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North Carolina: Conference Committee Continues to Debate Omnibus Firearms Reform Bill

Friday, July 19, 2013

Contact your State Legislators TODAY in Support of House Bill 937 

As the omnibus Right-to-Carry reform bill, House Bill 937, continues to be debated by a House-Senate conference committee in Raleigh, your NRA continues to work with state legislators to pass the most comprehensive pro-gun bill possible this year.  Both teams of conferees are committed to keeping intact the language that would, among other things:

  • Allow Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) holders to lawfully carry their personal protection firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol.
  • Allow CHP holders to carry into a place where tickets are sold for admission.
  • Fix the problem of anti-gun localities overstepping their authority regarding restricting CHP holders from carrying firearms into locally controlled parks.
  • Allow CHP holders to transport and store their firearms in their vehicles when on the grounds of education facilities.
  • Bring North Carolina in compliance with the standards set forth in the federal NICS Improvement Amendments Act (NIAA) of 2007—a critical mental health reform.
  • Ensure the privacy of CHP holders by allowing access to the database of permittees only for law enforcement purposes.
  • Remove the prohibition on CHP holders carrying their personal protection firearms during a parade or funeral.
  • Remove the prohibition on using firearms with sound suppressing devices while otherwise lawfully hunting game.

These reforms, if enacted, would represent the most significant advancement of gun rights in North Carolina since the passage of the original CHP law in 1995.

The one provision of H 937 where there has been some disagreement is the state Senate’s inclusion of language to repeal the outdated and inefficient handgun purchase permit law.  The NRA remains committed to repealing this law, and transitioning North Carolina to using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), as the overwhelming majority of states use.  However, due to opposition from the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association, the repeal of the handgun purchase permit has held up final passage of H 937.

One proposal to deal with the handgun purchase permit has been a partial repeal of it.  While this would arguably make the law less restrictive, supporting a partial repeal carries with it potentially problematic consequences.  As proposed, the partial repeal would remove the purchase permit requirement for handgun transfers through licensed gun dealers (where a NICS check would be conducted), but still require the permit be used for private transfers that take place at gun shows or are the result of someone who is not a licensed dealer advertising the sale of their handgun.  The NRA cannot support this compromise.

Should the NRA support this partial repeal compromise, it would, in effect, be saying that we support increased restrictions and higher scrutiny standards for handgun transfers that take place at gun shows or for those that were the result of advertising the sale as compared to transfers by licensed gun dealers.  The NRA has been fighting such proposals for years, both at the federal and state level, including in North Carolina.  We simply cannot support a system in North Carolina that we have so aggressively opposed elsewhere.

Please contact your state Representative and Senator IMMEDIATELY and urge them to support the NRA's efforts to ensure the passage of H 937 THIS YEAR.  Please also encourage them to express their opposition to any compromise that unfairly singles out gun shows and other private transfers for increased restrictions and higher scrutiny. 

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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.