The North Carolina General Assembly is in full swing for its 2008 session and NRA has been working with legislators in Raleigh on an important bill. Senate Bill 2081 would make critical changes to North Carolina law in order to get the Tar Heel State in compliance with the federal “NICS Improvement Act,” which was signed into law in January of this year. This federal law provides financial incentives to states to make records of prohibited individuals available for use in the National Instant Check System (NICS). As it relates to S 2081 in North Carolina, “The NICS Improvement Act” requires states to establish a system that would allow individuals who have been involuntarily committed, by a court, to a mental health treatment program to have their commitment reported to NICS. Individuals with such commitments are already prohibited under federal law from purchasing or possessing a firearm, but not all applicable commitments are currently reported to NICS.
“The NICS Improvement Act” also requires states to establish “relief from disability” programs that would allow a person to get the mental health prohibition removed, either administratively or in court. S 2081 seeks to bring North Carolina into compliance with these standards.
NRA is currently neutral on S 2081, but we have been working closely with State Senator Tony Rand’s (D-19) office, as well as other interested parties, to ensure the legislation is crafted appropriately. The bill has already been amended to address several areas of concern raised by NRA, and we will continue to work with Senator Rand and others to make sure S 2081 has no significant problems for law-abiding gun owners.
Please contact your State Senator and urge him to work with NRA to make sure S 2081 does not adversely affect our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Please also take the time to contact your State Representative with the same message. Both can be reached by phone at 919-733-7928.
The House of Representatives introduced House Bill 2747, which mirrors S 2081 as originally introduced, so please urge your State Representative to follow the lead of the Senate in working with NRA to improve its own legislation.