RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) – One level of security in buying a gun in North Carolina could soon be gone.
Wednesday, the North Carolina Senate passed a bill repealing the requirement to have a pistol permit when buying a gun.
The current law requires local sheriff’s offices to approve handgun purchases with background checks. To buy a handgun in the state, you either need a concealed carry license or a pistol purchase permit.
Those who support getting rid of local pistol permits, like the state Sheriff’s Association, said the system is redundant since gun dealers are required to run national criminal background checks.
Rep. Jay Adams (R-Catawba) sponsored the bill points to the statewide pistol permit backlog that has lasted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What happened in some of the urban counties, the sheriffs were overloaded with requests for pistol purchase permits,” Adams said when the bill passed the House in May.
But Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker, along with the NAACP, said they worry getting rid of this additional step will increase violent crime.
“There are a record number of weapons that are out in this county,” Baker said. “Some in the right hands and some of them as we well know are ending up in the wrong hands.”
Gerald Givens, Jr., president of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP, said there’s no reason to change the current law.
“If North Carolinians wake up five to 10 years from now and this policy has been repealed, we can see in our state there are high rates of gun violence and we will be able to point to the repeal of pistol permitting system as a major reason why,” Givens said.
The bill passed 27 – 20 and is now headed to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk.