In North Carolina, purchasing a high-powered AR-15-style assault rifle—the kind used to mow down forty-nine people in Orlando early Sunday morning—can be done quickly and easily, and with very little government hassle.

If you prefer to buy from fellow gun enthusiasts, head to, which is like Craigslist for the gun fancier. Right now, there’s a twenty-four-inch HBAR AR-15 going for $875. According to North Carolina law, sellers and buyers don’t have to bother with background checks for the private sale of a “long gun,” meaning a gun designed to be braced against the shoulder, a definition that includes assault rifles.

Buying a rifle that can spit out forty-five rounds per minute from a gun store is only slightly more difficult. So long as you’re an American citizen or permanent resident with acceptable identification, you can walk into your gun shop of choice, point to one or more AR-15s, say, “I want that one,” and whip out your credit card. If you have already have a state handgun permit or concealed-carry permit, that’s all there is to it.

If you don’t have a state permit, however, don’t fret: you’ll have your death machine soon enough, provided you clear a federal background check, which covers criminal history, drug abuse, mental health, and domestic violence. If no red flags pop up—note: being on a terrorism watch list is not grounds for rejection—you’ll probably be greenlighted the same day.

Fun fact: this process is easier than buying a handgun in North Carolina. Buying a handgun requires a permit, which means the local sheriff’s office has to sign off. There’s no such requirement for an assault rifle.

5 replies on “How to Buy an Assault Rifle in North Carolina”

  1. You neglected to mention the fact that you’ll have to submit an ATF form 4473, which includes your full name and address, and is essentially registering the rifle.

  2. Stop calling it an assault rifle when it’s not what it is. It’s a rifle. It’s not an “assault” rifle until its used to “assault” someone

  3. Thanks for mentioning that website, just bought a new AR-15 for a really good deal off there!

  4. Why should law abiding citizens have to worry about this? The 2nd amendment grants every US citizen the right to bear arms and the right to a well armed militia in the event of a tyrannical govt using force to opress its people. This is what makes us so different from a lot of other countries. Please don’t waste your time and effort trying to change people’s mind on this issue, people that actually have fired guns and own them do not care what you have to say and people that have never used/owned/fired guns already feel this way you are wasting your time. Also just a fyi because your probably not to educated on what an ar 15 actually is… it’s a basically shooting a bullet with the diameter of a pea .223 caliber and .22 are practically the same diameter, you can do much more damage with an old wooden 12 gauge from a sears catalogue or a 9mm handgun( much larger round than .223) which will shoot just as many rounds just as fast and is easier to conceal, hence the permit requirements ar15 is typically hard to conceal. Very opinionated article. Typical one sided research.

  5. I’m a law abiding citizen, and your snarky attempts to somehow make me feel guilty for purchasing what you snidely call “death machines”, fail miserably. I don’t give 2 sh#*s in hell what you think. Last time I checked, The Bill of Rights (see the second one down) gives me the right to defend life and property-by whatever means necessary. Your pitiful attempt to make it “evil” and “scary” is for the feeble-minded sheep who can only produce the thought “yeah, what he said.” Death machine? So is a car, if you want it to be.

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