Handgun Permits

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office provides several permitting services as required by State and Federal Law. These services include Handgun Permits, Concealed Carry Weapon Permits, Precious Metals Permits and Nonferrous Metals Permits.

EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2014, The Forsyth County Sheriff's office will implement an online pistol permit application process. Applicants may apply online here.

**Note if applying online applicants will be charged a convenience fee, however applicants may apply at the forsyth county sheriff’s office and not incur the convenience fees. applicants applying in person will be required to pay cash.**

Location and Hours of Operation

Application for a handgun permit takes place at the Sheriff’s Office Administration Building located at 301 North Church Street in downtown Winston-Salem.

Hours of Operation:

Monday through Friday (excluding holidays)

8:30 am - 11:30 am


Each permit is $5.00 per application.

Method of Payment

Cash or Credit Card cards are accepted.
*If using Debit/Credit Cards processing fees are included.*

Application Requirements

  • Must apply online or in person.
  • Must be able to properly complete application process.
  • Must be 21 years of age or older.
  • Must provide current/valid identification in the form of either a N.C. Driver's License or N.C. State Identification Card.
  • Must provide proof of U.S. Citizenship if born outside the United States.
  • Must be a resident of Forsyth County for a minimum of 30 days.
  • Must provide a list of previous addresses for the past 20 years.
  • Must be of good moral character.
  • Must not have any pending charges or unserved papers.
  • Must pass criminal history background check.
  • Must be eligible to own, posses or receive a firearm under the provisions of State or Federal Law. See N.C. Firearm Laws. Deniable offenses may include but are not limited to:
    • Most assault charges
    • Carry concealed weapons charges
    • Numerous DWI charges and any DWI within the past year
    • Any felony conviction
    • Any drug conviction in the past 5 years
    • Any assault on law enforcement officer
    • Any delay or resist/obstruct charge

Processing Information

Pistol permit applications will be processed within 14 business days. Applicants will be contacted when permit is ready to be picked up. State law allows up to 14 days for issuance or denial of an application. Letters of denial will be sent to the email provided at the time of application, should the applicant not have an email address, a letter will be mailed to the address as provided during the application process.

Applicant must provide proper identification when permit is picked up.

General Information

  • Permit applications are taken under oath and notarized. False or fictitious information provided during the application process may cause the applicant to be criminally charged.
  • Handgun permits are for the purpose of making a purchase of this type of weapon. The permit does not entitle the applicant to carry a concealed weapon.
  • Once the permit is approved, the permit is valid for a period of 5 years.
  • Permit is not renewable or replaceable if lost or stolen.
  • Permits Unit does not provide application status over the phone.
  • For further assistance or questions, contact our office at permits@fcso.us