After Much Debate, North Carolina Senate Passes New Gun Control Law

| by Nathaly Pesantez

A controversial firearm bill passed the North Carolina Senate on Monday after several months  of deliberation.

House Bill 562 will introduce several changes to existing gun laws in the state, including concealed carry regulations, pistol permits, and background checks.

The bill ran into a variety of problems with legislators who took issue with pistol permits and concealed carry policies. Republicans wanted to do away with the pistol permit issuing process, and also wanted to allow carrying a concealed weapon in the Legislative building. Both measures were amended in the process.

Despite the many amendments to the bill, the 40-9 vote indicates the level of compromise that was reached by Democratic and Republican legislators.

Sen. Jeff Tarte asked on the floor for the no amendment to be put forth for the bill, according to News Observer.

“It is not a stand alone bill in and of itself,” he said. “The primary purpose is to standardize and unify statutes. It clarifies who can use certain guns and in which instances."

Although the National Rifle Association and other gun-control advocates told legislators in a committee hearing that the bill was not perfect, they still asked for it to be passed, according to the Associated Press.

Democratic Sen. Floys McKissick voted against the bill for its section on background checks, disagreeing with the five-year search limit on an individual to determine "good moral character."

He also disagrees with a measure that allows concealed weapon carry in a court room by a specified group of people and a section of the bill that allows stored handguns on educational property to be used in emergencies.

“I still don’t feel comfortable with the bill as it is today and cannot support it,” McKissick said. “Anything that enhances the probability that a firearm will end up in the wrong hands is a bill that is going to trouble me.”

The bill was ratified on July 28 and presented to Gov. Pat McCrory on July 29 to be signed.

Sources: News Observer, Associated Press via Winston-Salem Journal, House Bill 562

Photo Credit: M&R Glasgow/Wikimedia Commons