What Is Good Moral Character?

North Carolina HB110 and SB90 as currently written were meant to allow the protection of a religious congregation that rented a school building for their services. It was even titled, “The Religious Assembly Security and
6 Protection Act of 2019.” It would allow those with a concealed handgun permit to carry a handgun on school property after school hours while in a building used for religious services. In other words, a person could serve as church security.

The NC Senate Judiciary Committee in its infinite wisdom is proposing to gut the bill and change it into one dealing with pistol purchase permits and concealed handgun permits. It would change the cost of a pistol purchase permit from $5 to $25 but would now allow unlimited numbers of purchases on the same permit for five years. That proposal has the anti-rights forces such as NCGV in an uproar because there was no limit on how many handguns you could buy with one background check.

More importantly, the proposed committee substitute would apply the same “good moral character” requirement for a pistol purchase permits (now called a Class B Handgun Permit) to the NC Concealed Handgun Permit. What is good moral character? We don’t know because it is such an amorphous phrase. It is right up there with “justifiable need” as many May-Issue permit states use as a criteria. Does someone who writes angry letters to the editor or has a Confederate flag hanging in their basement lack good moral character? Would an avowed atheist be considered to lack good moral character if the local sheriff was a deacon in his or her fundamentalist church?

The proposed committee substitute which isn’t even published on the General Assembly’s website is being pushed by the North Carolina Sheriffs Association and their director Eddie Caldwell. It is a power move on their part as all revenue from all permits would now go to the sheriff rather than being shared with the NC Department of Public Safety. Thanks to dedicated volunteers in Grass Roots North Carolina who keep their ear to the ground we even know about this PCS. The staff attorney prepared this bare bones summary which omits the key issue regarding the good moral character requirement.

This proposed committee substitute must be stopped as it would convert our shall-issue permit into a may-issue permit through the “good moral character” requirement. Grass Roots North Carolina has prepared the following alert asking people to both call and write the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee as well as Republican leaders and say NO.

SHERIFFS GRAB POWER
TO DENY
PERMITS


Links for social media:
https://tinyurl.com/y3w7syp9

OR

https://www.grnc.org/defend-your-rights/recent-grnc-alerts/1068-senate-republicans-to-gut-concealed-carry

This is not a drill, and this is not a joke. Republicans in Raleigh are in the process of
gutting NC’s “shall issue” concealed carry permit application structure…



Regarding
concealed carry permit (CHP) applications, we are furious (yes, furious ) to be forced to announce that the
Republicans you sent
to Raleigh have snuck language into the Proposed Committee Substitute
(PCS) of a bill that would, in essence, transform North Carolina from a
“SHALL ISSUE” state into a “MAY
ISSUE”
state
.


We at GRNC are incensed and you ought to be as well. As you know, GRNC engineered
NC’s “shall
issue” concealed carry law in 1995. Since then, GRNC has been
instrumental in greatly improving it with restaurant carry, limited
school/campus carry and more. We’re not about to stand by and watch a
naked power grab by NC’s sheriffs, aided by Republican senators, roll
back all
of our progress
.

Are You of “Good Moral Character?”

Last week, in Raleigh, Republicans snuck new language into a PCS for Senate Bill S90 (“Protect Religious
Meeting Places”) (=H110),
and
it’s worth noting that, initially, S90 was not even written to deal with
the concealed carry application process. It’s also worth noting
that before the poisonous PCS, S90 was a promising pro-gun bill.

Yet, the PCS language strips “shall issue” status from the people and confers
“may issue” power to your county sheriff
. According to the
PCS, a sheriff can deny CHPs by claiming applicants are not of
“Good Moral Character,” the same shameful Jim Crow-era language that
still exists on Pistol Purchase Permit applications, which GRNC has
been fighting to eliminate.

And you’ve probably guessed already: there is no strict definition for “good moral
character
,” and truly, no definition would suffice in this context anyway. Therefore
(and
conveniently), lacking “good moral character,” grounds for denying a
CHP, is an open-ended label that any sheriff could attach to any
applicant for any reason
.

Shifting Power from Citizen to Sheriff

Lest you wonder, “good moral character” has nothing
to do with an applicant’s criminal history. Exhaustive,
indeed intrusive, criminal and medical background checks, and (de facto)
long waiting periods are already part of the CHP application process.
The sheriff’s personal, subjective and nebulous analysis of your character can have no legitimate purpose.
The only
clear purpose of this language in S90’s PCS is to take power away from
you, the law-abiding citizen, and hand it to your county sheriff to lord
over you, so he can withhold your rights at will.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “Sheriffs would never
use this new power to deny permits to qualified people.”
Yet, if they’d never use their newfound power, why enshrine it in our
state’s laws? It can have only one purpose, and if there is no
intention to use it (now or later), it would not have been proposed as
substitute language for S90.

What You Can Do
Are you
prepared to live in a state that treats gun rights the way California
does—like “gun privileges?” Are you ready to cede your Natural rights to
your county’s sheriff, so he can ration them back to
you as he sees fit? If not, please join other gun rights supporters in
putting an immediate halt to this attack on your gun rights (from the
Republicans no less!). Once again, we must remind these politicians who “brung ‘em” to the dance, and it looks like
we’ll have to be more stern than usual
.

Below, see how you can easily contact
Senate Judiciary Committee members (and Sen. Berger) to tell them,
emphatically, that any vote, indeed any support whatsoever, for S90’s Proposed Committee Substitute will be considered a severe and
blatant anti-gun action
! 

