Please know that due to recent circumstances across our nation, the demand for firearms has substantially increased. This increased demand has affected all Sheriff's Offices in North Carolina. We now have a backlog of applications to process due to this significant increase in volume. Applications are processed in order in which they are received. You will promptly be notified upon approval of your application. The Sheriff's Office would like to thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation as we all deal with this situation.

Pistol Purchase Permits will be processed by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, click the link below and select an available date and time. Applicants will be required to come to the Forsyth County Public Safety Center to make application. The processing of your application will begin at the date and time of your appointment. During the scheduled appointment, the applicant may request multiple purchase permits.

Pistol Purchase Permit Application

Address Attachment for Weapon_Permits

Pistol Permit Mental Health Release

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Application for a handgun permit takes place at the Sheriff's Office Administration Building located at 301 North Church Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101.

Hours of Operation:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday (excluding Wednesdays and Holidays)

8:30 am - 11:30 am


Each permit is $5.00.

Method of Payment

Cash or Credit/Debit cards are accepted.
*A processing fee will be charged by the vendor for each transaction.*

Application Requirements

  • Must schedule an appointment and apply in person.
  • Must be able to properly complete application process.
  • Must be 21 years of age or older to purchase from federal firearms dealer and 18 for a private sale.
  • Must provide current/valid identification in the form of either a N.C. Driver's License or N.C. State Identification Card.
  • Must be a U. S. Citizen or a Permanent Resident.
  • Must be a resident of North Carolina for a minimum of 30 days and provide proof of being a Forsyth County resident. (Such as a NC ID or Driver's License with a Forsyth County address)
  • Must provide a list of previous addresses back to age 16 or the past 20 years, whichever is shorter.
  • Must be of good moral character.
  • Must not have any pending criminal charges that if convicted would be a disqualifying offense.
  • Must pass criminal history background check.
  • Must be eligible to own, possess or receive a firearm under the provisions of State or Federal Law. See N.C. Firearm Laws.
  • Applicant may be required to authorize a mental health check.

Processing Information

Applicants will be contacted when permit is ready to be picked up. 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

  • During the scheduled appointment, the applicant may request multiple purchase permits.
  • Permit applications are taken under oath. False or fictitious information provided during the application process may cause the applicant to be criminally charged.
  • Handgun permits are for the purpose of purchasing handguns. One permit is required for each handgun purchase.
  • 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.
  • Address and name changes will be processed if requested for unused and valid permits in your posession.
  • The Permits Unit does not provide application status over the telephone or email. Notification of approved/denied permits will be made upon determination.

Permitting Services

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