(USNewsMag.com) – On March 29, lawmakers in North Carolina overrode Governor Roy Cooper’s (D) veto of a measure that would have eliminated the need for citizens to seek permission from their local sheriff’s office before buying pistols. The suspension of permits took effect immediately.
Proponents say that sheriff’s checks on an individual’s background are now unnecessary because of improvements to the national system for background checks. People who want to carry their handgun concealed will still need a sheriff’s permit. Nevertheless, a federal check on the buyer’s background is still required for the purchase of a handgun from a gun store or a dealer who is federally licensed.
Supporters of the bill said that the permitting process was ineffective at keeping criminals from getting firearms and that this fact rendered permits ineffective as a crime deterrent.
The state Senate overrode Cooper’s veto by 30–19, and the state House also overrode the veto by a vote of 71–45. Because of the absence of the three House Democrats, the Republicans were able to gain the necessary one vote to establish a supermajority.
On Wednesday, the tally of votes in the House showed that three Democrats, Guilford County Representative Cecil Brockman, Northampton County Representative Michael Wray, and Mecklenburg County Representative Tricia Cotham, failed to cast votes, providing the necessary margin to satisfy the constitutional obligation. If only one Democrat voted with the Republicans, or if two Democrats abstained, the Republicans would have won. The necessary margin was reached, and the repeal was approved.
As of December 1st, guns will be allowed on school campuses wherever faith-based services occur under the new rule. Free locks for guns will be distributed as part of a 2-year public education campaign that the new legislation establishes and finances.
Democrat legislators and Governor Cooper cautioned that people could be in danger as a result of the permit revocation because more people would be able to buy firearms via private transactions. Republicans have maintained that the state sheriff’s permitting process is unneeded because of the improvements made to the national system for background checks.
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