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IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!



  • EMAIL MEMBERS OF THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Use the copy/paste email list provided below and the copy/paste text provided
    under ‘Deliver This Message. 

  • PHONE REPUBLICAN LEADERS &
    YOUR SENATOR
    :
    This is serious and so phone calls to committee chairs and to your own senator
    are just as important as sending an email message. Call today and leave a message; call Monday and call Tuesday. That’s how important this
    is
    . Please use the phone numbers provided below to contact
    Judiciary Committee leaders. Also, please call your own senator (find
    contact
    details below). When you reach each senator’s office, tell him or her:

    I
    am a gun rights voter, and I am enraged that
    Republicans are seeking to force a huge step backwards for gun rights in
    our state. The ostensibly pro-gun party should be ashamed to be
    identified as
    the party that introduced Senate Bill 90’s PCS language, which would
    grant “may issue” power to sheriffs for Concealed Carry
    Permits, stripping citizens of the unalienable portion of unalienable rights. Any Senator supporting this PCS will be considered
    anti-gun, and will pay at the polls. Thank you.
  • ATTEND TUESDAY’S COMMITTEE HEARING: The presence of gun rights voters at this meeting is critical. Committee members must know that we see what
    they’re trying to do, and that we’re serious about stopping them. Please attend Tuesday’s committee
    meeting
    . You may have an opportunity to speak, so arrive early in case you need to sign up. Find details below.

  • PLEASE
    CONTRIBUTE TO GRNC
    : Help us fight gun control while we promote Second Amendment principles. Please CLICK HERE to contribute. Bear in mind that GRNC is an all-volunteer organization, so you can be sure your
    donations are put to the best possible use. Any amount helps, and any amount is appreciated.

NC Senate Judiciary Committee, Copy/Paste Email List:
Dan.Bishop@ncleg.net; Dan.Blue@ncleg.net;
Danny.Britt@ncleg.net; Harry.Brown@ncleg.net; Jim.Burgin@ncleg.net;
Warren.Daniel@ncleg.net;
Jim.Davis@ncleg.net; Toby.Fitch@ncleg.net; Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net;
Rick.Horner@ncleg.net; Brent.Jackson@ncleg.net; Jeff.Jackson@ncleg.net;
Natasha.Marcus@ncleg.net; Mujtaba.Mohammed@ncleg.net;
Paul.Newton@ncleg.net; Terry.VanDuyn@ncleg.net; Phil.Berger@ncleg.net

Senate Member Phone
Senator
Danny Britt, Jr.
Senate Judiciary Committee Co-chair
(919) 733-5651
Senator Warren Daniel
Senate
Judiciary Committee Co-chair
(919) 715-7823
Senator Phil Berger
Senate President Pro Tempore
(919) 733-5708
Please call your senator, too.

Need name/contact information?
Click Here and select the ‘NC
Senate
‘ option to find your senator.

Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee

Attend to Stop the Gutting of Concealed Carry
WHEN:  Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 10:00 am
WHERE:  NCGA Legislative Building
Room
1124/1224
16 West Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
IMPORTANT

NOTES:
Please arrive early to allow extra time to park and to get through building security. 60 minutes early is
recommended.
Please dress for the press. Business attire preferred. Please no inflammatory slogans on clothing or
otherwise.
Please bring a roll-up paper sign with the following message on it:

“SENATOR BERGER: DON’T GUT CONCEALED CARRY”

DELIVER THIS
MESSAGE

Suggested Subject: “Don’t Gut Concealed
Carry
”  
Dear
Senator:

I have just
learned of the Republican Party’s effort to transform North Carolina’s
concealed carry permit (CHP) application structure from
“shall issue” to “may issue.” I see that Senate Judiciary Committee
members have snuck language into S90’s Proposed
Committee Substitute (PCS) that would grant sheriffs unchecked power to
deny concealed carry permits to any applicant, any time, for effectively
any
reason. The PCS’s language, which poisons an otherwise pro-gun bill,
allows a sheriff to declare that an applicant, any applicant, is not of
“good moral character.” This is the same shameful Jim Crow-era language
that still exists on the Pistol Purchase Permit application,
language that ought to be removed (not added elsewhere).

Of course, “good moral character” has no
particular definition, nor would any be satisfactory given the
context. Exhaustive and intrusive background checks and (de facto) long
waiting periods are already part of the CHP application process. The
sheriff’s personal, subjective and nebulous analysis of an applicant’s
“character” has precisely zero legitimacy. Clearly, its
only purpose is to wrest power from the law-abiding citizen and hand it
to our county sheriffs to lord over the citizens, so sheriffs can
withhold
Natural rights by fiat.

This is unacceptable! I am incensed that the committee members,
especially those in the Republican Party, would even consider such an
anti-gun scheme.
North Carolina is not California, it is not New York, and gun voters
will not allow this state to transform into one of these states in the
context of
the Second Amendment.

Be
warned:
Any
favorable vote, even the slightest measure of support for S90’s PCS,
with its “good moral character” clause, will be perceived as a threat to
every gun rights voter in this state, myself included. Do not
doubt it, backing S90’s PCS will be recorded as an extreme anti-gun
action!

Put a stop to
S90’s anti-gun PCS now. I will be monitoring your actions on this
critical matter through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina

Respectfully,

UPDATE: My sources in GRNC tell me the bill has been pulled from the committee calendar. It appears the committee heard from you.


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