Local News

Gun Bill Draws Protest at Legislature

Posted April 27, 1999

— North Carolina lawmakers have approveda bill that prohibits local communities from suing gun manufacturers. The bill's passage sparked a protest at the legislature Wednesday by a small group of parents and clergy who say the bill is an affront to victims of the Denver high school shooting.

The bill's sponsor,Rep. Richard Moore, says the bill simply prevents local governments from suing citizens who follow gun control laws. The bill makes firearm regulation a statewide matter, not subject to local jurisdiction.

"All this bill does, and we do not need to blow it out of proportion, all this bill does is say that if you as a citizen, you own a gun shop or you're a gun dealer, if you follow the law, if you do not break the law, then you cannot be sued by a local government entity," Moore says.

Moore is coming under fire because he is a teacher and a school youth leader. He says this bill does not cover the issues parents and clergy are concerned about.

"If we want to talk about stricter gun control measures and the ways that we follow that law then let's do that," he says.

Protesters say there are reasons lawmakers have not done so before. "Whether they admit it or not, they are under the tyranny of the NRA," says one protester.

"They're scared to do anything that the NRA doesn't want them to do. They're afraid it will lose their vote. So that's why we're here, to free things up," says William Finlator, former pastor of Pullen Baptist Church.

The group hopes to effect some change in the Senate since the bill passed the House already.


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