Welcome to the club and the boards!
I read about it being illegal to possess a loaded weapon at some boat launches, but does that mean I can just have the magazine in my pocket and the weapon in my holster?
This is how I comply with the NC Wildlife Regulation when I am launching my boat. Make sure bullet out of the chamber also (assuming you are carrying with 1 in the pipe)
When does the law take effect where it will be legal to have a weapon on state parks such as Jordan Lake?
Not sure as to the regulations of Jordan Lake, but the law restoring the legality of weapons to state and local parks takes affect Dec 1, 2011. See http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...0-Means-To-You!
If I buy a lock for my pistol case, is that sufficient for legal transportation?
I do not think this will suffice and since it is still accessible to you in the vehicle would be considered concealed carry and illegal until you get your concealed handgun permit.
I feel like I read some accounts of individuals driving with it on your hip, and then informing an officer in the case of a stop that you are open carrying. Whats the best option?
On your hip, on the dash, on the seat, or anyplace not concealed is your best option until you get a CHP.