Your NRA-ILA continues to work with House Republican Leadership and the House sponsors of House Bill 562, the Second Amendment Affirmation Act, to ensure passage of this critical pro-gun reform. Unfortunately, anti-gun extremists like former New York City Mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg continue to funnel out-of-state money into North Carolina to promote a deceptive, misleading media blitz intended to derail this measure by misrepresenting what the legislation will do. While pro-gun legislators remain committed to passing HB 562, it is critical that state Representatives hear from Second Amendment supporters who support this legislation.
Gun-ban supporters have been running ads that seem intended to mislead North Carolinians into believing HB 562 would eliminate all background checks on handgun purchases. In fact, the bill would simply replace a nearly 100-year-old law that allows sheriffs to use arbitrary, personal discretion when determining who may lawfully purchase a handgun with the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). NICS is utilized by the majority of other states, and also used in North Carolina for purchases of rifles and shotguns from licensed dealers. The current antiquated, inefficient law requires law-abiding North Carolina citizens to ask permission from their local sheriff before being allowed to purchase a handgun. Even if an individual is not prohibited from purchasing a handgun under federal or state law, a sheriff can still deny the request based on the sheriff’s personal belief that the individual is not of “good moral character,” whatever that means.
Furthermore, there is no real uniformity to how this law is implemented, as many sheriff departments operate the system differently. It is long past time for this system to be repealed, and for North Carolina to join the majority of the country by utilizing NICS for handgun purchases from licensed dealers.
Along with repealing the handgun purchase permit system, the Second Amendment Affirmation Act seeks to make a number of important improvements which would:
- Require the chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) of a jurisdiction to certify the transfer or making of a firearm in a timely manner. This measure had been removed in a previous version, but has been added back to the bill.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove the prohibition on using a lawfully possessed short barreled rifle for hunting.
- Strengthen North Carolina’s preemption statute.
It is critical you continue to contact your state Representative and urge her or him to support the Second Amendment and support NRA’s efforts to pass HB 562. Please use our online form or call your Representative TODAY and politely urge her or him to support HB 562, and encourage others to do the same.