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Weapons of Opportunity: When You Can’t Reach Your Gun… | North Carolina

Securing your firearm

In North Carolina, a gun owner has a duty to ensure his or her firearm is not accessible to minors. If you have grandchildren who visit your house, you must protect them from injuring themselves or others by securing your firearm. Because of this responsibility, you might ask… “What happens if I am the victim of a home invasion and my gun is not readily accessible?” Most likely, you want to avoid physical contact with the intruder. For that reason, sprays are a good method of defense.


Having cans of pepper spray positioned around your home is one way to be prepared for a situation where your firearm is not readily accessible. A fogging pepper spray is more likely to have the desired effect rather than a stream, foam, or gel. Under state law, the pepper spray container cannot exceed 100 cubic centimeters.

Ordinary hairspray in a can—not a bottle—can also be quite useful. A burst of hairspray into someone’s eyes can be quite debilitating. When I was 4 years old, I wanted to see what hairspray looked like coming out of the can. So, I sprayed myself in the face. I will never forget the burning pain of a hairspray blast to the eyes. If you can, couple hairspray with a lighter or match and you have a mini flame thrower.


Hot liquids, such as tea, coffee, or boiling hot water can be thrown into an invader’s face and incapacitate them. Taking liquid bleach to the eyes and face is another good repellent.

North Carolina Law

North Carolina statutes don’t mention special rights for the elderly or those with physical impairments in relation to self-defense situations. However, an elderly person may reasonably believe, due to their age or physical infirmity, they are more susceptible to suffering serious bodily injury or death than a younger person in the same situation.

In a home invasion scenario, North Carolina’s Castle Doctrine provides two important presumptions:

  1. A lawful occupant is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury to himself or herself or another when using defense force that is likely or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury.
  2. A person who unlawfully and by force enters, or attempts to enter your dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.

If you have any questions regarding the issues discussed, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.

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