North Carolina GOP ends pistol permit system after overriding Democratic governor’s veto

Gun Access North Carolina
North Carolina state Sen. Danny Britt, a Robeson County Republican, promotes his legislation easing gun access requirements at the Legislative Building in Raleigh, N.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. Britt said his bill would do away with the arbitrary requirement that a gun buyer obtain a permit from the county sheriff before purchasing a pistol. (AP Photo/Hannah Schoenbaum) Hannah Schoenbaum/AP

North Carolina GOP ends pistol permit system after overriding Democratic governor’s veto

North Carolina House lawmakers voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D-NC) veto of a bill that would do away with background checks for handguns conducted by local law enforcement.

The governor’s veto of Senate Bill 41 was overridden by a 71 to 46 vote along party lines, marking the first time GOP lawmakers in the state have accomplished an override since 2018. The bill also allows people with concealed carry permits to bring their weapons into churches that also host private schools as long as classes, including extracurricular events, are not in session.

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State Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, released a video response decrying the veto, saying, “Today is not a good day.”

“Now, dangerous people like violent criminals and domestic abusers will be able to more easily get their hands on guns,” Stein said. “Too many worry that their kids may not come home from school. Gun violence is a terrifying threat, and eliminating background checks will make the job of law enforcement officers more difficult. While our legislators failed us, I’ll continue to do everything in my power to keep people in our state safe.”

The repeal of S.B. 41 will take effect immediately, according to the Associated Press.

Now, North Carolinians will not need permission from a local sheriff in order to purchase a handgun. Rather, they will just need a federal background check to buy a gun from a licensed dealer, meaning handgun purchases in the state will be treated the same as rifles and shotguns.

The decision had backing from the state sheriff’s association and groups such as the National Rifle Association.

“Law-abiding residents should not have to ask the government for permission to exercise their Second Amendment rights,” the NRA said.

Part of the measure also includes the creation of a safe firearm storage awareness campaign to educate gun owners and boost the distribution of gun locks.

The override comes as the lawmakers in Washington, D.C., focus on another school shooting at a Nashville, Tennessee, Christian school this week.

Three children and three adults were killed when Audrey Hale, a biological woman who now identifies as a man, opened fire at the Covenant School, a private school the shooter once attended.

After the vote, state House Democratic Leader Robert Reive stood up to issue an apology to children who were on a routine tour of the General Assembly.

“Breaks my heart,” Reives said. The Democrat complained to reporters on Wednesday that Republicans were preventing their colleagues across the aisle from discussing the recent shooting, arguing it may have swayed opinions over the bill.


“We deserved to have a voice heard today on that issue,” Reives said. “And it is so disturbing to me. … A whole part of this body is being told: ‘You speak when spoken to.’”

Meanwhile, state House Speaker Tim Moore, a Republican, issued a statement saying the previous permit system was outdated and that the provisions of S.B. 41 were “long-standing goals of Second Amendment advocates in our state.”

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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