North Carolina House Approves Repeal Of Handgun Permit Mandate

The North Carolina House has passed a proposal to nix existing state law requiring a permit in order to purchase a handgun, forwarding it to Gov. Roy Cooper (D) Wednesday amidst an almost veto-proof majority.

WLOS reported the proposal would lead to sheriffs no longer being told to evaluate an applicant’s character and mental fitness before they are allowed to buy a handgun.

Iredell County Republican Rep. Jeff McNeely expressed his support for the bill, commenting, “It just allows everybody, every citizen in the state of North Carolina, to have their constitutional right granted to them so that they can protect themselves.”

WCNC covered the House vote that pushed the bill through.

A vote of 70-44 passed the bill, reports Associated Press.

Democrat Rep. Pricey Harrison expressed her disapproval of the repeal, arguing that government agents should be the ones determining who is or is not allowed to exercise their right to bear arms.

“The sheriffs know best back home who should and should not be carrying a pistol,” Harrison proclaimed during a floor debate. “There’s so much more we could be doing about keeping our communities safe. But unleashing and letting access to guns to individuals who absolutely pose a danger to themselves and others is a real problem.”

The News & Observer reported the handgun permit reversal is one part of a bigger grouping of gun bills forwarded in a contentious environment in which Democrat lawmakers say they feel ostracized.

On that front, Democrat House Minority Leader Robert Reives commented, “…I hope folks recognize, at some level, there’s got to be recognized there are other people in the room. And we can choose not to, don’t have to, because under our North Carolina statutes, if you’re in the front of this body, you can do whatever the heck you want. But I think it would be good, going forward, for us to really have conversations about getting heard.”

House Speaker Tim Moore reportedly forbade Democrats from adding amendments to the bill Wednesday, invoking parliamentary rules that give the chairperson final say.