Back on June 16th, 34 Republican members of the NC House joined with all 43 Democrat members on an amendment to HB 562 that not only kept the racist Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit system but doubled down by adding back the “good moral character” verbiage. This was Amendment Five proposed by Rep. Allen McNeill (R-Randolph). If asked, those 34 Republicans would have said that they were just supporting law enforcement. After all, the amendment was proposed by Rep. McNeill who had been the Chief Deputy in the Randolph County Sheriffs’ Department before being elected to the General Assembly.
It just so happened that keeping the pistol purchase permit system alive was also the primary goal of every gun prohibitionist group out there. Both Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors and Americans for Responsible Solutions (sic) put up big bucks on ad campaigns urging people to contact their legislators to “save background checks”. The Brady Campaign was sending text messages and emails left and right.
Earlier this week, Bloomberg’s group Everytown sent out this press release saying they had beaten the “gun lobby”.
Another NRA Defeat: North Carolina Moms Successfully Defend Handgun Background Check Requirement From Gun Lobby-Backed Repeal Effort
July 27, 2015 By press
NC Legislature Rejects Gun Lobby Attempt to Repeal Background Checks for Handgun Buyers
RALEIGH, NC – The North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statements today after successfully removing a gun lobby-backed provision out of HB 562 that would have repealed North Carolina’s requirement that all handgun buyers first pass a criminal background check and obtain a pistol permit—and made it easy for prohibited people to buy a handgun from an unlicensed, private seller with no questions asked.
Statement from Sarah Green, volunteer Chapter Leader of the North Carolina Chapter of Moms Demand Action:
“Moms were loud and clear this year – we won’t allow the NRA to put North Carolinians in danger by gutting our state’s handgun background check requirement. We’re pleased that the legislature stood with the 87 percent of North Carolinians who support background checks instead of the gun lobby. Moms will continue to fight for sensible public safety measures that keep guns out of dangerous hands and save lives.”
Statement from Kim Yaman, a volunteer with the North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action. Yaman, a mother and grandmother who lives in Cary and, along with her two young children, was a witness to the mass shooting at the University of Iowa:
“I am gratified that so many North Carolinians stood up for common sense and convinced legislators to keep our state’s background check requirement in place. Despite the gun lobby’s best efforts, North Carolina will remain one of the 18 states that requires background checks on all handgun sales, and all of us in the Tar Heel State will be safer as a result.”
Earlier today, the Legislature passed a version of HB 562 that did not include that dangerous repeal provision, following a months-long campaign led by a coalition of moms, law enforcement, and the more than 130,000 Everytown supporters in the state who urged lawmakers to keep North Carolina’s background check requirement in place.
Over the course of months, Moms held nine events at the Capitol, made nearly 1,000 phone calls into legislators’ offices, and delivered more than 17,000 petition signatures and emails to legislators demanding they keep North Carolina’s background check requirement in place.
In May, Everytown aired ads statewide highlighting the broad consensus among North Carolinians against HB 562. The ad featured polling paid for by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund showing that 87 percent of North Carolinians support background checks on all handgun sales and a letter from the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association urging the Legislature not to repeal the state’s background check law. The bill would have allowed felons and other people prohibited from having guns to buy handguns from unlicensed sellers online or at gun shows, with no background check and no questions asked. When Missouri made this same mistake in 2007, gun homicides in that state spiked by 25 percent.
North Carolina is one of 18 states (plus the District of Columbia) that requires background checks not just for sales by licensed gun dealers, but also for handgun buyers that buy from unlicensed sellers. An earlier version of HB 562 sought to remove North Carolina from that group, and had it become law, dangerous people would have been able to meet a stranger online and buy a handgun with no questions asked. Just last month, the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action defeated similar gun lobby-backed legislation in Iowa that would have repealed the state’s background check requirement and put Iowans at risk.
Here are the names of the 34 Republican members of the NC House who sided with the gun banners:
Representative(s): Avila; Blackwell; Boles; Brawley; Bryan; Daughtry; Davis; Dobson; Faircloth; Fraley; Holloway; Horn; Howard; Hurley; Iler; Jeter; L. Johnson; Lambeth; Langdon; Malone; McElraft; McGrady; McNeill; Pendleton; R. Turner; Riddell; Robinson; Ross; Stam (CHAIR); Stevens; Tine; Warren; Watford; Zachary
The Gang of 34 would have you believe that they are true blue supporters of the Second Amendment. They would say they were supporting law enforcement and not voting for gun control. They would point to their rankings by the NRA-PVF and the coveted NRA endorsement as evidence of this. Out of the 34, 30 were endorsed and 27 had an A/AQ or better rating.
That’s all well and good but you still sold out gun rights and gun rights supporters. Many of these representatives are in safe seats. 15 out of the 34 had no opposition in the 2014 General Election. They probably think they are invulnerable. I wonder how many of their supporters would be cool with their representative being on the same side as the gun banners. Given the districts that most of the Gang of 34 represent, I’d wager not many. If I were a gun rights supporter who lived in one of their districts and I had a solid resume (and deep pockets), I’d seriously consider running against them in the primary. I would not be surprised to see just that.