ATF Is On It!

I just received an automated call from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. It was to inform me that effective March 29th, the North Carolina pistol purchase permit was no longer acceptable as a NICS check substitute given the passage of SB 41 into law.

The message went on to say that existing permits issued before the date of repeal would no longer be accepted in lieu of the NICS check. I guess those prohibited persons who obtained a permit prior to becoming a prohibited are now out of luck.

I received this call because I hold a Curios and Relics FFL. However, as a collector, I am not required to fill out the Form 4473 for a sale nor am I required to do a NICS check. The ATF must have lumped anyone who held any sort of FFL into one big database for the call.

The bottom line is we can be assured that the bureaucrats at ATF are on it! That being said, they have not issued a revised letter advising FFLs that the pistol purchase permit is no longer qualifies as an alternative to a NICS check. The only “Brady letter” for NC on their site is from 1998.

UPDATE: BATFE is into the belt and suspenders approach. In addition to the phone call this morning, they also sent out this email.

This is an important message from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

On November 13, 1998, ATF issued an Open Letter to All North Carolina Federal Firearms Licensees advising them that the North Carolina pistol purchase permit qualifies as an alternative to NICS. On March 29, 2023, North Carolina Senate Bill 41 overcame the North Carolina Governor’s veto and became law that same day. North Carolina Senate Bill 41 repeals GS 14-402, which required the pistol purchase permit to acquire a pistol from an FFL. Additionally, the North Carolina pistol purchase permit is no longer considered an approved NICS alternate permit.

Accordingly, effective March 29, 2023 , North Carolina pistol purchase permits – regardless of when issued – may not be used as an alternative to the NICS background check requirement.

North Carolina’s concealed handgun permits are unaffected by Senate Bill 41 and will continue to serve as an alternative to a NICS check requirement. Please contact your local ATF office if you have additional questions.

Veto Overriden; Pistol Purchase Permit Repealed! (Updated)

The North Carolina House of Representatives joined the Senate in voting to over-ride Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of SB 41. The vote was 71 aye, 46 nay, and 3 absent or not voting. The vote transcript has not been published as of this writing. I will update it later today when it is available.

SB 41 now goes into law. One of the everlasting stains of North Carolina’s segregationist, white surpremacist past is now erased. It only took 104 years. The Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit is now history.

Just as importantly, churches with attached private schools will be able to protect their congregations from those intent on doing evil. On the latter, the carrying of firearms is only allowed with church permission and only at times when students are not present including during extracurricular events.

I will be updating this post throughout the day with reactions.

UPDATE: The breakdown of the vote was finally posted yesterday. All 71 Republicans voted for the override. 46 Democrats voted no and 3 more had excused absences.

As I posted earlier, Carolina Forward wants Dems to eat their own. Interestingly, Rep. Cotham (D-Mecklenburg) says she had previously notified both the Speaker and Minority Leader she would be absent for a hospital procedure. Meanwhile, Rep. Brockman (D-Guilford) was reportedly being seen at an urgent care facility. Rep. Wray was an original sponsor of the repeal and it is thought this was his way of not voting “no”.

Rep. Willingham (D- Bertie, Edgecombe, & Martin) had previously voted for the bill and had said in reference to another bill that even with a veto he stuck by his vote. It is thought that knowing there would be two absences, he could vote no and be let off the hook by the Dems.

Bottom line, Speaker Tim Moore knew one way or another he had the votes going into yesterday morning.

Roy Cooper Issues Expected Veto Of Pistol Purchase Permit Repeal

Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC) is nothing if not consistent in his opposition to removing impediments to gun rights. He issued his veto today of SB 41 which would have repealed the Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit that his own party instituted in 1919. The General Assembly in 1919 had no African-American members and was under the control of Democrats who had regained control in 1900 on a platform of white supremacy. Even today, research shows that African-Americans are denied permits at a much higher rate than whites.

The veto also puts congregations of churches that have attached private schools as risk.

Cooper’s veto message stated, in part:

“Eliminating strong background checks will allow more domestic abusers and other dangerous people to own handguns and reduces law enforcement’s ability to stop them from committing violent crimes. Second Amendment supporting, responsible gun owners know this will put families and communities at risk.”

