I just received an email from the Brady Campaign railing about North Carolina HB 588 and how it rolls back “four decades” of “lifesaving background checks”. I’ll let you read it first and then I will comment on it.
The corporate gun industry is bringing its fight to weaken lifesaving background checks to North Carolina! Right now, they’re pushing H.B. 588, a dangerous bill that would dramatically undermine the current background check system, through the state legislature.
This bill would roll back at least four decades of a lifesaving policy requiring a background check and a “permit to purchase” for every handgun sale. If this bill passes, dangerous people will easily be able to acquire handguns at gun shows, online or from private individuals without any background check whatsoever.
These permits are proven to lower suicide rates. And when Missouri eliminated a similar law in 2007, the state saw a 25 percent increase in the gun murder rate!
H.B. 588 would also require universities, community colleges, and some houses of worship to allow hidden loaded handguns on campus — even against their wishes.
The House Judiciary Committee is expected to consider H.B. 588 at any time. It’s critical that we STOP this bill before it goes any further — and before it has the chance to put North Carolina lives at risk.
Call committee members today and urge them to oppose H.B. 588 and stand up for lifesaving gun laws!
Chief Strategy Officer
First let’s be clear – HB 588 does not eliminate the pistol purchase permit as much as I’d like to see it do that. It merely changes how the mental health reporting requirement is implemented. Nothing more and nothing less in that section of the bill.
What the Brady Campaign calls “four decades of a lifesaving policy requiring a background check and a ‘permit to purchase’ for every handgun sales” is actually 98 years of institutionalized racism. They won’t say it but it is what it is.
The pistol purchase permit system was adopted by the General Assembly in 1919 for the implied purpose of denying blacks – and especially those who were veterans that had just come back from France in World War I – the ability to have a handgun for self-defense. There had been significant racial unrest in various North Carolina cities post-war with a major riot in Winston-Salem in late 1918. The “Act to Regulate the Sale of Concealed Weapons in North Carolina” was adopted soon after in March 1919. The primary sponsor of the bill was State Sen. Earle A. Humphrey (D-Goldsboro). Sen. Humphrey’s brother-in-law, US Sen. Furnifold Simmons, was the architect of the NC Democrat’s segregationist political agenda. I think you can connect the dots here.
The bill would allow a person with a valid carry permit to carry on school property that is also used for worship services AFTER school hours. My thinking is that was included as many church communities have instituted security teams consisting of trained congregation members.
And yes, HB 588 would allow campus carry at both community colleges and public universities in North Carolina. And, yes, it is against the wishes of university administrators because, let’s face it, they are anti anything that takes power out of their hands including a monopoly on the power of violence. That said, I also don’t know of any public university campus in North Carolina that is fenced and has controlled entry. While they all have their police forces they also are all open to criminals and potential terrorists.
HB 588 does clarify that merely possessing or carrying a firearm, openly or legally concealed, is not grounds for charging a person with going in terror of the public. Many citizens who were legally open carrying and minding their own business have been charged with “going in terror of the public”. These cases also are usually thrown out of court because walking down a public sidewalk in a non-threatening manner while open carrying is not a crime in North Carolina.
Instead of calling legislators to ask them to stop HB 588, I suggest calling them to demand an end to 98 years of institutionalized racism and an end to keeping our sons and daughters as defenseless targets in officially gun free zones.