Society

NC Sheriffs Fight Law that Would Force Them to Surrender Gun Control Policies

| by Dabney Bailey
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Some North Carolina sheriffs are reluctant to accept a new pro-gun rights law that would force sheriffs to give up gun control policies. The NC Sheriff’s Association has asked the NC House of Representatives to reject HB 937. If passed, HB 937 would repeal a law from 1919 that required would-be gun owners to purchase a permit.

The nearly 100-year-old law was allegedly passed in order to give sheriffs the ability to arbitrarily deny gun permits to certain groups of people. That is one of the strongest criticisms against the antiquated law – sheriffs originally used the law to keep African Americans unarmed. Critics argue that a racist law has no place in a modern society.

To make matters more complicated, the old law has presented criminals with a loophole. The permits last for five years and they can’t be repealed, which means that a person could obtain a gun legally, commit a crime, and then legally be able to keep that gun until the five year license expires.

Neither of these factors has stopped the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association from asking House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) and Governor Pat McCrory (R) to avoid repealing the law. The 1919 allows sheriffs to maintain control over gun control permits while boosting funding because of the associated permit fees.

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Grass Roots North Carolina, a pro-gun rights organization, has sent out email notifications urging gun owners to contact their representatives.

The group argues that repealing the law will actually improve the current gun control laws by getting rid of the loophole and replacing sheriffs’ discretion with the objective background check system. It’s odd to see a pro-gun group arguing in favor of background checks, but when the alternative is subjective whim it’s hardly surprising.

Do you believe that sheriffs are in the perfect position to be able to deny gun permits to would-be gun owners, or do you think that this archaic, somewhat racist law should be removed from the books?

Source: Only Guns and Money