Even The Sheriffs’ Own Report Contradicts Themselves On HB 562

North Carolina’s HB 562 – the Second Amendment Affirmation Act – has been added to the House calendar for today. In the meantime, a report from the North Carolina Sheriffs Association directly contradicts their assertions that the sheriffs are the ones best placed to determine who should be allowed to purchase a handgun. They have been arguing that sheriffs know more about the people in their county than what is contained in the FBI’s NICS database.

HB 937 passed in the 2013-2014 session of the General Assembly required sheriffs to submit a report assessing how many existing pistol purchase permits were still held by disqualified persons. The bill as passed allowed for the North Carolina Sheriffs Association to submit one report compiling the results from all 100 sheriffs. Let’s just say the results are not exactly what the NCSA wishes to be known.

Grass Roots North Carolina details the results in the alert below. Note that it includes a link to the report. I suggest that you take that link and send it with a note to your own House representative. I certainly plan to send it to Rep. Brian Turner (D-Buncombe) who is my rep.



Sheriff report shows NICS checks are superior to our archaic permit
system at keeping criminals from getting guns
. . .

The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) has been the
leading opponent of House Bill 562, in particular its repeal of North
Carolina’s Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit (PPP) system. Their
objections have been a moving target as they first claimed sheriffs
“know” their constituents and “know” who is unfit to get a permit; then
they claimed the National Instant Background Check
System is inadequate to conduct criminal background checks (although in
truth most sheriffs conduct only a NICS check prior to issuing a
finally, they shopped the argument that relying on NICS for
point-of-purchase checks would somehow undermine the sheriff and empower
the federal
government – an argument rendered ridiculous if you understand that sheriffs are required by law to do NICS checks prior to
issuing purchase permits

Sheriffs’ own report an indictment of the system

So imagine our surprise when we discovered that the NCSA had
quietly shelved its own report describing what complete chaos the pistol
purchase permit system is in, and how many permits might currently be
held by criminals. Under HB 937, passed in 2013, sheriffs were required
develop a report indicating how many disqualified persons still held
permits which are valid for 5 years and allow them to bypass background
via NICS. They were also required to revoke invalid permits. To see the
NCSA report, CLICK HERE (or go to:

Some highlights from the NCSA report with most in sheriffs’ own

  • “[NICS] reports included 165 or 23.5% of permits being subject to revocation in Camden
    County and 35,488 or 38% of permits being subject to revocation in Mecklenburg County.”

  • “…sheriffs’
    [submitted] 674,806 permits for review representing 344,338 different
    permit holders. CJLEADS returned 26,637 permits to sheriffs as subject
    to revocation due to an event or condition that occurred subsequent to
    the issuance of the permit that would have disqualified the individual
    receiving a pistol purchase permit at application.” [That rate is about
    4%, or four times higher than NICS, suggesting that the PPP system is
    *inferior* to NICS at preventing criminals from getting

  • “Sheriffs have reported revoking 5,255 permits from
    2,447 permittees as a result of the background check
    and review process through April 25, 2014. However, it should be noted
    that a
    sheriff has no way of knowing if a permit has been used since issuance.”
    [Translation: Perhaps only ¼ of 26,637 invalid permits were
    “revoked,” leaving potentially 22,000+ criminals in possession of
    permits and able to bypass background checks.]

  • “Sheriffs’ offices are staffed to review and process Pistol Purchase Permit applications and not to conduct periodic reviews of
    active permits…”

  • “Conducting an ongoing manual case by case review of 289 permits in Tyrrell County or
    93,486 permits in Mecklenburg County is nearly impossible.” [So much for NCSA’s argument that sheriffs “know” who in their
    counties should have permits. If they can’t manually check them now, how can they do so before issuance?]

  • “Several
    sheriffs’ offices had over 40% of their permits reported subject to revocation in the NICS report.”

  • “Sheriffs’ offices cannot account for permits claimed to be ‘lost’…”

  • “Gun dealers do not know if a permit has been revoked…”

What the NCSA report means

While the sheriffs will undoubtedly claim that inconsistencies of data
contributed to high rates of permits being reported for revocation, even
the “best” possible number of 5,255 permits “revoked”
means 5,255 criminals had (or have) guns under the system.

By the way, did we mention that “revocation”
means only that the sheriff issued a revocation letter? If the criminal says, The dog ate my permit,
they have no recourse and that criminal may still use that slip of paper to bypass a computerized background check.

The bottom line is that
NICS checks are superior to our archaic permit system at keeping criminals from getting guns.

