On Crossbows

Now that North Carolina has not only changed regulations to allow the use of a crossbow for hunting but gotten rid of its ridiculous requirement for a pistol permit to buy a crossbow, I am seriously thinking of buying one. Part of my rationale is that I just don’t have the upper body strength anymore to adequately and humanely hunt with a compound bow. Another part is that I think they are kinda cool. Finally, I want one just because I can have one now without all the regulations that were out there in the past.

So what do I see in my e-mail yesterday but a link to a story by Outdoor Life where they tested eight of this season’s newest crossbows. As shown in the video below, they were quite rigorous in their testing of things like vibration, noise, and speed. I really was surprised to find out that some of the bows exceed 100 decibels when fired. So much for believing what you see in a James Bond movie!

Their Editor’s Choice Award went to the TenPoint Stealth XLT. It retails for only $1,199. I didn’t realize that crossbow prices were quite that high. I’ve bought good rifles with good optics for half of that!

The Outdoor Life Editor’s Great Buy went to a crossbow from Horton Archery – the Horton Ultra-Lite Express – which retails for $599.

I think I have my work cut out for me. I see a number of visits to different outdoor and archery shops to check out and test fire a number of crossbows before I make a purchase.

If anyone who reads this blog has a crossbow, I’d love to hear your experience on buying one. Why did you buy the one you did? What features are essential and what are just nice to have?

Crossbow Permit Repeal Passes NC General Assembly

Senate Bill 406 which repeals the requirement to get a permit from your local sheriff’s office to purchase a crossbow passed the North Carolina House on Wednesday and was presented to the Governor yesterday.

The North Carolina Senate had passed the repeal bill on March 30th with a 50-0 vote.

It ran into some trouble in the State House. According to a newsletter sent out this morning by Rep. Ray Rapp (D-Madison), Rep. Frank McGuirt led the opposition to the bill. McGuirt, who was formerly the Sheriff of Union County, opposed the bill because a criminal in Union County used a crossbow to murder someone when he was “unable to obtain a license to purchase a gun.” Supposedly that led to the addition of crossbows to the pistol purchase law. The only problem with that story is that North Carolina only requires a license (or more properly, a permit) for purchases of handguns.

Nonetheless, SB 406 passed the State House 69-48 on Wednesday. It has now been sent to the Governor for her signature.

The bill as ratified can be found here.

Provided Bev Perdue signs the bill, this will open up crossbow sales significantly. You will now be able to purchase them locally, on-line, or by mail order. I think we will be seeing a growth in their sales here in NC due to the repeal of the permit requirement combined with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission’s approval of crossbows for big game hunting for everyone. Prior to this past season, you had to be disabled and have a special permit in order to use a crossbow for big game hunting.

Bill To Repeal Pistol and Crossbow Permits Introduced In NC

A bill was introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly today that would repeal the requirement to get a permit from your local sheriff’s department in order to purchase a pistol or a crossbow. The bill, HB 390, is sponsored by Rep. Michael Wray (D-Northampton) and Rep. Mark Hilton (R-Catawba).

This is a change that is long overdue given the NICS system. I’m not sure how, why, or when a permit was required to purchase a crossbow. However, the requirement to obtain a permit from the local sheriff dates from 1919. Less than 20 years earlier, the Democrats had regained control of the North Carolina state government on a platform of strict segregation. Pistol permits were a way of ensuring only the “right people” were armed with sidearms and the thought was that the local sheriff would know who those people were. It goes without saying that an African-American was de facto not one of the “right people”.

It is past time for this vestige of the Jim Crow South to be gone.

HOUSE DRH50130-LH-52B (01/19)
Short Title: Repeal Pistol/Crossbow Transfer Permit. (Public)
Sponsors: Representatives Wray and Hilton (Primary Sponsors).
Referred to:



The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. G.S. 14-402 is repealed.
SECTION 2. G.S. 14-403 is repealed.
SECTION 3. G.S. 14-404 is repealed.
SECTION 4. G.S. 14-405 is repealed.
SECTION 5. G.S. 14-406 is repealed.
SECTION 6. G.S. 14-406.1 is repealed.
SECTION 7. G.S. 14-407.1 is repealed.
SECTION 8. G.S. 14-408 is repealed.
SECTION 9. This act becomes effective December 1, 2011.

NC Wildlife Resources Commission on Crossbows

I received this from the NC WRC today:

Crossbow Hunting

The use of crossbows is now a legal hunting method by licensed hunters anytime bow-and-arrow hunting is allowed. However, state law requires that anyone buying or otherwise receiving a crossbow in North Carolina must first obtain a pistol permit from the sheriff’s office in their county of residence or hold a valid concealed handgun permit. Questions about obtaining pistol permits and issuance of concealed handgun permits should be directed to the local sheriff’s department.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission does not regulate the sale or purchase of firearms and crossbows.

They must be getting a lot of calls about the requirement to have a pistol permit or CHP before you can buy a crossbow in North Carolina. I would say it is time for the General Assembly to get their act in gear and remove the permit requirements from crossbow purchases. They must have gotten scared after seeing Carol Bouquet as Melina Havelock in the James Bond movie “For Your Eyes Only” when they imposed that requirement.

Outdoor Life’s Crossbow Test 2010

With North Carolina approving crossbows for use during all archery seasons (and gun seasons as well), I found this review of the latest models of crossbows by Outdoor Life magazine very interesting.

 Horton Vision Crossbow

Now if North Carolina would get rid of their ridiculous requirement to get a purchase permit from the local sheriff, I’d be happy. The problem with the law (besides the permit requirement) is that it prevents you from shopping online. Out-of-state dealers are not going to ship you a crossbow and run afoul of state law. I see some road-trips to various archery dealers in my future.

Outdoor Life is also giving away their editor’s choice and best buy crossbows. However, I’d suggest boning up on crossbow history and lore before taking their 20 question quiz. If I got 5 out of 20 correct, I’d be lucky.

NC Hunting Regs Released

Big changes are coming to North Carolina hunting regulations starting August 1st. While there are many changes regarding deer seasons, the biggest changes that I see are Sunday hunting with a bow is allowed on private property and crossbows will be allowed anytime bow and arrow hunting is legal. Falconry is also allowed on Sundays. Many of these changes which were proposed in March 2009 were opposed so they had to go to the General Assembly for review. Four bills were introduced to reverse some of the proposed changes but they were never approved.

Sunday hunting was strongly opposed by the Christian Action League but they don’t have the clout in the General Assembly that they did in years gone by.While a couple of their backers in the General Assembly did introduce a bill to ban Sunday hunting, it died for lack of a referral by the Democratic caucus to the Rules Committee.

The North Carolina Bowhunters Association fought the introduction of crossbows for anyone but the handicapped. They said they were “working with the NC Legislature and the Wildlife Resource Commission to stop the inclusion of crossbows in archery season and to disallow the loss of the last (and best) week of archery season to muzzle loader season.” They lost on both counts though they did have bills introduced to disallow the use of crossbows. Crossbows are allowed for hunting in all the states that surround North Carolina.

Crossbows will still require a permit to purchase them from the local sheriff’s department. It is the same permit as is required to purchase a pistol. I don’t know who originally dreamed up that stupid requirement nor when it went into place.

The full list of changes can be found in on the NC Wildlife Resources Commission website.

I see some Sunday hunting with a crossbow in my future!