In a year in which we saw the state of Iowa ditch their requirement for a pistol purchase permit, the Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly still are kowtowing to the NC Sheriffs Association. Certain sheriffs in North Carolina have been obstructing the issuance of pistol purchase permits since the beginning of the pandemic.
A simple bill, HB 398, would provide citizens of a county an alternative where their sheriff has been one of these obstructionists. It simply allows them to apply for a permit in an adjoining county. So, for example, a citizen of Wake County, where Sheriff Gerald Baker has been such an obstructionist that he is being sued in US District court, could apply for a permit in one of the seven adjoining counties. This bill is a mere tweak to a Jim Crow law that should have been ditched years ago. Notwithstanding that the sheriffs of the seven largest counties in the state are all African-American who you would think would want such a racist law abolished, the NC Sheriffs Association seems to be objecting to such a fix. That has the GOP in the General Assembly – or some of them – caving.
Grass Roots North Carolina has fought the issue for over 20 years. They just issued an alert after HB 398 was removed from a hearing calendar.
|NC SHERIFFS EFFECTIVELY SAY ‘POUND SAND’|
|In the early months of the pandemic, GRNC began receiving complaints of abuse of the NC pistol purchase permit system by sheriffs in Wake and Mecklenburg counties and elsewhere. Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker even tried to stop issuing permits altogether…until GRNC and two other organizations sued him. Yet despite even this, purchase permit and concealed handgun applicants are reporting multi-month delays in scheduling appointments for permits.|
NC Sheriffs effectively say ‘pound sand’ GRNC has been trying to repeal the Jim Crow-era purchase permit law for 20+ years, even getting a repeal through the NC Senate in 2014. Unfortunately, each time we have encountered opposition from the powerful NC Sheriffs Association (NCSA).
In the interest of getting permits into the hands of applicants until we can fully repeal the law, Representative Jay Adams (R-Catawba, GRNC ****) introduced HB 398, a simple bill to at least allow applicants to apply in counties adjoining their county of residence if their own sheriff is being obstructionist.
The bill was calendared for a hearing last Wednesday…until, apparently, the Sheriffs’ association objected to even that minor change. Then Judiciary 4 Committee Chair Hugh Blackwell (R-Burke) pulled it from the calendar at the last minute, claiming leadership planned to “improve” the bill, but not telling anyone what the “improvements” might be, suggesting that Republicans might once again be caving to the NCSA.
|IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!|
|With the crossover deadline little more than a month away, your IMMEDIATE action is crucial. Please send three emails and make three phone calls: |
CALL AND EMAIL: NC House Speaker Tim Moore at: (704) 739-1221 (919) 733-3451 Tim.Moore@ncleg.gov
CALL AND EMAIL: NC House Rules Chair Destin Hall at: (919) 733-5931 (919) 733-5931 Destin.Hall@ncleg.gov
CALL AND EMAIL: NC House Judiciary 4 Committee Chair Hugh Blackwell at: (919) 733-5805 (919) 733-5805 Hugh.Blackwell@ncleg.gov
CONTACT INFO Tim.Moore@ncleg.gov; Destin.Hall@ncleg.gov; Hugh.Blackwell@ncleg.gov
|DELIVER THIS MESSAGE|
Suggested Subject: “Enough is enough: Pistol permit obstruction must stop!”
Dear :[Speaker Moore/Rep. ___:]
You must stop obstruction of NC pistol purchase permits and the resulting denial of citizens’ rights by returning House Bill 398 to the House calendar for immediate action.
Using COVID-19 and increased permit applications as an excuse, sheriffs in Wake and Mecklenburg counties, among others, are obstructing pistol purchase permits and concealed handgun permits, often taking months to schedule appointments for applications, even in the face of multiple lawsuits filed by Grass Roots North Carolina and others.
For years, sheriffs have objected to repealing our Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit law – a racist law passed to prevent minorities from buying guns for self-protection. Now we are encountering resistance even to a small and simple change which would allow permit applicants to bypass obstructionist sheriffs by applying in adjacent counties.
Enough is enough. Citizens have been denied their right to purchase handguns for self-protection for entirely too long. In the 2020 elections, gun voters supported you because they expect you to protect and defend the Second Amendment.
It is now time for you to do what we elected you to do by passing House Bill 398. Additionally, please advise me of your position on this issue. I will be monitoring your actions through Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.
The official state motto of North Carolina is Esse Quam Videri. Translated from the Latin it means “To be rather than to seem.” The Republicans in the General Assembly always say they support the Second Amendment and gun rights. If so, now is the time for them to be rather than to seem!