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ProSpec, Inc.

Jim Sottile


Next Class Date: 2017   Sat., 9am

March 18th at Life's Bounty

Main St., Franklin NC













By:  Jim Sottile
Firearms Instructor

If you have a past conviction you may be able to restore your right to carry firearms.
The State passed a new law last year which allows you to petition a District Court Judge
for a restoration of your firearms rights, under certain conditions.   First, it covers only
one felony conviction, State or Federal, and it has to be over 20 years ago.   Second, it has to be a nonviolent felony, meaning there was no assault and no use of a deadly weapon.  For example, I am aware of some responsible people in this area with an old Federal conviction, such as Income Tax Evasion, or crossing the State line in a vehicle with an altered VIN number, possession of drugs, etc.
If you have no other convictions for the last 20 years you can apply.

You can obtain a copy of this new law from the Clerk of the Court.  If you have an out of State conviction it may be possible to obtain a “Certificate of Relief From Firearms Disability” or a “Good Conduct Certificate” from that State.  North Carolina does not do this but many States do.    On a Federal conviction,  there used to be a way to get a Federal “Certificate of Relief From Firearms Disabilities” from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tax and Firearms (BATF) but they stopped doing that in 1989 for budget reasons.  I would like to see them start that policy again.
The procedure to petition the court is:

1.     Get an application and copy of the law from the Clerk of the Court.
2.     Get fingerprinted at the Sheriff’s Office and they will send your prints to the State Bureau of Investigation with your money order to SBI for $35.
3.    Your State and Federal records will be sent directly to the Court of the Clerk.
4.    You can then apply to the Clerk of the Court to file your petition to the District Judge. 

The fee is $200.  You will wait over 30 days to have your hearing.
With your petition to the judge you can provide further evidence of your good conduct for the judge to consider.  If you meet the requirements of this law the Judge will issue an order restoring your firearms rights and a certified copy will be sent to the Sheriff.

You could then apply for a permit to carry concealed but you would have to meet the State requirements and the Sheriff’s investigation of your character, etc.  Before applying for the permit to carry a pistol you need to obtain a certificate from a NC Certified Firearms Instructor showing that you had 8 hours of instruction on the NC law and restrictions, and that you demonstrated safety and proficiency at the firing range.

It’s good to see that the State will give some responsible people a second chance.  I’ve done some research on all these terrible shootings we read about.   In every case, it is a “Psycho” that gets a gun and does the shooting.  Making laws about guns has no effect on them.  I have never found a case in which a person with a pistol carry permit has shot an innocent person or committed a crime using his pistol.



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.