The majority of the filing deadlines have passed for firearm-related legislation to be introduced in North Carolina, and there are a number of important bills that NRA will be following and promoting. First, and foremost, is House Bill 562, which is an omnibus bill that seeks to make numerous improvements to North Carolina’s firearm laws. For several months, NRA has been working directly with Representatives Jacqueline Schaffer (R-105) and Justin Burr (R-67) on the content of this legislation, offering input on both general concepts as well as specific language. NRA is continuing to look for ways to improve H 562, but the current pro-gun bill is quite comprehensive.
Among other things, this legislation seeks to:
- Clarify the exemption for keeping a firearm in a vehicle by a person with a valid Concealed Handgun Permit while the vehicle is on the property of a public school.
- Require the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) of a jurisdiction to certify the transfer or making of a firearm, as required by the National Firearms Act, within 15 days if the person is not prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm by law.
- Prohibit most businesses and public or private employers from establishing policies that prohibit law-abiding citizens from storing lawfully-owned firearms and/or ammunition out of sight within their locked motor vehicles.
- Improve the existing Range Protection Law, which would help to protect shooting ranges from new local ordinances designed to shut them down.
- Improve the issuing process and remove unnecessary disqualifiers for Concealed Handgun Permits.
- Improve and standardize the law regulating how businesses must post their property to prevent valid Concealed Handgun Permit holders from carrying their personal protection firearms onto that property.
- Remove the prohibition on using a lawfully possessed short barreled rifle for hunting.
- Repeal the requirement that law-abiding citizens must obtain a permit from their local sheriff before acquiring a handgun.
As introduced, this bill sets the date for the repeal of the handgun Permit-to-Purchase requirement as October 1, 2019, but NRA will be working with the bill sponsors and other legislators to move the date of repeal to take place as soon as practical.
Our thanks go out to Representatives Schaffer and Burr for introducing this bill, as well as Representatives George Cleveland (R-14) and John Faircloth (R-61), who have signed on as Primary Sponsors. Please contact your state Representative and urge her or him to co-sponsor this critical legislative reform, and to work with NRA to ensure its passage.
In addition to H 562, the Senate has seen a number of pro-gun and pro-hunting bills introduced.
Senate Bill 394, introduced by state Senator Jeff Tarte (R-41), would improve the existing preemption statute that prohibits local governments from imposing their own gun control laws or ordinances. It also adds some teeth to the statute by establishing penalties for violating preemption.
Senate Bill 641, also by Senator Tarte, seeks to make several improvements to the issuing process for a Concealed Handgun Permit.
Senate Bill 658, introduced by state Senator Buck Newton (R-11), seeks to remove the absolute prohibition on hunting on Sundays.
Please take a moment to contact your state Senator and urge her or him to support S 394, S 641, and S 658.
NRA is looking at several other bills to see how they may impact our Right to Keep and Bear Arms and hunting heritage, whether good or bad, and we will be sure to post updates on anything that we feel may need input from the pro-gun/pro-hunting community.