SB 41 eliminates the current requirement that people have a valid permit from their local sheriff’s office before purchasing or acquiring a handgun. Under SB 41, sheriffs will lose the authority to issue or deny these permits based on criminal background checks and determining the safety and character of applicants.

The legislation removes sheriffs’ authority to refuse a permit based on signs of mental illness, domestic abuse incidents that might not be captured in a national database, or other indicators that a person could be a danger to themselves or others.

The bill also allows guns on some school properties, increasing the chances that children can find or access firearms at a time where gun offenses and suicides among North Carolina children is increasing.

Not stated in the veto message was the fact that the North Carolina Sheriffs Association did not object to passage of the repeal. Moreover, it is disingenuous to assume that a sheriff in a county as large as Wake, Mecklenburg, or Guilford – all of which have populations greater than half a million – knows everyone in his or her county that is mentally ill or doesn’t possess “good moral character.” Furthermore, the veto message ignores the restrictions in the bill that only allows possession of firearms on church property when students are not present. As such, it puts congregations with attached private schools at risk as they cannot protect themselves with volunteer church security teams.

Paul Valone, president of Grass Roots North Carolina, was quick to respond.

“As we predicted, anti-freedom Governor Roy Cooper wasted no time attacking the rights of gun owners. Worse, he attacked the ability of church-goers to protect themselves from attacks on religious institutions that are becoming all too common.

“It will be with great pleasure that GRNC will work to over-ride his veto of SB 41. Given that the bill passed by veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature, we have every confidence that we will deliver defeat to his doorstep.”

Unlike in past sessions of the General Assembly, an override of this veto stands a better than even chance of passage. The Republicans hold a veto-proof majority in the Senate and only need one Democrat to stick with their original vote or to be absent for it to pass in the House. The rules adopted in the House now allow Speaker Tim Moore to call for an override vote without notice which is an advantage here.

If you are a North Carolinian, I would urge you to contact your representative or senator and demand they override the veto. Do this even if you live in a district like I do where your state senator is a Constitutionally-ignorant, gun control advocate.

Pistol Purchase Permit Repeal Passes NC House

The North Carolina House of Representatives passed the omnibus SB41 yesterday by a vote of 70 aye, 44 nay, and 6 excused absences. Four of the excused were Republicans. The enrolled bill now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk. It is anticipated that Cooper will veto the bill in keeping with the wishes of his anti-gun masters. To override, all Republicans in the Senate must vote for the override and all House Republicans plus one House Democrat. An absent Democrat or two on the day of the override vote will work as well.

The bill, as noted earlier, repeals the Jim Crow-inspired pistol purchase permit, allows churches with attached private schools to allow carry when students are not present, and launches a statewide safe storage initiative for firearms that cannot advocate for gun control.

Paul Valone, President of Grass Roots North Carolina, issued this statement on the passage of the bill:

“In passing Senate Bill 41, today was a great victory for the Second Amendment. GRNC wishes to thank Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, as well as sponsors and “main movers” of the bill including Sens. Danny Britt; Warren Daniel; and Jim Perry; and Reps. Destin Hall; Jay Adams; Hugh Blackwell; Allen Chesser; Kyle Hall; Bobby Hanig; Kelly Hastings; Neal Jackson; Keith Kidwell; Jeff, McNeely; Ben Moss; Mark Pless; Jason Saine; Carson Smith; plus Democrats who stood courageously: Marvin Lucas, Michael Wray, and Shelly Willingham, and finally the many others whose co-sponsorship and votes who made the victory possible. GRNC particularly thanks our members and supporters, whose thousands of emails and phone calls made this victory inevitable. We are confident that we will over-ride the inevitable veto by anti-freedom Governor Roy Cooper. Very soon, we will release more details of the vicious floor fight waged by Democrats to stop the bill, and the well-managed efforts Republican leadership used to stop it.”

There has been no whiny response as of yet from Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Giffords, NCGV, or the rest of the gun control industry. They are still reveling in the virtually meaningless executive actions by President Biden and Gov. Roy Cooper.

Pistol Purchase Permit Repeal Passes NC Senate

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.