Hours of operation:

  • 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Friday

Questions call:

  • 919-856-6949
    Please note: The call volume to our office is extremely high! We are answering phones as fast as possible. Please be patient.

Applicant requirements for a Pistol Purchase Permit:

  • Must be 18 years old
  • Must be a resident of Wake County for a minimum of 30 days
  • Must have a valid NC Driver's License or NC ID Card displaying your current residential address.
  • Resident Aliens: Must bring a resident alien card, social security card and a NC driver’s license or NC ID card
  • Military personnel must bring form 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 applicants to sign a release of court orders concerning mental health and capacity for pistol purchase permits.  

    The Wake County Sheriff’s Office will not accept walk-ins. You must first fill out an online application. You must have an appointment for permit pickup.
  • Must NOT be convicted of a Domestic Violence Offense
  • Must NOT have unresolved criminal charges pending
  • Must NOT have a suspended driver's license
  • 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

To apply for a pistol permit you must apply online:

  • Complete application & pay applicable fees

  • When your permit(s) are ready:

    • You must appear in person at:
      • John Baker H. Public Safety Center
        330 S. Salisbury St., Raleigh
    • 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.


  • Online:

    • Five US dollars ($5.00) per permit (Cash, Credit or Debit), Non-refundable
    • Three US dollars ($3.00) plus a credit card convenience fee,  Non-refundable
*Credit Card fee is not collected by and no portion is received by the Wake County Sheriff’s Office

If your permit request is denied, you will be notified:
    • In writing or via email as to why it was refused.

What do I do if my permit is refused?

    • You may appeal the decision to the Superior Court Judge of Wake 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, Wake County Courthouse located at 316 Fayetteville St. Raleigh, NC 27601.
    • 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 and selling pistols

  • You must obtain a valid pistol 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.


*** It is your responsibility to know the NC gun laws. Below is a link to the NC firearms laws and a downloadable copy of the Wake County firearms ordinance.***

NC Department of Justice
Wake County Firearms Ordinance