I am listening to the debate in the NC House of Representatives over the HB 562. I have also looked at the amendments that have passed the House so far.
Amendment One was proposed by Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett). This amendment effectively deleted the pistol purchase permit repeal from HB 562. It deleted Sec. 10(a) and 10(b) from the bill. The only good thing it did was say that if you purchased a handgun from a dealer after 2018, then a NICS check would suffice. It passed 87-29.
Amendment Two was proposed by Rep. Jay Adams (R-Catawba). This amendment specified that the pistol purchase permit would be on specially watermarked paper that would be hard to counterfeit. The permit would also have an embossed seal specific to each sheriff. I can’t argue with that. It passed 112-3.
Amendment Three was proposed by Rep. George Cleveland (R-Onslow). This amendment seems to me mainly clarifications as to references in the bill. It passed 115-0.
Amendment Four was proposed by Rep. Rena Turner (R-Iredell). This amendment deals with the criteria that a sheriff may use when issuing a concealed handgun permit. The original bill said a sheriff could only consider certain violent misdemeanors that happened within the last five years. This amendment says that it didn’t matter when the violent misdemeanor occurred, it is a disqualifying factor. The misdemeanors in question involve violence against a child under 12, assaults on a female by a male (but not vice-versa), assault that caused serious injury or with a deadly weapon, or domestic violence upon anyone. It passed 87-26.
Amendment Five was proposed by Rep. Allen McNeill (R-Randolph). This amendment renumbers much of the stuff in Amendment One and doubles down on keeping the Jim Crow-based pistol purchase permit system. It includes the verbiage that says the issuing sheriff must be satisfied of the good moral character of the applicant.
Amendment Six was proposed by Rep. Leo Daughtry (R-Johnston). It removed the language permitting members of the General Assembly and their staffers who held North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permits from carrying firearms in the legislative buildings or on its grounds. This amendment passed 69-44. I agree with this amendment as legislators and their staff should not have any privilege that the rest of us don’t have save for maybe dedicated parking spaces.
Amendment Seven was proposed by Rep. Gary Pendleton (R-Wake). It removes the entire Section 16 from the bill. This amendment would have preserved patient privacy from intrusive questioning by healthcare professionals. It was not a gag order on healthcare providers but merely notified patients that they didn’t have to answer the question. This amendment squeaked through on a 61-51 vote.
Amendment Eight was proposed by Rep. Paul Luebke (D-Durham). This removed the portion of Section 4 that ordered the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Public Safety to come up with ways to provide safe storage of firearms at the State Fair. It failed 41-73.
Amendment Nine was proposed by Rep. John Ager (D-Buncombe). This amendment would have added the North Carolina Mountain State Fair as an event that the Commissioner of Agriculture could ban concealed carry. The bill already gives the Commissioner the ability to do that at the NC State Fair. This failed 46-68.
The amendments by Republican Representatives Lewis, McNeill, and Pendleton effectively gutted important parts of the bill. The two minor amendments by Democrats which failed were much less offensive. This is an outright stab in the back to gun owners by those to whom we gave a super-majority. The roll call names are not yet available but you can be damn sure I’ll publish them when they become available.
The entire bill with these amendments appears to have passed the House on the Second Reading by a vote of 78-37. It will be on the House calendar tomorrow for the Third and final reading.
You have to wonder whether it is better to have Democrats in control of the General Assembly or Republicans. Democrats when they propose gun control will come directly at you and try to stab you in the chest. Republicans such as David Lewis and Allen McNeill, in the name of public safety and kow-towing to control-hungry sheriffs, are stabbing gun owners in the back. So you have to ask yourself, do you stand a better chance against an attacker who comes at you head-on or one that sneaks up behind you? As a Second Amendment voter I’m sure which I’d prefer.