Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper on Tuesday criticized legislation filed in the House last week that would limit a sheriff's ability to weigh someone's mental health before deciding whether to issue a concealed handgun permit.
House Bill 310 would eliminate a provision requiring people to provide their county sheriff with a disclosure form concerning their mental capacity and would prohibit a sheriff from gathering "character affidavits, additional background checks, photographs, or other information" before issuing a permit.
Federal law prohibits those who have been committed for mental health purposes from buying and possessing firearms.
Court clerks in North Carolina must enter mental health commitments into a national database used for gun permit background checks, but Cooper said sheriffs should be able to consider other information as well.
“Sheriffs checking mental health information before issuing concealed weapon permits is a common-sense safety measure that should remain the law," he said in a statement. "Sheriffs know their communities and they should be able to do background checks on people who want to carry concealed weapons.”