Bill would repeal Durham gun registry

Posted May 14, 2013

Handgun generic, firearm

— A bill put forward by Sen. Mike Woodard, D-Durham, would do away with a 1930s era requirement that Durham County residents register their firearms at the county courthouse.

"Law enforcement doesn't use it regularly," Woodard told the Senate State and Local Government Committee Tuesday. The measure passed on a voice vote and is now headed to the Senate floor.

The 1935 law was authored following a string of violence in what were then known as liquor houses.

Under what amounts to a blue law, Durham County residents have 10 days from the purchase of a pistol, handgun or certain other types of weapons to register it with the clerk of Superior Court. The clerk does not digitize those records or make them available in any other format other than paper files kept in filing cabinets. 

No other county in the state has a similar registration requirement.


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  • albegadeep May 15, 2013

    Um, how is this a blue law? "type of law designed to enforce religious standards", according to Wikipedia.

    Seems like a pretty silly law - collect a bunch of information and then lock it in a filing cabinet, without ever using it.

  • rpd911 May 15, 2013

    Good bill, kudos.

  • 3779LRRP May 14, 2013

    Durham is the only county in NC to require this registration. I did it in the middle 80's. It is a misdemeanor if one fails to register a handgun with the clerk. Senators, please get rid of this blue law.

  • gmax3 May 14, 2013

    The People's Republic of Durham requires gun registration????

  • 68_dodge_polara May 14, 2013

    The purpose of this law in the thirties was written for one reason and one reason only. Which was to keep tract of the African Americans that had firearms. Look it up.

  • Bill of Rights May 14, 2013

    YAY! Kudos to this senator (and a Democrat, at that) for repealing this Jim Crow nonsense.