Lock and ... register?

Posted July 12, 2012
Updated July 13, 2012

— In reporting our on concealed weapons permits, I ran across an interesting factoid.

Durham County is the only county (out of 100) in North Carolina where owners of handguns are supposed to register their firearms. A concealed weapons instructor asked me why this was. 

"It goes back to the 1930s," said Maj. Paul Martin with the Durham County sheriff's department. He said the law was passed following a series of violent incidents that involved "shot houses," places where people could get liquor on the cheap.

The law remains on the books despite later restrictions on counties passing such ordinances. 

Martin said the law applies to pistols, revolvers and certain types of machine guns. 

Durham County residents have 10 days from the purchase of a firearm to register it with the Clerk of Superior Court. 

"Don't bring it to the courthouse, please," Martin said. Firearms are not allowed in the courthouse, unless they belong to a law enforcement officer. Just bring a description and serial number. The clerk's office keeps the file by hand, he said. As for how it might -- or might not -- be used, Martin wouldn't elaborate.

This appears to be among those regulations that falls into the category of "blue laws," prohibitions and regulations from earlier eras that live on past their usefulness. 


This blog post is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • tsquaring Jul 13, 2012

    You don't have to register your gun in durham.

  • RonnieR Jul 13, 2012

    I hope that Major Martin doesn't believe what he said. Most LEOs carry agency weapons,not ones that belong to them. Also, registering a weapon is specifically allowed by 14-269.4 4(a). It is useless for an agency to register a weapon and not see it to verify the information. Anything could be written on a piece of paper. Also, many other exceptions in 14-269.4 about weapons in court houses in NC. Methinks that the Major was feeding the infoguy a bunch of BS.

  • oldrebel Jul 13, 2012

    Good reporting. As of 2010 Durham County was sixth highest in North Carolina for reported crimes.

  • RonnieR Jul 12, 2012

    Major Martin had better read 14-269.4. There are lots of weapons allowed in court houses besides those that "belong" to a LEO. In fact, purposes of registration is one of the exceptions to the ban (4a) Most LEOs actually carry weapons that belong to their agency, not them, BTW.

  • COPs eye Jul 12, 2012

    now everyone get in line no pushing to register