N.C. House Bill 937 is on the horizon. Of course I have a few thoughts on the matter that I must share. For those of you unfamiliar, N.C. House Bill 937 began its journey as the bill that would allow N.C. Conceal Carry holders to have their handguns with them at functions that charged admission, in facilities that sold alcohol (but not allowed to consume) and in the glove box of their vehicle while visiting public universities, colleges and state facilities. The argument against this portion of the bill is that paid security guards should be sufficient and it will only lead to criminal conduct. This makes little sense to me, but OK. A person who has a N.C. Conceal and Carry permit is not suddenly going to be driven to commit a crime just because they can now park in a college parking lot. Give me a break. What it may do is eliminate some criminal activity by giving the crooks reason to believe that there are armed citizens, as well as security guards, among the crowd.
The most recent revelation of this House Bill is the addition of the proposal to eliminate the law that requires people to obtain purchase permits from their local sheriff’s office. In place of the paper permit, a person would have a NICS background check done at the gun shop or gun show booth at time of purchase (identical to current long gun sale procedure).
I see both sides here. For one, I’m sure this is a source of revenue for the sheriff’s department (usually permits cost $5 - $25 each) but it would certainly alleviate a lot of paperwork that the sheriff’s department would have to be responsible for.
A quote that caught my eye was from Attorney General Roy Cooper who issued a statement saying that the elimination of the purchase permit means “more criminals, domestic abusers and dangerous mentally ill call legally buy handguns.”
Wow (timid readers look away), I have to call a great big dose of BS on this statement. Let me tell you why. After discussing this very situation with gun shops in both Tennessee and Virginia who already have this policy in effect — and quite successfully I may add — a person currently may obtain a purchase permit that is valid for five years and somewhere along the line, may commit a crime or become unfit to own a gun, but since they have the permit, they can walk into any gun shop, gun show or deal with a private person and legally obtain a handgun. Now spin the table — each time a person wishes to purchase a handgun a new background check is done (called into the ATF). Criminal activity, convictions, etc. (and hopefully mental health issues) would be in the system and would prohibit the buyer from obtaining that weapon.
It actually makes more sense and conveys a smarter approach, don’t you think?
Remember knowledge is power and the smarter you are, the more fun you can have!
Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.