All ferries in NC are owned and operated by NCDOT. Therefore, they would be regulated under the same laws that regulate NCDOT transportation of firearms...
HOWEVER, because they are required to submit FSP's (Facility Security Plans) to the US Coast Guard (who handles security of all ports in the USA), under MTSA (The maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002), there may be "workplace safety" clauses that prohibit owners and operators of maritime enterprises from carrying or possessing firearms. This means that the people who own or work on the ferry can't carry, (unless they are specifically designated as security personnel).
I assume that under their FSP, there might be some sort of requirement that passengers can't carry, but CAN transport per FOPA rules, but it seems to me that such a requirement might be in violation of NC's State Preemption. Perhaps a call to the NC AG may be in order, once we know what the Ferry Division's FSP states.
But under NC's law, i can't find any way for them to legally prohibit the lawful transportation or carry of firearms on a Ferry, with the exception of the Wildlife Resource Commission's rule about prohibiting loaded firearms on boat ramps, which perhaps COULD apply in this case, at least until you were 150 feet off shore...
Boating access areas are designed, constructed, and maintained by the Wildlife Resource Commission's Engineering Division for public use. Compliance with the following boating access area laws will go a long way toward keeping these areas clean, safe, and for all to enjoy. It is unlawful to:However, since Ferry Landings are NOT managed or regulated under NC WRC, but rather, under NCDOT, I can't see how the NCWRC's rules could apply.
- Leave any vehicle, trailer, boat or other obstruction where it will impede the use of the ramp by others.
- Park any vehicles, trailer or boat anywhere on the area other than the designated parking zone. This does not prohibit legal use of the ramp.
- Use the area for swimming, camping, operating concessions or for any use other than the launching and recovery of boats and parking of vehicles and boat trailers, except where facilities for a particular use are provided.
- Operate any vessel within 50 yards of the ramp at a speed greater than "No Wake" speed.
- Possess loaded firearms on the access area.
- Operate a vehicle on any boat access area in a manner so as to endanger life or property.
- Deposit any debris or refuse anywhere on the grounds of the area.
- Fail to obey any instruction or signs regulating use of the access area.
- Conduct any special event, such as fishing tournament weigh-in, without first obtaining a letter of authorization from the Division of Engineering Services by calling (919) 707-0150. This permit must be available for inspection by wildlife enforcement officers during the event. See information about weigh-in permits here.
- Park in handicapped space without displaying handicapped plate or sign.
I haven't been able to locate a copy of the NCDOT Ferry Division's FSP online, so I don't know the specifics of it. However, on their website:
There is a PDF of their "Security Policy", and it makes no mention whatsoever about possession, carry or transport of firearms on Ferries. Perhaps a FOIA request is in order, or at the very least, a call to NCDOT's Ferry Division...