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Lawmakers pass bill to standardize state gun permit process

Posted July 27, 2015

— A bill that limits how deeply sheriffs can delve into someone's background when vetting a pistol purchase permit cleared the state Senate on a 40-9 vote Monday night and is headed to Gov. Pat McCrory's desk.

As passed, the bill is far less controversial than earlier drafts, which drew vocal opposition from gun control advocates and McCrory. The measure that passed is a compromise bill that gives wins and losses to both sides of the gun control debate.

"Certainly, some of the most objectionable provisions that were in this bill have been removed," Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham, said.

For example, a provision that would have eliminated the state's pistol permit system entirely was removed before the bill came over to the Senate from the House.

The measure calls for a more expeditious entry of information into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. It also allows the commissioner of agriculture to continue to ban firearms at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh during the annual fair.

Under the bill, sheriffs will be allowed to look at only five years of a person's history when deciding if they meet the "good moral character" provisions laid out for obtaining a permit to buy a handgun. Those checks are in addition to crimes logged in NICS that would automatically disqualify someone from owning a gun.

McKissick argued that there are some acts that should raise questions about someone's fitness to own a gun no matter when they're committed.

"I want that sheriff to be able to go back and look more than five years," he said.

But others argued that greater and more consistent availability of guns would make people safer.

Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, referenced the fact that firearms are generally not allowed in the state Legislative Building.

"We're sitting ducks," Tillman said.

Sen. Erica Smith-Ingram, D-Northampton, said she had misgivings about the bill but ultimately supported it.

"It's going to be tough for me, but at the end of the day, I have to support this bill because I believe it will allow us to be safer," she said.

24 Comments

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  • Belle Boyd Jul 28, 2015
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    I never understood what it meant really. People voice their opinions (strongly sometimes) and then people get mad at it. I just never really understood. I have been called a troll before, but all I was doing was giving scenarios and voicing my opinion and people didn't like it.

  • Mark Cline Jul 28, 2015
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    A troll is a troll. Just like ducks quack, trolls troll. Read carefully and you will see the troll.

  • Mark Cline Jul 28, 2015
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    A Virginia non-resident permit would not allow one to purchase in any state. A North Carolina CCH Permit would allow one to purchase in North Carolina, only. Not real sure what your concern is here, Jo.

  • Belle Boyd Jul 28, 2015
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    Just because I am curious...since when are any of these posts deliberately offensive or provocative for the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them. All I see are people voicing their opinions (not offensively or provocatively)

  • Mark Cline Jul 28, 2015
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    Sorry. I did stop feeding and taught a concealed carry class. Am I forgiven?

  • Dati Pemby Jul 28, 2015
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    *sigh*

    You guys had to feed the troll, didn't you?

  • Belle Boyd Jul 28, 2015
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    Laws are not going to stop people from doing what they want to do. The honest people are the ones that abide by the rules, the dishonest will always find a way around it.

  • Belle Boyd Jul 28, 2015
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    I was pointing out the ones with the strictest gun laws have the highest violence rates. They tell people not to have guns (only keep them at home). Keeping them at home is not doing them much good if they are getting shot on the street.
    People (bad/good) will get their hands on a gun/weapon if they please either by legal/illegal means. All I said was checks/laws aren't foolproof. Nothing is foolproof. If a criminal wants to get his hands on a gun he will (buy it on the street, buy it from a private owner, etc.) Nothing is going to stop them from getting it.
    2nd amendment isn't absurd. It is an valid argument. People have the right to own a gun so long as they meet the requirements set by law. People want to be able to protect themselves.
    Even if you minimize gun violence that is not going to eliminate the problem. Restriction only goes but so far.
    People will always be killing people, whether by a gun or some other means.

  • Sam Nada Jul 28, 2015
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    There is no control of guns entering Chicago. Local laws are insufficient to control the entire State or adjoining States where guns are easily available. Bad example.

    All gun owners aren't bad, but allowing anyone to have guns insures that bad people can get them easily. There is no barrier to obtaining guns. That system has proved disastrous for our country.

    The 2nd Amendment is an absurd argument. If you don't know why I have nothing more to say about it.

    Saying background checks and gun laws don't work is like saying no laws work, therefore, why bother. It's preposterous argument. We should do everything possible to minimize gun violence. Right now we are doing nothing.

  • Belle Boyd Jul 28, 2015
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    Do you know that the cities/states with the strictest gun laws have the highest gun violence/gun death rate? Look at Chicago, Detroit, etc. People get shot every day there. Most of the time it is related to gangs/drive-bys and they hit innocent people when they are shooting at their intended targets.

    You can't automatically assume that all gun owners are bad. Most are responsible who know how to handle a weapon and only use it when necessary. Now more people are for gun rights than gun control. Which we have a right to bear arms as stated by the 2nd amendment.

    Now with that, people will get their hands on a weapon (legal or illegal) if they want to. Background checks are not always foolproof. People will slip through the cracks due to misinformation/lying , but most of the time it stops the criminals.

    Criminals will get their hands on a gun in a heartbeat no matter what. Backgrounds don't work on the street.

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