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North Carolina: Take Action to Repeal the Outdated Permit to Purchase a Handgun

Friday, June 14, 2013

This week, the state Senate passed an omnibus Right-to-Carry reform bill, House Bill 937.  However, the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association is aggressively working to remove the section from H 937 that repeals the antiquated permit to purchase a handgun requirement.  It is critical that the pro-gun community works to counter this effort by taking the following steps:

First, please take a moment to contact your state Representative and urge her or him to support the House simply concurring with the Senate version of H 937.  State Representatives should oppose all efforts to weaken this bill in any way.

Second, please call Governor Pat McCrory (R) and urge him to support the Senate version of H 937.  Respectfully urge him to oppose any efforts to weaken the bill, especially efforts to remove the section regarding the permit to purchase repeal.

Governor: (919) 814-2000 and E-mail

Third, please call your county sheriff and urge her or him to support the Senate version of H 937.  Urge your sheriff to contact Speaker Thom Tillis (R-98) and let him know that the views of the NC Sheriffs' Association do not reflect the views of all NC sheriffs.   Ask your sheriff to contact Governor McCrory and deliver the same message.

Finally, ask your sheriff to contact the NC Sheriffs' Association and ask that the group remove its objection to repealing the permit to purchase requirement.

The permit to purchase system was enacted nearly 100 years ago, before the days of computers and criminal databases.  It is an obsolete system that has been replaced in efficiency and accuracy with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).  The permit system itself has a history of lacking statewide uniformity.  Some sheriffs have even gone so far as to limit the number of permits they will issue, which the state law does not allow.  And the law itself is considered by many to be unconstitutional, as it allows a sheriff to require an applicant prove through "affidavits, oral evidence, or otherwise" that the applicant is of "good moral character."  What other constitutionally protected rights are subject to such vague standards as requiring an individual to prove he or she is of "good moral character" before exercising them?  And what, exactly, is the standard for "good moral character"?

North Carolina's permit to purchase law is outdated, inefficient, and unconstitutionally vague, and it must be repealed!


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