Murder On UNC Campus

On Monday afternoon, a Ph.D. graduate student from China murdered Prof. Zijie Yan on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Yan was an associate professor in the Department of Applied Physical Science and a noted expert in nanoscience. He was both the murderer’s advisor as well as co-author with him on a number of academic publications. No other students or faculty were targeted or harmed.

Was this a school shooting? I guess you could say it was only in the strictest sense as the location of the murder was on the university campus. Given the personal nature of this murder, it could have taken place anywhere.

Notwithstanding the personal nature of this murder, Everytown, Moms Demand Action, and Students Demand Action had issued a press release on it by 8pm Monday evening. The press release was a data dump of statistics and other data that had no relevance to the murder on campus. It was also an attack on the Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly for overriding Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the repeal of the pistol purchase permit.

From the press release:

This past session, North Carolina passed a dangerous bill that repealed the background check requirement for unlicensed handgun sales. The bill was vetoed by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, but then overridden by the legislature.

The pistol purchase permit was a Jim Crow-era law that was designed to prevent blacks from purchasing handguns. It was issued by the sheriff of the applicant’s county and was good for 5 years. Unlike the NICS check system that is constantly updated, once a person had the permit, he or she could commit a disqualifying crime yet still walk into a gun store and purchase a firearm. Yes it would be illegal and they would be lying on the Form 4473 but they could obtain a firearm. Thus, you have the gun control industry complaining about the repeal of an ineffective law that came into being in order to further solidify the racist, white supremacist regime of early 20th century NC Democrats.

Another press release solidified this line of attack on the pistol purchase permit and noted they would be protesting along with the UNC College Democrats.

The walkouts come in response to a legislative session where Republican lawmakers passed a law to repeal background checks on handguns, which Governor Roy Cooper vetoed but the legislature overrode. The bill, SB41, repealed the pistol purchase permit, effectively creating a loophole between state and federal gun laws in which a person would be able to purchase handguns at gun shows or from strangers they meet online with no background check, no questions asked.

Given the overwhelming majority of handgun purchases at any gun show which I’ve attended have been with FFL’s who do run a NICS check, this is bullshit.

What this hyperbole ignores is in working to create the impression that if only the evil Republicans cared less about constitutional rights and more about gun control then the murder of Prof. Yan would not have happened. The killer has been charged with both murder and possession of a firearm on a university campus. As of now, police still have not recovered the pistol used by the murderer. It has been described as a 9mm but who knows. Thus, we do not know how he obtained the firearm.

These leads to another law that the killer is assumed to have broken. As he was a Chinese national in the United States on a student visa, he was considered legally a nonimmigrant alien. Unless he met a specific exemption, he was not allowed to possess or purchase either a firearm or ammunition. We don’t know if he possessed a hunting license which was have been a valid exception. Further, to be honest, the law is not clear on whether possession of a firearm by a non-immigrant alien who meets the valid exception pertains to all firearms or merely to long guns.

The bottom line here is the repeal of the pistol purchase permit is irrelevant. Further, for all the wailing and gnashing of teeth, cries that I was scared due to the campus lockdown, and who is going to protect us, this was a targeted murder whose location just happened to be on the UNC campus and could have been anywhere.

Everytown Confuses NC with NY

Bloomberg’s Everytown sent out an email this morning with comments from Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action on the repeal of the pistol purchase permits. Beyond the fact that it is the usual pearl-clutching drivel, it is amusing how they refer to the North Carolina legislative body that passed the repeal.

From the email:

The North Carolina chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action released the following statement after the North Carolina Assembly followed the Senate and voted to advance HB50 — a dangerous piece of legislation that would repeal the state’s background check requirement which has been on the books in North Carolina since 1919, and which requires a person to obtain a permit before they can legally buy a handgun. The permitting system also provides local sheriffs with authority to deny permits to people who would pose a threat to public safety with a handgun.

New York’s lower house is called the Assembly. North Carolina’s is the House of Representatives. The only “assembly” in North Carolina is the General Assembly which is the term for the combined bodies of the House and Senate.

A real grassroots organization would have been aware of the difference. As it is, Everytown is an astroturf organization that is run top down and not bottom up.

NC House Passes Pistol Purchase Permit Repeal

The North Carolina House of Representatives passed HB50 yesterday on a straight party-line vote. The vote was 67 aye, 48 nay, and 5 excused. No Democrat voted for the the repeal of the pistol purchase permit.

This now goes to the Senate which has passed the repeal as part of an omnibus bill.

When this bill finally is sent to Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC) for signature, you can expect a veto. The difference between last session and this session is that the rules have changed. Under the new rule of the House, the Speaker can call for an override vote at any time. This means all he has to do is make sure every Republican is there and 1-2 Democrats are absent.

I don’t know the timeline yet for when HB50 and SB51 will be reconciled.

