Bill would repeal Durham gun registry

Durham is the only county in North Carolina that requires residents to register their guns at the courthouse. A bill moving through the Senate would repeal that requirement.

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Handgun generic, firearm
Mark Binker
RALEIGH, N.C. — A bill put forward by Sen. Mike Woodard, D-Durham, would do away with a 1930s era requirement that Durham County residents register their firearms at the county courthouse.

"Law enforcement doesn't use it regularly," Woodard told the Senate State and Local Government Committee Tuesday. The measure passed on a voice vote and is now headed to the Senate floor.

The 1935 law was authored following a string of violence in what were then known as liquor houses.

Under what amounts to a blue law, Durham County residents have 10 days from the purchase of a pistol, handgun or certain other types of weapons to register it with the clerk of Superior Court. The clerk does not digitize those records or make them available in any other format other than paper files kept in filing cabinets. 

No other county in the state has a similar registration requirement.

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