun gun, air rifle, air pistol, bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slungshot, leaded cane, switchblade knife, blackjack, metallic knuckles, razors and razor blades (except solely for personal shaving), firework, or any sharp-pointed or edged instrument except instructional supplies, unaltered nail files and clips and tools used solely for preparation of food, instruction, and maintenance, on educational property.

Are Stun Guns Legal in North Carolina?

Yes, stun guns are illegal to possess in North Carolina. I should point out that stun guns and tasers are different, though similar, devices with stun guns.

Functioning through direct contact with an assailant, while tasers fire probes that are connected to the device through wires, wires which then send electricity to the target.

This is a practical difference, and also one that’s often made clear with differing legal definitions in other states. But that isn’t the case in North Carolina.

Can You Carry a Taser Openly in North Carolina?

Yes. It is legal to carry a taser or stun gun openly any place that weapons may normally and lawfully go as long as you may legally be in possession of the device.

Note that this is the only way you may legally carry a taser or stun gun outside of your home or other private property in the state of NC. See the next section…

Can You Carry a Taser Concealed in North Carolina?

No, you cannot! Not outside of private property, anyway. Curiously, tasers and stun guns are expressly forbidden from concealed carry when away from your home or off of other private property, even if you have a concealed weapons permit.

I know it sounds confusing, even hard to believe, but it is the truth as a careful reading of the state statutes will show in 14-269. Simply enough, it is unlawful for any person to willfully and intentionally carry concealed on or about their person a stun gun or other deadly weapon of like kind whether or not they have a permit as the following paragraphs will explain.

Make sure you read paragraph (b) and its subsections in detail on your own, because it will show you a long list of the people that this statute does not apply to. You’ll also see therein that civilians, whether or not they have permits, are not on that list of exceptions.

14-269. Carrying concealed weapons.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person willfully and intentionally to carry concealed about his or her person any bowie knife, dirk, dagger, slung shot, loaded cane, metallic knuckles, razor, shuriken, stun gun, or other deadly weapon of like kind, except when the person is on the person’s own premises.

(a2) This prohibition does not apply to a person who has a concealed handgun permit issued in accordance with Article 54B of this Chapter, has a concealed handgun permit considered valid under G.S. 14-415.24, or is exempt from obtaining a permit pursuant to G.S. 14-415.25, provided the weapon is a handgun, is in a closed compartment or container within the person’s locked vehicle, and the vehicle is in a parking area that is owned or leased by State government. A person may unlock the vehicle to enter or exit the vehicle, provided the handgun remains in the closed compartment at all times and the vehicle is locked immediately following the entrance or exit.

(b) This prohibition shall not apply to the following persons:

Age Restrictions on Taser Ownership or Possession in North Carolina

Yes. You have to be at least 18 years old or older to lawfully possess a taser in North Carolina.

What Do You Need to Do to Purchase a Taser in NC?

If you would purchase a Taser or stun gun in North Carolina, you need to seek out a dealer or retailer where these devices are sold. Note that you cannot be a felon or have any charges of domestic violence in your background even if they are misdemeanors.

Also worth noting is that you will likely have to undergo a background check to purchase a taser, as the manufacturer mandates that purchaser and user information is recorded to be entered into their database, as each unit is serialized and dispenses tracking confetti whenever it is discharged.

Is Training Mandatory for Taser Ownership in NC?

No. You do not have to undergo any specialized training or classes merely to purchase and possess a taser in North Carolina.

Also note that even getting the required training and certification for a concealed weapons permit is not necessary because you cannot conceal carry a taser in the state anyway.

Where Can You Carry a Taser in North Carolina?

Assuming you are open carrying your taser, you may legally carry it anywhere that weapons are lawfully allowed to go. Keep in mind that weapons are still banned from many public places, and open carrying any kind of weapon, even a taser, is going to draw attention that you don’t need.

But, generally speaking, you cannot carry your taser:

  • into any police station or correctional facility,
  • into any health care treatment facility,
  • into any school or onto the grounds of any school property,
  • and that includes school buses and other conveyances,
  • into any government building, office or installation,
  • and into the sensitive area beyond the security checkpoint of any airport or seaport.

There are many other locations where you can’t carry weapons, and do keep in mind that municipal and city laws may be even more restrictive than the state laws, or target stun guns and tasers specifically, so make sure you always read up on relevant local laws…

When Can You Use a Taser to Defend Yourself in North Carolina?

The only time you can lawfully use a taser to defend yourself in North Carolina is if you are in genuine fear of death or great bodily injury.

This is because North Carolina generally considers tasers and stun guns to be “deadly weapons,” since they are lumped in with knives, brass knuckles, and other such weapons which will inflict great bodily injury or even death when used…

Accordingly, you must be in genuine fear for your life before you deploy your taser on someone as it will be considered a very significant use of force.

Using it to settle an argument, as a joke, or in response to simple battery or assault is probably not going to go very well for you in court. Remember that people have and can die from being struck by a taser!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *