Use of short-barreled rifles now legal for taking wildlife in N.C.

North-Carolina_silRALEIGH, N.C. — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission announces that the state now allows the use of short-barreled rifles while legally taking wildlife. A short-barreled rifle is defined by the N.C. General Assembly as “any rifle with a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length or an overall length of less than 26 inches.”

This statutory change is not reflected in the 2015-2016 North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest, which was published by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission before the legislation was passed on Aug. 5.

A hunter or trapper must meet federal requirements to own a short-barreled rifle, which includes registering the device and paying a federal tax, along with a criminal background check processed by the sheriff’s office in the applicant’s county of residence.

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms administers the procedure to own a short-barreled rifle,” said Maj. Todd Kennedy, field supervisor for the Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement. “The Wildlife Commission does not have any involvement in the process to obtain a short-barreled rifle.”

About the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
Since 1947, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has been dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of the state’s fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific management, wise use, and public input. The Commission is the state regulatory agency responsible for the enforcement of fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws and provides programs and opportunities for wildlife-related educational, recreational and sporting activities. To learn more, visit

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