The North Carolina Senate passed SB 41 by a vote of 29 aye, 19 nay, and 2 excused absences. The bill repeals the pistol purchase permit, closes the church school loophole, and establishes a statewide “safe storage” initiative. There were four weakening amendments proposed by Democrats and all four were tabled.
The pistol purchase permit was repealed in the last session of the General Assembly but it was vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC). His veto was sustained when enough Democrats switched sides to support Cooper. This time the Republicans hold a super-majority in the Senate and only need to pick up one Democrat vote in the House to override the expected veto.
Likewise, a bill closing the church school loophole passed the General Assembly in the last session but was vetoed by Gov. Cooper. The bill, like the current bill that just passed the Senate, would allow churches with private schools on their property to allow carry during non-school and non-extra curricular hours. In other words, if the students are not there, the churches can protect their congregation from evil doers with volunteer armed church security teams. We have seen all too often that churches are targets for those who would do evil such as in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
SB 41 would also establish a firearms safe storage initiative. It would be a collaboration of the Department of Public Safety, the Wildlife Resources Commission, and the Department of Health and Human Services to “launch a two-year statewide firearm safe storage awareness initiative to educate the public about the importance of the safe storage of firearms and to facilitate the distribution of gun locks.” While it would allow the contracting of a third-party entity with relevant expertise such as NSSF’s Project Childsafe, the bill explicitly bans advocacy on behalf of new or revised firearms laws.
Grass Roots North Carolina worked closely with the primary sponsors of the bill, Senators Danny Britt (R-Hoke, Robeson, and Scotland), Warren Daniel (R-Buncombe, Burke, and McDowell) and Jim Perry (R-Beaufort, Craven, and Lenoir), to secure a “clean bill” and build support for it.
GRNC released this statement this afternoon:
RALEIGH] Senate Bill 41 containing both repeal of our archaic Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit law and the provision to allow concealed carry in churches which sponsor schools passed the NC Senate today by an overwhelming margin of 29-19.
The pistol purchase permit repeal, if enacted, will prevent urban sheriffs from abusing the system by arbitrarily denying lawful citizens the ability to buy handguns for self-protection. As an enhancement to public safety, it will mean that background checks for handgun purchases from dealers will be done at the time and point of sale rather than up to five years earlier as they are now.
The provision to allow concealed carry in churches which sponsor schools is widely supported by pastors, several of which testified in favor of the legislation to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Under current law, otherwise lawful concealed carry becomes a Class I felony if the church sponsors a school. The provision in SB 41 will allow concealed handgun permit-holders to carry firearms in those churches provided school curricular or extra-curricular activities are not in session. Although left-leaning media have attempted to claim it would apply to public schools which allow religious groups to meet, in truth the bill exempts properties owned by school boards or county commissions, as well as institutions of higher education.
Said GRNC president Paul Valone:
“Grass Roots North Carolina would like to thank Senate Republicans – particularly Senators Danny Britt, Warren Daniel, Jim Perry, and Ralph Hise – for a highly organized effort in not only passing legislation long sought by North Carolina gun rights supporters, but in deflecting attempts by opponents of the Second Amendment to amend the bill by including various gun control measures. In particular, we thank them for rejecting unconstitutional “red flag” gun confiscation schemes by which people’s guns can be confiscated, with little or no evidence or wrongdoing, in “ex parte” hearings they might not even know take place, denying them due process of law.
“If enacted, the bill will remove yet another of the ostensibly “gun free” zones that attract mass killers. That measure, plus removing obstructions placed by certain sheriffs on the ability of lawful North Carolinians to buy handguns for self-protection, will vastly improve safety in our state.”
Founded in 1994, Grass Roots North Carolina is an all-volunteer 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to preserving individual liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights with emphasis on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.