Adding insult to injury…

Before the
NCSA apparently instructed sheriffs to stonewall on the cost of issuing
pistol purchase permit, Forsyth County was kind enough to give the
following estimate: $50.54 for each pistol purchase permit issued,
meaning a waste of taxpayer dollars of $311,781.26 for just one county
. Multiply that by 100 counties, and the
evidence is compelling that millions of dollars of your money is being wasted to shore up a system that lets criminals get guns while
obstructing the law-abiding from doing so

By the way, did we mention that Forsyth reports denying nearly 10% of
permits applied for, with most presumably under the “good moral
character” loophole? That rate of denial is roughly 10 times higher than
NICS and once again suggests that good guys are being denied guns while
bad guys are getting them.



    . Use the copy/paste email list provided below, and the copy paste text under ‘Deliver This Message.’ Ask them how
    they can justify retaining an archaic system that allows more criminals to get guns than NICS.

    . Tell him or her that he or she had better support repeal of a system which quite obviously hinders
    law-abiding citizens from getting guns while enabling criminals to do precisely that. Find your NC House rep by clicking here

    (or go to: http://ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx).


NC House Republicans Email List:

Marilyn.Avila@ncleg.net; John.Bell@ncleg.net; Dan.Bishop@ncleg.net;
Hugh.Blackwell@ncleg.net; John.Blust@ncleg.net; Jamie.Boles@ncleg.net;
John.Bradford@ncleg.net; Bill.Brawley@ncleg.net; Mark.Brody@ncleg.net;
Rayne.Brown@ncleg.net; Brian.Brown@ncleg.net; Rob.Bryan@ncleg.net;
Dana.Bumgardner@ncleg.net; Justin.Burr@ncleg.net; Rick.Catlin@ncleg.net;
George.Cleveland@ncleg.net; Jeff.Collins@ncleg.net;
Leo.Daughtry@ncleg.net; Ted.Davis@ncleg.net; Jimmy.Dixon@ncleg.net;
Josh.Dobson@ncleg.net; Nelson.Dollar@ncleg.net;
John.Faircloth@ncleg.net; Carl.Ford@ncleg.net; John.Fraley@ncleg.net;
Mike.Hager@ncleg.net; Jon.Hardister@ncleg.net; Kelly.Hastings@ncleg.net;
Bryan.Holloway@ncleg.net; Craig.Horn@ncleg.net; Julia.Howard@ncleg.net;
Pat.Hurley@ncleg.net; Frank.Iler@ncleg.net; Charles.Jeter@ncleg.net;
Linda.Johnson2@ncleg.net; Bert.Jones@ncleg.net;
Jonathan.Jordan@ncleg.net; Donny.Lambeth@ncleg.net;
James.Langdon@ncleg.net; Chris.Malone@ncleg.net;
Susan.Martin@ncleg.net; Pat.McElraft@ncleg.net; Allen.McNeill@ncleg.net;
Chris.Millis@ncleg.net; Gary.Pendleton@ncleg.net;
Michele.Presnell@ncleg.net; Dennis.Riddell@ncleg.net;
George.Robinson@ncleg.net; Stephen.Ross@ncleg.net;
Mitchell.Setzer@ncleg.net; Phil.Shepard@ncleg.net;
Michael.Speciale@ncleg.net; Paul.Stam@ncleg.net;
Bob.Steinburg@ncleg.net; Sarah.Stevens@ncleg.net;
John.Szoka@ncleg.net; John.Torbett@ncleg.net; Rena.Turner@ncleg.net;
Harry.Warren@ncleg.net; Sam.Watford@ncleg.net; Roger.West@ncleg.net;
Chris.Whitmire@ncleg.net; Larry.Yarborough@ncleg.net;
Lee.Zachary@ncleg.net; Chuck.McGrady@ncleg.net; Paul.Tine@ncleg.net


Suggested Subject: “End the ‘Felon
Enablement’ Permit System

Dear Representative:

With respect to House Bill 562, a report shelved by the North Carolina
Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) and only recently unearthed demonstrates
beyond a reasonable doubt that sheriffs are shoring up an archaic pistol
purchase permit system which allows thousands of felons to get guns,
while denying law-abiding citizens whom the sheriff arbitrarily deems
not of
“good moral character.” The report reveals that the computerized
National Instant Background Check System (NICS) found 26,637 permits
by disqualified individuals – nearly 4%, or roughly four times higher
than denials by NICS. Even if the NCSA claims errors in data matching,
organization admits 5,255 revocation letters were issued, meaning that
the archaic pistol purchase permit system let at least 5,255 criminals

Worse, Forsyth County reports that the cost of issuing a single
purchase permit – for which the county gets $5, is $50.54 while nearly
of applications are denied, suggesting that across our one hundred
counties, tax payers are funding a system which wastes millions of
dollars denying
guns permits to law-abiding citizens while giving them to felons.

Bring HB
562 to the floor for a vote and pass it, including its provision for
repealing the purchase permit system. If House Republicans fail to act,
they are perpetuating a “felon enablement” law.