Proposal to allow concealed guns without permit in NC advances

Posted May 31
Updated June 1

— A House committee voted Wednesday in favor of a bill that would eliminate North Carolina's requirement that people obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

House Bill 746 creates "parity" for people who are allowed to carry guns openly but suddenly find themselves on the wrong side of the law if they put on a jacket and cover up their holstered sidearms simply because they lack a concealed carry permit, said sponsor Rep. Chris Millis, R-Pender.

"This bill would allow law-abiding citizens to be able to carry concealed, regardless of obtaining the mandatory government permit, and this ability to carry concealed is only in places where it is currently allowable to openly carry a firearm," Millis said, noting 13 other U.S. states have similar rules on the books.

Concealed carry permits are 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.

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. In those cases, however, the North Carolina buyers would have already gone through the background check called for to obtain a pistol purchase permit from their local sheriff.

Still, gun control advocates say the concealed carry permit offers extra backup for those sales and ensures that gun owners have basic safety training.

"This bill would roll back one of North Carolina's core public safety laws by allowing people to carry hidden loaded handguns in public with no permit and no firearm safety training," Christy Clark of Huntersville, North Carolina chapter leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, told members of the House Judiciary IV Committee.

The bill does include a provision for a firearm safety class to be offered as an elective course in North Carolina high schools.

Daniel Patrick, of gun rights group Grass Roots North Carolina, called the proposal a "gradual evolution of personal protection legislation" and noted that other states that have similar laws haven't had any problems because of it.

North Carolina gun owners could still obtain a concealed carry permit to use when traveling out of state, as many states recognize each other's permits.

Rep. Deb Butler, D-New Hanover, said she worries that removing the permit process puts the onus on individuals to determine if they are qualified to carry a gun.

"I do see a paradigm shift in the way we are treating this, and I do see that we are eliminating a very valuable stopgap measure," Butler said. "Gun violence has proliferated like crazy in this country. We all know that. My fear is that we're asking citizens to disqualify themselves, to understand and know whether they are capable of carrying (a weapon) in an open fashion, and I just think that's a dangerous step to take."

Millis said the state's pistol permit process already gives sheriff's the ability to perform background checks.

"Right now, status quo, if you don't pass this bill, criminals have the advantage in our state," he said. "They can see if you have a firearm on you, or they're playing the odds that, did you traverse the permit process?

"This bill puts our law-abiding citizens to be able to defend themselves," he said.

Republicans on the committee beat back several Democratic-sponsored amendments to the bill, such as raising the age to carry a handgun from 18 to 21 or allowing people in state agencies to determine that someone should be prohibiting from possessing a gun because of a mental issue, and the passed the bill on a voice vote.

The bill must still go through the House Finance Committee before getting a floor vote.


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  • Tim Orr Jun 7, 7:59 p.m.
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    I would like to know how it would save you money to have a permit to conceal carry?

  • Tim Orr Jun 7, 7:55 p.m.
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    OMG. This is one of the UN informed statements on here. Please, get a clue about the subject matter before you form an opinion. The CCW permit has nothing to do with either of your posts. Criminals are still going to get guns illegally..JUST LIKE THEY DO NOW!!! You will still need a permit to PURCHASE A HANDGUN>>>and that INCLUDES BACKGROUND CHECKS. Sorry about the caps....not.

  • William Campbell Jun 2, 4:26 p.m.
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    Once again the liberal legislators are cowering from their delusions of Unicorns and Flying Monkeys. Just exactly what type of training is necessary to untuck your shirt tail to cover a handgun?

  • Phillip Holmes Jun 1, 4:47 p.m.
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    I dont beleive this law is actually going to put more guns on the street.....there are illegal gun carriers all around us every day everywhere you go....at the local walmart , at your lacal resturant, and on every hiway and intersection in town......what the law does, is allow the legal owners of handguns carry them as they please.....concealed or not.... I personally would rather people carry concealed.....individuals that open carry actually draw alot more attention to themselves...thus possibly causing confrontation from all the nuts in the world......if nobody can see your gun...then no basket case tries to take it or instigated a confrontation with you..... I personally would like to see conceal carry option for ALL legal law abiding gun owners....it is their right to bare arms


  • Wayne Hill Jun 1, 4:08 p.m.
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    The solution is to live where you are happy. if you desire a locale with strict gun control, that is where you should live. I hear Chicago is doing quite nicely with their gun control laws and it is quite peaceful there. I suggest to those who are of a "blue state mindset," to move there.

  • Anna Temple Jun 1, 2:59 p.m.
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    It's about time we passed a law that will put obnoxious rich kids in as much danger as the rest of us. Let everyone carry and blessed be the quick of hand.

  • Vince DiSena Jun 1, 1:37 p.m.
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    WRAL, you do realize that a NICS check is still required to actually purchase a hand gun. Constitutional carry is currently observed by 14 other states. Law abiding citizens that choose to carry are still not committing crimes with firearms.

  • Larry Wiandt Jun 1, 12:52 p.m.
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    Drunk drivers kill adults and children also, ban alcohol and cars.

  • TJ Wahoo Jun 1, 12:37 p.m.
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    If one is a legal gun owner one should be able to carry the gun as they see fit. That said, convicted felons in possession of a firearm should get an automatic 25 year prison sentence and if they use the firearm in the commission of a violent crime they should receive an additional 50 years tacked on. The current laws are too strict for the law-abiding and too lenient for the criminals.

  • William James Jun 1, 12:35 p.m.
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    Law abiding and tax paying citizens should have right to carry a firearm if they see fit. Its simply bureaucratic non-sense and possibly extortion to require a person to pay $100+ out of pocket to take a CC class, then take off repeatedly to fill out a Psy Background waiver, Crj background check, and be charged by the sheriffs office to get the permit and then renewal fees from that point simply to be able to do something that is legally a "Right" under the Constitution of the US? Also, who would be negatively impacted by allowing people to carry firearms? The criminals already carry them without CC Permit!