House bill would repeal some local background checks for handguns

Posted May 30
Updated May 31

Handgun, firearm

— Republican House lawmakers are trying again to repeal the state's requirement for a concealed carry permit to carry a concealed handgun in most cases.

House Bill 746 is scheduled to be debated in the House Judiciary IV Committee at some point Wednesday afternoon after the budget committee meeting has ended. The measure did not meet the crossover deadline in April, but sponsors initially added a $100,000 appropriation for "outdoor heritage promotion" to allow the bill to remain alive under House rules. (That, however, was removed from the final version to be heard Wednesday night.)

The measure would remove the state's requirement for a concealed carry permit, changing state law to say that any U.S. citizen 18 or over who legally owns a gun can carry it concealed anywhere he or she can carry it openly in most places, except where prohibited.

The currently required permit is issued through a county sheriff's office, which conducts a criminal background check and looks for records of mental illness or incapacity. The requirement has long been a sore spot with gun rights advocates, who say it gives sheriffs too much power to deny gun owners what they say is their constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon.

Backers of the bill say the state permit required to buy a handgun won't change, so there will still be a background check at that point. But the additional check performed during the issuance of the concealed carry permit would no longer happen.

Guns purchased through a licensed dealer would still require a federal background check, but those checks aren't required for purchases from non-licensed sellers at gun shows or for private sales. Gun control advocates say the concealed carry permit offers extra backup for those sales and ensures that gun owners have basic safety training.

The measure would also redefine the crime of "going armed to the terror of the people" to stipulate that it would not apply to someone simply because he or she is carrying a handgun.

Under the version of the bill to be discussed Wednesday, according to a copy provided to WRAL News, the state would be able to require permits in some locations "where additional education and training are necessary to ensure public safety," but the bill doesn't specify what those locations might be.

In cases where a permit might still be required in the future, the bill adds limits on what can be asked of applicants. It would also forbid a sheriff from denying a pistol permit on grounds of mental disability or mental illness unless the applicant has been declared by a court to be a danger to himself or herself or to others, or unless the applicant has a diagnosed disorder that could make him or her a safety risk.

The proposal would allow legislators, legislative employees and former law enforcement officers to carry weapons at the legislative complex, even on chamber floors, as long as they have a concealed carry permit. However, the public would be banned from carrying weapons at the legislature, as well as on the grounds of the courts, the State Capitol and the governor's residences.

Similar legislation has been introduced each session since the GOP took control of the General Assembly in 2011. So far, however, the bills have not progressed.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story said the legislation would affect the pistol purchase permit as well as the concealed weapon permit. That is incorrect and the story has been corrected.


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  • Marc Erickson Jun 1, 3:50 p.m.
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    This story continues to contain inaccuracy. "Guns purchased through a licensed dealer would still require a federal background check, but those checks aren't required for purchases from non-licensed sellers at gun shows or for private sales. " is incorrect.

    H746 makes no changes to the jim Crow era Pistol Purchase Permit system which, like the Concealed Carry Handgun permit program, remains in place.

    Everyone needs a background check through one of these sheriff controlled permits to acquire a handgun. The sheriff performs the NICS check for both permits. Private sellers of handguns must obtain the buyer's PPP or CHP when making the sale. Unfortunately, since a PPP has a 5 year expiration period and no background check takes place at time of sale, it's possible for prohibited people to illegally use sheriff issued PPPs when acquiring handguns (the "Arming Felons Loophole"). When they last checked, over 5,000 permits were in prohibited people's hands!

  • Rod Runner Jun 1, 9:51 a.m.
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    Wow, nit pick much. I obviously know that part of the law. I'm explaining the PPP to someone who apparently doesn't know anything as that is the thing that is talking about being repealed.

    The person tried to claim that PPP has NOTHING TO DO WITH PRIVATE PURCHASE.

    Wait, that person was you. So because I prove you wrong, you have to try to find something wrong with what I said and not admit in the least that you were wrong.


  • Barrett Powell May 31, 5:31 p.m.
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    No it isn't. You need to learn the law.

    A concealed carry license holder is NOT required to get a pistol permit to purchase a handgun.

  • Barrett Powell May 31, 5:27 p.m.
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    Really? I buy long guns all the time without a permit but I'm still subject to a background check. Get your facts right.

  • Larry Wiandt May 31, 5:05 p.m.
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    This article is all wrong, the bill is to eliminate the county sheriff pistol permit system. Buyers would have be checked by the NICS which is realtime.

  • Stacie Hagwood May 31, 5:01 p.m.
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    And this is a great idea, why?

  • Jay Hanig May 31, 12:50 p.m.
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    You are equating "obtaining a weapon" LEGALLY with obtaining a weapon at all. Nothing could be more mistaken. Laws only apply to those who will follow them. The miost you can expect from a lw is to tell the law abiding where the line is that they shouldn't cross, and it allows for a penalty for those who you might catch crossing that boundary. But if someone is willing to cross that boundary, it means nothing.

    Look at how many women die each year even with the possession of a restraining order against their ex-husband or an abusive boyfriend. They had a legally valid restraining order. The person who subsequently killed them didn't care.

    This is not the way the world should be but it is the world the way it actually is.

  • Jay Hanig May 31, 12:42 p.m.
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    You are correct. It is silly. Now explain to me exactly how does this prevent a criminal from obtaining a firearm via the streets or a friend? https://bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fuo.pdf shows us exactly where criminals get their weapons. When refused at regulated sources, they just reach out to unregulated sources. What do the kids in your community do when CVS won't sell them any MJ? Do they just give up? No doobies for them after all? Yeah, right.

  • Jay Hanig May 31, 12:36 p.m.
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    Yeah, yeah... we heard the same claims when they first passed the concealed carry law. We heard the same noise when they legalized the law allowing CCW holders to carry concealed within bars and restaurants serving alcohol. Blood baths everywhere. A return to the Wild West.

    Except there's been one problem: None of it ever happened. Let's face it: your claim has no credibility.

  • Rod Runner May 31, 12:16 p.m.
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    The LOCAL background check is what the sheriff does with the PISTOL PURCHASE PERMIT. They are looking to REPEAL the PISTOL PURCHASE PERMIT, which requires a LOCAL BACKGROUND CHECK, not a FEDERAL one. Local gun stores do FEDERAL BACKGROUND CHECKS.

    Do you understand now? The headline is ACCURATE.

    You should learn the law as well. A PISTOL PURCHASE PERMIT is required for ANY HANDGUN PURCHASE IN NORTH CAROLINA. Even private sellers and buyers. A HANDGUN is not a long gun by the way, which does not require a PPP anywhere.