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North Carolina: Future of Permit to Purchase Removal Bill Now Uncertain

Monday, May 11, 2009

Please Contact the Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Today!

Senate Bill 782, sponsored by Doug Berger (D-7), remains in limbo after having been pulled from consideration by the Senate Commerce Committee.   This bill would repeal the requirement that law-abiding individuals must obtain a permit to purchase from their local sheriff before they may lawfully acquire any pistol in North Carolina. The primary opposition to this legislation comes from the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, which reports that the bill was pulled “at the request of several senators on the committee.”  Please contact members of the Senate Commerce Committee, and urge them to support S782 and place this necessary piece of legislation back on the calendar.  You can find contact information for Committee members here.

By opposing S 782, the N.C. Sheriffs’ Association is stating its full support of a law that is likely unconstitutional.  The current Pistol Transfer Permit Law allows a local sheriff to deny pistol purchases on the grounds that the applicant for a pistol transfer permit is not of “good moral character,” even if the applicant is otherwise eligible to acquire a firearm under federal and state law.  Please take a moment to contact your local sheriff, and urge him to ask his Association to remove its opposition to S 782.  You can find their contact information by clicking here.

Last June, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled, in District of Columbia v. Heller, that the Second Amendment protects “the individual right to possess and carry weapons.”  With this ruling in mind, it is NRA’s view that the “good moral character” standard treats the acquisition of a handgun as a privilege, rather than a right protected under the U.S. Constitution.  While the “good moral character” standard may very well be accepted in a number of areas within North Carolina statute, it should not be accepted when talking about exercising our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  When it is determined that an individual should be denied the ability to exercise a basic right, the standard for making that decision must be higher.

Time is rapidly running out on this bill, as it must pass the Senate by Thursday, May 14, in order to make the Crossover Deadline.  This deadline requires legislation to pass at least one chamber (House or Senate) of the General Assembly by that date, or else it cannot be considered for the rest of this year, or next.  Please make your voice heard TODAY!

 

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.