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ProSpec, Inc.

Jim Sottile


Next Class Date: 2017   Sat., 9am

March 18th at Life's Bounty

Main St., Franklin NC












Question:   My grandma has had a pistol in her car for many years but she doesn’t have a permit for it.   Is it OK for her to have it?  (Jimmy F. in Franklin)

Answer:  Maybe!   I know several older ladies from the Senior Center who have pistols in their cars for many many years.   Years ago, the police turned a blind eye to this but things are different today.   Technically, you don’t need a carry permit to have a pistol in your home and technically, you can wear a pistol in open view in public as long as it is not concealed.  Technically, you can walk in to WalMart with a pistol strapped to your side, as long as it is in open view.   However, if someone calls the police because they feel threatened by the appearance of the pistol you could face charges.   Also, some towns have laws against the open wearing of a pistol, and you certainly can’t wear it in government offices and other buildings where firearms are prohibited.

To be legal in a vehicle you would have to place the pistol in open view.   You cannot put it in the glove compartment or under the seat or in you pocket or handbag.  This would be considered “concealing it”.   You can only do this if you possess a Concealed Carry Weapons Permit.   In order to get a carry permit you need to take an eight hour class to obtain a certificate from a NC Certified Firearms Instructor.  You will then demonstrate your proficiency with the pistol at the firing range and that will then allow you to apply to the Sheriff for a permit.  You will learn about these laws in the CCW class.

Let’s say that some Grandma is tooling down the road, puffing on a joint, and she gets in to an accident.  The police respond and search the vehicle. Unless the pistol is in open view, she could be charged with a misdemeanor.  If you have a pistol in your vehicle and the police stop you it is a good idea to keep both your hands in view so the officer can see them.  I would keep both my hands out my window.  As soon as the officer approaches, tell him or her that you have a pistol in the car, and tell them where it is.   If you have hunting rifles or shotguns in the car, the same procedure applies.  This brings us to a question from me:

Question:   How long has the pistol been in the car?  When was the last time it was fired and cleaned?

Answer:   Many of these pistols have been around for thirty or forty years without being fired or cleaned.  These pistols may not even fire as they could be rusty inside, or the ammo is so old it will not fire properly.  The best thing to do is bring it to a gun store and have a gunsmith to clean it and tune it up.   Last year I taught this woman friend of mine how to shoot pistol up at the range.  She had a .38 snub nose revolver for many years and it fired OK but I thought the action was kind of rough.   We brought it over to Bennetts Gun Store and the gunsmith there took it apart.   When it came back the action and trigger pull were as smooth as silk and it only cost about $35 to $50 to do this.   When you have to rely on a gun for your personal protection there is some comfort in knowing that it is in good working order.



1.  If you bring a pistol to the firing range you must comply with all NC laws regarding

“open carry”, or, if you have a NC Concealed Carry Pistol Permit you must comply with

the NC concealed carry laws and restrictions. (website: NCDOJ)

2.  When you arrive at the firing range you must step up to the firing line to unload

your firearm while pointing it downrange.  You are not to unload or load a firearm while

behind the firing line or behind the firing tables or near the rest room.  When loading or unloading, keep your finger off the trigger.   No firearms are to be taken downrange.

3.  The cooperation of all shooters using the range is required for safety.  All shooters

on the range have to agree and acknowledge a “ceasefire” before going downrange

to change targets.  The range is declared “cold” when no one is allowed to fire.   The range is then declared “hot” when everyone agrees to start firing.

4.  When a “ceasefire” is declared you are required to unload your firearm and place it on the firing bench with the cylinder, or bolt or slide locked open and visibly empty.

Any person on the range can call a “ceasefire” if they observe an unsafe condition.

5.  Every shooter should wear eye and ear protection while shooting.

6.  All firearms should be pointed downrange at all times, even when placed on the

shooting bench.  During a ceasefire all firearms will be kept unloaded and open.

7.  Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until you are actually pointed downrange

and ready to fire.

8.  Not more than two people can fire at one time from any one bench position.

9.  You may never load or unload a firearm while behind the benches.

10.  You are required to pick up your brass and targets when finished shooting.  You can take them with you or place them in the receptacles provided.

11.  Only soft targets should be used.  You may not use hard targets that can cause

a ricochet.  You should not fire into the air.

12.  Targets are to be placed on the wire fabric, not on the wooden posts.  Shooting at the wooden support posts is not allowed.

13.  Because the firing point table is concrete you may choose to bring a small rug or towel to place on the table to protect your firearm.

14.  If you experience a misfire, keep the pistol pointed downrange and wait at least

30 seconds before opening.  Contaminated ammunition can “cook” and cause a delayed


15.  If you experience a “stove pipe” or jam and a ceasefire is called you must announce that you are still “hot” until you can clear your firearm and empty it.

16.  Ammunition that is contaminated with moisture or oil, or very old ammo, may sometimes fail to fully ignite and will cause a “squib load” or a partial ignition.

The bullet may be stuck in the barrel of the firearm and you should check the barrel with a cleaning rod to insure it is clear.  Firing a second round into an obstructed barrel may cause the firearm to blow up and cause serious injury.

17.  The use of skeet or trap machines and clay targets is prohibited.  No aerial targets

are permitted.

18.  Alcohol and drugs are not permitted at the firing range.

19.  ALWAYS point the pistol downrange, never point it at a person.  Keep finger off the trigger and on the side of the pistol until given the command to fire when ready.