Gun Rights Supporters: The good news is that you won a great victory today: House Bill 937…


which dramatically expands the rights of North Carolina gun owners, cleared the Senate and now heads back to the House for a final concurrence vote.

The bad news is that a powerful lobby is marshaling forces against your bill.

First, the good news: The bill is substantially improved from what the House originally passed. Here is what it currently does:

Expands the guns-in-locked-vehicles provision for concealed handgun permit-holders (CHP-holders) to include all campuses rather than simply institutions of higher learning.

Enables CHP-holders to carry at assemblies of people for which admission is charged and any establishment serving alcohol unless the person in control of the premises posts against firearms.

Narrows and clarifies the definition of “recreational facilities” within parks where municipalities may still ban concealed carry in parks.

Removes handgun permits from public record, rendering them unavailable to the media.

Repeals the prohibition on firearms for CHP-holders at funerals and parades.

Repeals NC’s handgun purchase permit system in its entirety.

Expands hunting to include use of sound suppressors.

GRNC wishes to thank Senate leadership

The legislators who made this possible are Senate Judiciary Chair Buck Newton, Rules Chair Tom Apodaca, and especially Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger. GRNC wishes to thank them for working closely with us to ensure lawful North Carolinians can better protect their families. GRNC encourages you to send them a note of thanks.

But danger lies ahead

Now the bill heads back to the House for a concurrence vote, but that could be derailed because the powerful North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) is opposing repeal of the purchase permit system.

Why? It couldn’t be reducing crime. As The Charlotte Observer points out, under the present permit system a slip of paper issued by the sheriff let’s people convicted of felonies use old permits to bypass background checks because permits can’t be revoked.

So why does the NCSA want this archaic, Jim Crow law to remain on the books? All the usual reasons …

Money and power. The current system brings millions of dollars to sheriffs every year and what’s more, NCSA is trying to double the handgun purchase permit fee!

But more important than money is power. Using the “good moral character” outrage that once let sheriffs deny permits to African-Americans, sheriffs arbitrarily deny permits to people they decide have “enough” guns, those who can’t produce 3 notarized character affidavits, and others. It’s conceivable that if you oppose a sheriff’s re-election bid, he could decide you are not of “good moral character.”

Will you let Sheriffs’ lobbyists derail HB 937?

Some sheriffs oppose the purchase permit repeal, some don’t. As usual, lobbyists who represent them might be misrepresenting the wishes of their members, so here is your action item:

CONTACT YOUR SHERIFF: Ask them (1) Whether they oppose repeal of a Jim Crow law which allows felons to circumvent background checks, making law-abiding citizens vulnerable to gun control; and (2) Whether they know that is the position of the association which claims to represent them. Contact them by clicking here.

CONTACT SPEAKER THOM TILLIS: Let him know that you appreciate his earlier efforts, but that the Senate has upped the ante and now he needs to resist the power-hungry NC Sheriffs’ Assoc. and pass HB 937 AS IS by making sure the House VOTES TO CONCUR. To contact Speaker Tillis, by clicking here.