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North Carolina: State House Approves Right-to-Carry Reform Legislation

Thursday, May 9, 2013

House Bill 937, a comprehensive Right-to-Carry reform bill, passed its second reading in the state House of Representatives on Monday by a partisan 76-38 vote.  On Tuesday, the state House passed H 937 on its third reading by a 78-42 vote, with state Representative Paul Tine (D-6) as the sole Democrat to vote in favor of it.  (Representative Tine was not on the floor for Monday’s vote, so he did not cast a vote on its second reading.)  H 937 now moves to the state Senate for further consideration.  Please contact your state Senator and urge her or him to support H 937 and to work to ensure that it is taken up for consideration as soon as possible.

This legislation seeks to make a number of important pro-gun reforms including, but not limited to:

  • Allowing Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) holders to lawfully carry their personal protection firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol.
  • Removing the prohibition on CHP holders from carrying into a place where tickets are sold for admission and would fix the problem of anti-gun localities overstepping their authority regarding restricting CHP holders from carrying firearms into locally controlled parks.
  • Addressing some issues regarding firearms in a vehicle, as well as certain firearm issues on campus grounds.

In addition, H 937 would bring North Carolina in compliance with the standards set forth in the federal NICS Improvement Amendments Act (NIAA) of 2007.  In accordance with federal law, individuals who have been placed under certain types of mental health-related orders – by a court – are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms.  The NIAA established clear standards for states to use in crafting laws to give persons subject to these prohibitions a means of relief.  H 937, under the guidelines established by the NIAA, would allow a court to grant relief from the federal prohibition upon a finding that the petitioner will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety, and that the granting of the relief would not be contrary to the public interest.  Please click here for an NIAA fact sheet.

North Carolina gun owners owe their gratitude to state Representatives Jacqueline Schaffer (R-105) and Justin Burr (R-67), who worked closely with the NRA throughout the drafting and amending process for H 937.  Special thanks also to their fellow primary bill sponsors, state Representatives George Cleveland (R-14) and John Faircloth (R-61).  These state Representatives represented the bill and responsible gun owners exceptionally well during the House Judiciary Subcommittee A hearing that led to this bill being reported to the House floor.

In addition, House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-98) and Republican Conference Leader Ruth Samuelson (R-104) played key roles in the introduction and passage of H 937, and also deserve the appreciation of North Carolina's gun owners and sportsmen.

Also, the North Carolina Senate passed Senate Bill 443 on Monday.  As introduced by state Senator Andrew Brock (R-34), S 443 sought to eliminate the practice of destroying lawful functioning firearms that have been found or received by law enforcement.  Unfortunately, this bill was amended in committee, where almost all of the pro-gun language was removed.  While this bill does not do anything to infringe on gun rights, it now does not clearly advance gun rights, and the NRA is no longer supporting it.  We will continue to work with the bill sponsor and other pro-gun state legislators to amend S 443 with the goal of returning it to a state that the NRA can once again actively support.

In that vein, Representative Schaffer has sponsored a companion bill to S 443, which is House Bill 714.  Representative Schaffer has been working with the NRA to improve the language in H 714, which will either be passed as its own legislation or amended into S 443 to return that bill to a status that the NRA can support.  H 714 has been referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee B, where it could be heard next week.  Please contact members of this House subcommittee and encourage them to support H 714, and to support amending it to make this pro-gun bill even better.

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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.