NC Pistol Purchase Permit Repeal Headed to Governor
Lawmakers in North Carolina on Wednesday sent a bill to scrap a Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit law to Gov. Roy Cooper.
The repealer, House Bill 398, passed the Republican-controlled General Assembly, clearing the state Senate 27-20 this week after a 69-48 vote by the House in May.
North Carolina's permit to purchase requirement, which was first adopted in 1919, mandates that would-be handgun owners first obtain a license from their local sheriff, which at the time of its adoption could be a daunting task for non-whites in the Cotton Belt. It has long been supported by anti-gun groups who have been pouring money into the state over the past decade to keep the system intact. Lawmakers shrugged off such arguments, pointing out that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which was created by the federal Brady Bill in 1995, is more modern.
“This law is simply just ineffective,” state Sen. Chuck Edwards, a Henderson County Republican, said during HB 398's floor debate. “This law is archaic and it’s duplicative.”
Cooper, a Democrat, could reject the measure but, as it was passed with a veto-proof majority, has a strong likelihood of success.
"The pistol purchase permit was created before modern, computerized background checks existed," observed the NRA on the legislation earlier this year. "This relic that is the pistol purchase permit, now only serves as a time barrier, an unnecessary fee, and a general inconvenience to the exercise of the Second Amendment."