The North Carolina House of Representatives passed H398 yesterday which repeals the state’s Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit. The repeal passed on a vote of 69-48 with three absences. The bill had the support of the NC Sheriffs’ Association.
Grass Roots North Carolina which has fought for the repeal for years released this statement:
By a vote of 69-48, today the NC House passed H. 398 to repeal our Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit system. Having passed one chamber before next week’s crossover deadline, the bill remains alive for action in the Senate. Grass Roots North Carolina has been the main advocate for the bill, having worked for nearly twenty years to repeal the archaic law.
GRNC president Paul Valone said, “Today, the North Carolina General Assembly has taken a step toward abolishing a vestige of the Jim Crow era which is being used by a small number of sheriffs to obstruct citizens from protecting their families, as well as bringing gun purchase background checks into the 21st Century. GRNC would like to thank primary bill sponsor Rep. Jay Adams and Republican leadership. We would also like to thank the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association for its support.”
Looking at the breakdown of the vote, you had two Democrats and 67 Republicans voting for passage while 47 Democrats and one Republican opposed passage. The Democrats supporting passage of the bill were Rep. Shelly Willingham (D-Martin/Edgecombe), an African-American, and Rep. Michael Wray (D-Halifax/Northampton). The lone Republican who opposed the repeal was Rep. Dudley Greene (R-Avery/McDowell/Mitchell) who had previously served as sheriff of McDowell County.
My own representative, Rep. Brian Turner (D-Buncombe), is more concerned about allowing you to walk around downtown Asheville with a drink in your hands than about repealing a bill that was meant to discriminate against blacks. As The Animals sang in 1965, we gotta get out of this place!
If you live in North Carolina, go here to see if your representative thinks you still should be living under a law that was intended to curtail the rights of African-Americans or not.