NC gun bill gets attention in wake of Orlando shootings

Posted June 13, 2016

Handgun, firearm

— The mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., this weekend has focused attention on a sweeping firearms measure that has, in prior incarnations, failed to gather support in the state House.

Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus, and three other lawmakers filed House Bill 1148 on Thursday, two days before a gunman killed at least 49 people at a popular gay nightclub in Orlando.

That bill will be formally "read in" on Monday night, a legislative term meaning that it will be announced to the members of the House and assigned to committee, a process that virtually every bill filed in either the House or the Senate undergoes. No other action is expected.

Some activists have used social media to decry the bill, inaccurately painting it as a reaction to the Orlando shootings.

While it is not a response, asked Monday if the deaths in Florida had caused him to re-evaluate his support for the measure, Pittman said, "Of course not."

Pittman filed a similar bill in 2013 that never moved after being assigned to committee. Other lead backers of this year's measure include Reps. Michael Speciale, R-Craven, Jeff Collins, R-Nash, and Mark Brody, R-Union.

The 18-page bill is a sweeping expansion of firearm rights in the state. It would call for a referendum on a constitutional amendment to remove a section of the state's founding document that explicitly allows lawmakers to create restrictions on carrying concealed handguns.

If that amendment were to pass and accompanying legislative language enacted, North Carolina would become a "constitutional carry" state, where citizens would be able to carry concealed handguns in most places with a limited set of exceptions.

Currently, in order to carry a concealed handgun, North Carolinians need to undergo both classroom and hands-on training and pass a background check. A permit is required in most cases to buy a pistol. Citizens are allowed to open-carry, meaning that they can carry firearms if they are visible to all.

"We need to stop keeping law-abiding citizens from defending themselves," Pittman said.


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  • Kim Schrock Jun 14, 2016
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    If just one of those victims in Orlando had been armed, 85% of those lives would have been spared.

  • Ken Ackerman Jun 14, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    The armed security guard would just be the first target.

    As for Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg, Soldiers and Marines do not typically have weapons/ammunition handy while in the US. Remember the two attacks at Fort Hood.

  • Raleigh Rose Jun 14, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    There was an armed security guard at the nightclub.

  • Lance Cotten Jun 14, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    are you the same guy who came and did a class at Garner Highschool in Joann Watkins class? there was an ED livesay who did crash reconstruction? Thanks

  • Shandy Scott Jun 14, 2016
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    Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. The number killed in Obama's hometown of Chicago since he took office has been 3,407. The number of mass murders in the whole country over that same time is 212.

  • William James Jun 14, 2016
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    In relation to the topic of Gun Control, isn't it worth noting that only consistent theme with the terrorist and mass shootings is that all specifically targeted places where they knew no one would be armed (ex. Church, Colleges, schools, office buildings, etc)! If even just one security guard was armed, s/he could have stopped this shooting or at least injured him slowing the killing. I mean, its not like they are rolling up to Camp Lejeune or Fort Bragg shooting it out with professional soldiers. Also, this guy would have passed all of the so called common sense gun control measures on the chalk board, he even passed a private security and FBI Check twice.

  • Dalton Dickens Jun 14, 2016
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    You still need to go to a good class for CC..PERIOD! My instructor was excellent and only 60 bucks...a family night at the movies. Covers the defense of your own home, to CC, the do and don'ts...owning the bullet you fire, different situations, etc. My instructor, spent extra time with folks who have never fired a pistol in their life, and half my class were women--just saying, but they qualified with some work and help from our excellent instructor. He was by their side every step of the way. That is what makes a great teacher. Practice is STILL your job, and needs to be. If you are in my area,just check my FB page, he is on there. You can not find a better CC instructor for the price, and what you learn. He loves what he teaches.

  • Fred Holt Jun 13, 2016
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    Thoughts and prayers - that's what we have to give - not a darn thing more shall change. It's how God meant it - there will be more places to buy a firearm in the US than Starbucks stores in the world. So let it be written.

  • Ed Livesay Jun 13, 2016
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    The guy with a gun in the Florida nightclub was not the biggest problem... the biggest problem was the 103 that didn't have a gun. Go, constitutional carry!

  • RB Redmond Jun 13, 2016
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    Should only be getting more attention if sane law abiding citizens aren't using their firearms properly, and they ARE.