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North Carolina “Gun Owner Victimization Act” Heads to House Floor!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

On Wednesday, May 2, House Bill 1287, introduced by State Representative Ronnie Sutton (D-47), passed the North Carolina House of Representatives. HB 1287 seeks to create a new statewide database to which sheriffs would report all individuals who have been denied a permit to purchase a pistol. While the NRA still opposes HB 1287, pro-gun legislators were able to amend the bill before the final vote to require sheriffs to report into the database the reasons for denials and require the database only be used for the purpose of checking for permit to purchase denials. HB 1287 is now in the State Senate, and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary II Committee.

Please contact Senators on that committee and respectfully urge them to OPPOSE HB 1287 and keep law-abiding citizens from being tagged like criminals in a statewide database because of a sheriff's random, arbitrary denial to issue a permit to purchase a pistol.

The names of Senate Judiciary II Committee Members, as well as contact information, can be found by clicking here.

House Bill 1847, has passed the House Judiciary I Committee and now heads to the floor of the House.  HB1847, sponsored by State Representatives Larry Hall (D-29), Earl Jones (D-60), and Paul Luebke (D-30), would require law-abiding gun owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm to police or face criminal prosecution.  While this bill was under consideration, House Judiciary Committee Chair Deborah Ross (D-38) refused to allow NRA's representative to speak before the committee in a brazen attempt to silence the voice of the pro-gun community and NRA's tens of thousands of North Carolina members.
 
 

 

This bill is completely unnecessary and potentially damaging to true criminal investigations.  It is also outrageous in the way it treats the victims of a crime.  This legislation would treat anyone who has had a firearm stolen as a common criminal if he or she fails to report the theft within 48 hours of when the crime victim "knew or reasonably should have known of the theft or loss."  Who is to determine when the clock starts ticking?  What is the criteria to determine when someone "reasonably should have known of the theft or loss"? 

 

This bill is also unnecessary, at least as it relates to honest citizens.  The only people who likely would not report a stolen firearm are those violent criminals already prohibited from owning them.  They certainly are not going to report such a loss to the police. 

 

This legislation could very well create an escape clause for real criminals.  Proponents of this legislation claim it will help reduce gun trafficking by discouraging so-called "straw purchasers" (who are not prohibited from purchasing a firearm) from transferring or selling a gun to someone who is prohibited from possessing a firearm.  In reality, this legislation would give such "straw purchasers" an ironclad defense against charges of illegal "gun trafficking."  All one would need to do is report the "loss or theft" of a firearm that has been transferred to a prohibited individual, and if the gun does ever turn up in a crime, the "straw purchaser" can claim it was "lost or stolen," and reported as the law requires.  

 

HB 1847 is a main legislative objective of the anti-gun North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (NCGV), and must be defeated.   While the NRA was not permitted to speak against the bill while it was in committee, our case can still be heard and it can still be defeated if you contact your State Representatives at (919) 733-4111 and urge them to oppose it.

 

 

 

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