CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- Those looking to buy a pistol in the state of North Carolina may no longer need to have a permit to buy those guns.
Representative Jay Adams of Catawba County is sponsoring a bill that he says would help ease some of the backlog local sheriff’s offices have been dealing with. He says the system the permits go through is inundated right now.
For gun shops like Hyatt Coin and Gun in Charlotte, it means customers can take their handguns home much faster once they pass their background check.
Phones are ringing every few minutes at the shop with as customers like Miles Grier are looking to buy.
“Just something safe, small, compact,” he said.
Owner Larry Hyatt says they’ve put hundreds of guns on layaway while customers wait for their permits to be approved by the sheriff’s office.
“All these people applying overwhelmed them,” Hyatt said. “Plus they lost a lot of staffing.”
Representative Adams says House Bill 398 will eliminate the step, adding that the FBI’s ‘National Instant Criminal Background Check System’, which gunshops are running anyway, is far more efficient.
“It’s a system that is now thought of by the people who administer it to be obsolete, on this particular bill it’s kind of cleaning up things that really at this point probably don’t produce very much in the way of results,” Rep. Adams said.
He says he’s heard from sheriff’s who are backlogged up to six months with permit approvals.
“[If] the sheriffs are freed from doing this process, the pistol purchase permits, they have the opportunity to direct their resources to other criminal matters,” Adams said.
And for shops like Hyatt’s, it means people can get what they need, faster.
“They come in here because they’re scared and they’ve had something happen and then it’s six months before they can get a permit,” Hyatt said. “So I think it would be helpful to people that needs self-protection.”
But some still like the idea of getting that final go-ahead from law enforcement.
“If everything is going to be traceable back to you, then you should definitely want to make sure your good on every square, even through the police department,” Grier said. “They’ll be the first ones to show up if you ever have to use a gun so definitely want them to know that you are registered, checked out and they know who you are.”
It’s important to note that you will still undergo a background check when you go into any gun shop before you can take that handgun home.
Hyatt says shotguns and rifles do not require that same permitting process, and they’ve sold hundreds of those during the pandemic.