A new North Carolina bill, HB 937, would remove background checks from private sellers of handguns. Concerned mayors and law enforcement officials are rallying against the bill, arguing that it will endanger the lives of North Carolina citizens.
Fourteen North Carolina mayors have teamed up with police to voice their opposition to HB 937. The group, which includes Mayors Nancy McFarlane of Raleigh and Robert Perkins of Greensboro, released a letter to Gov. Pat McCroy and other prominent politicians.
The letter reads, "We are deeply concerned about gun violence in our communities. According to the most recently available data, there are 429 gun murders in North Carolina every year – more than one per day. In the last five years, 10 North Carolina law enforcement officials have been shot and killed. Given this terrible loss of life, we are dismayed that our state legislature is considering efforts to undermine our critical public safety laws."
Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt added, "Allowing convicted felons and domestic abusers to buy handguns in our state with no questions asked is a recipe for disaster. We must make protecting our citizens and law enforcement officials a top priority, but this dangerous bill moves us in exactly the opposite direction. This bill is bad for North Carolina."
Similarly, John Letteny, the president of the NC Association of Chiefs of Police, called HB 937 “detrimental to public safety.”
These politicians and law enforcement officials apparently have the support of the people of North Carolina. A survey released by the pro-gun control group Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that 90 percent of North Carolina citizens support universal background checks. Gun control groups often talk about closing the gun show loophole – it is fairly uncommon to find legislation aimed at opening the loophole back up.
What are your thoughts? Do you think that background checks on all private gun sales will help North Carolina stop crime?