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North Carolina 80 Percent Lower Laws

80 Percent Arms   |   Jan 20th 2022

Disclaimer: To get started, we want to share a small disclaimer. We are dedicated and proud supporters of everything 2nd amendment, but we are not lawyers. So, before you take what you read here and run with it, you will want to double-check all of your local or state gun laws. Make sure you are up to date on any special regulations that may apply to you and your situation. Gun laws are always changing and always do your part to stay up to date with the newest and current laws.

This information is provided as a service to the public. It is NOT intended to be taken as legal advice and should never be considered as such. Make sure to do your own research as you and you alone are responsible for your own actions.

This is a developing list of information we intend to update regularly to stay accurate and current. If you see a discrepancy or a mistake with your home state’s laws that we’ve covered, feel free to let us know so we can correct it. Thank you and stay safe!

What is an 80% Lower?

An 80% lower receiver is an unfinished and unserialized blank which requires some machining work from the end user to turn it into a 100% lower receiver, otherwise, what is legally considered as a firearm. 80 lowers are missing the trigger pocket and three holes that need to be milled and drilled out to be completed. Unless states have passed their own laws barring the possession or sales of 80% products; pending the ATF's updated decision from the most recent proposed rule 2021R-05 80% lowers are completely legal, not considered firearms and thus can be shipped straight to your front door. No FFL required. To explore the 80 percent lowers we have to offer, check out our multiple collections.

Are 80 Lowers Legal In North Carolina?

As of this guide’s initial publish date, 80% lower receivers and frames are not considered as firearms by the ATF and are legal to ship directly to buyers residing in the state of North Carolina.

Do I Need to Serialize My 80 Lower in North Carolina?

If you build out your own firearms starting with 80 lowers in North Carolina you do not need to serialize the lower receiver or frame as there are currently no laws requiring citizens to do so. Should you wish to serialize your lower receiver we offer custom engraving for our 80 lowers.

Key Gun Laws in North Carolina

Other than laws regarding 80 lowers, these are the key gun laws you should be aware of if you reside or are traveling through North Carolina.

Firearm Possession and Purchase Requirements

North Carolina gun laws are more free than other states. Federal laws still apply so the minimum age to purchase a long gun is 18 years old and the minimum age to purchase a handgun is 21. There is also the requirement of a permit to purchase a handgun for those wanting to buy pistols. It sounds like a pain but it only costs $5.00 to apply for and can be obtained at any local Sheriff’s Office. Also, the minimum age for possession of long guns is 12 years old so as they are in the direct supervision or presence of their parents, guardian or when attending a hunter’s or firearms safety course, using the gun for target practice or recreational shooting at an established range, involved in an organized competition, hunting or trapping with a valid license, traveling to and from these events, or at their own residence with permission and supervision of a parents or a legal guardian. The minimum age for possession of a handgun in North Carolina is 18 years old.

All firearm purchases and transfers require a background check not including private party transfers (Dealer Record of Sale also known as 4473 form or “DROS”). While federal law requires federal firearm license holders (“FFL’s”:) to initiate background checks on buyers prior to the sale of a firearm, federal law also allows states to serve as their own “point of contact” and conduct their own background checks via state, federal records or databases, as well as the option to use the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. North Carolina is a partial point of contact for the NICS and as a result, dealers must conduct their background checks by going through the FBI’s NICS. For private party transfer of handguns, sellers that are not FFL dealers must verify that the buyer has a permit to purchase a handgun or a CCW permit.

Open and Concealed Carrying

North Carolina is a ”shall-issue” state when it comes to concealed carry weapon permits which are valid for 5 years and are offered in the form of “CHP’s” or Concealed Handgun Permits. Open carry is legal without any license or permit necessary as long as the carrier is at least 18 years old, allowed to possess the weapon they are concealing and are not in a restricted area such as schools or government buildings.

CHP applicants must be at least 21 years old and complete a state approved course. Non-residents may also apply for CHP’s. One of the benefits of having a CHP is that it negates the need for FFL dealers to conduct a background check when a CHP holder is purchasing a new firearm. To see more concealed carrying policies see North Carolina’s reciprocity map here.

NFA Restrictions

Residents of North Carolina are required to have a permit if they wish to own automatic weapons. These permits are given by each county sheriff at their own discretion. All other NFA weapons and related items are legal for residents to purchases, possess and own as well provided they were obtained legally and have the proper documentation filed with the ATF. North Carolina also does not have any “assault weapons” ban.

Magazine Capacity Restrictions

There are no magazine capacity restrictions in North Carolina. Enjoy those drums and belt-fed box magazines! We carry plenty of standard capacity magazines like the 30-round Advanced Warfighter L5 mag. Our favorite color is the translucent smoke one.

Mandatory Storage Requirements

There are no mandatory storage requirements for firearms in North Carolina, however, you should still exercise caution and can be tried for negligently leaving your guns accessible to children. If you need some good ideas or best practices for storing your guns and gear here are 5 firearm storage options.


North Carolina is a castle doctrine state and does have a stand your ground statute which means that as long as residents are justified, there is no duty to retreat before responding with lethal force for the sake of self-defense both in and out of the home place.

Ammunition Purchase

The only type of ammo that is prohibited from being imported, manufactured, possessed, purchased or sold in North Carolina is teflon-coated bullets. Otherwise, North Carolina does not require a license for the sale, purchase or possession of ammo — including “armor piercing” rounds.

Start Your Next 80 Lower Build with 80% Arms!

North Carolina residents are completely free to build their own firearms from 80 lowers and frames without any required serialization or FFL transactions. It's the perfect state to take advantage of your constitutional Second Amendment right and freedom to keep and bear arms. That includes 80% Arms! Grab a jig for 80 lowers and some buddies to enjoy that freedom together and let us know if you need any advice with your build at any point in the process. Friends, live free.