Liberty Doll Gets It On NC’s Pistol Purchase Permits

YouTuber Liberty Doll released a new video a couple of days ago about North Carolina’s pistol purchase permit and the drive to repeal that law. I am really happy to see someone with her following – approximately 250,000 subscribers – pick up on the efforts to pass SB 41 in the face of Democrat opposition.

There are only two clarifications that I would make after watching her video. First, only handguns currently require a purchase permit with an exemption from the requirement for those that hold NC Concealed Handgun Permits. Second, on church carry, it only applies to non-public K-12 schools that are also places of worship.

I’m not sure where Liberty Doll is located but I am glad she has joined the fight to rid North Carolina of these laws.

GRNC And GOA Win Against Mecklenburg Sheriff

Pistol purchase permits in North Carolina should be you go to the sheriff’s office, fill out a form, pay your $5, wait 15 minutes while they run you against those in the databases, and you walk out with your permit. However, that was not the way it was happening in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Sheriff Gary McFadden was taking upwards of a year to process some purchase permits as well as on NC Concealed Handgun Permits. He was using the pandemic as an excuse.

As a result, McFadden got sued and now a preliminary injunction is forcing him to start processing permits without further delays. This is a great win for the combination of Grass Roots North Carolina and Gun Owners of America who worked together on this.

From GRNC:

Release date:            May 9, 2022

Judge Orders Mecklenburg Sheriff to Issue Handgun Permits  Sheriff Garry McFadden enjoined by Court from delaying handgun permits

[Charlotte] In response to litigation filed by Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) and Gun Owners of America (GOA) over delays in handgun permits, a Superior Court judge has issued a preliminary injunction enjoining Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden from further delays.

Says the order:

“…the Court concludes as a matter of law Plaintiffs have shown a likelihood of success on the merits and are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of injunctive relief…”

The order enjoins McFadden from: 1.    Failing to process pistol purchase permit applications within the 14 days required by North Carolina statute; 2.    Failing to process concealed handgun permit applications within the 45 days required by statute; 3.    Failing to request mental health records to process concealed handgun applications within 10 days as required by statute; and 4.    Failing to process fingerprints for concealed handgun permits within 5 business days.

To see the order, go to:

Statement from GRNC president Paul Valone:

“In violation of North Carolina law, Sheriff Garry McFadden has been dragging his feet in processing North Carolina pistol purchase permits and concealed handgun permits, often taking up to a year to issue permits and preventing lawful North Carolinians from buying and carrying handguns for defense of themselves and their families.

“We believe this order sends a clear message to sheriffs in Guilford, Mecklenburg and Wake counties, among others, that obstructing lawful citizens from exercising the right to keep and bear arms will no longer be tolerated. To ensure compliance by a sheriff who has so far dragged his feet, Grass Roots North Carolina advises anyone whose fingerprints are not taken with five business days of completing a concealed handgun application to contact us immediately.”

“GRNC thanks Attorney Ron Shook for volunteering his time to litigate this case for our members. Ron is one of our ‘gun-friendly lawyers and helps people state-wide in fighting for their Second Amendment rights. Ron’s contact information can be found on our website under the ‘gun-friendly’ lawyers tab.”


For years, GRNC has received complaints from Mecklenburg County residents over unlawful delays in issuing pistol purchase permits and concealed handgun permits. Because all handgun transfers in North Carolina require either a pistol purchase permit or concealed handgun permit, lawful North Carolinians are being prevented from protecting their families at precisely the moment that violent crime is exploding around the country.

For more information: 

Natasha Marcus Finds GRNC Takes No Prisoners

You may remember NC State Senator Natasha Marcus (D-Mecklenburg). She is the senator who contended that North Carolina’s pistol purchase permit system was not racist despite its origins and its disparate impact on African-Americans. In her floor debate, she also made the claim that the law stopped more than 2,300 permits from being issued in her county despite having passed a NICS check.

It was an outrageous claim and not surprising coming from someone proudly claiming to be a member of Moms Demand Action.

Using both FOIA requests and multiple letters to Sen. Marcus, Grass Roots North Carolina found that her claims were, as the saying goes, made out of whole cloth. In other words, she made it up.

Grass Roots North Carolina is now asking that she receive formal discipline by the North Carolina Senate for her false claims.

From GRNC:

Group Demands Disciplinary Action 

Against Sen. Natasha Marcus

NC State Senator propagates falsehood during floor 

debate over purchase permit repeal bill

[Raleigh] Grass Roots North Carolina today demanded disciplinary action by Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger against Mecklenburg County Senator Natasha Marcus after finding conclusive documentation that during the Senate floor debate over House Bill 398 (“Repeal Purchase Permits”), Marcus falsely claimed to have proof that repealing the purchase permit system would result in handguns purchased by unqualified buyers who pass the FBI computerized background check but otherwise “failed the permit application.”

FOIA requests to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff Office (MCSO) now conclusively demonstrate that the numbers claimed by Marcus are false, demonstrating that she mislead her colleagues and constituents alike during debate over the bill.

Below is the letter delivered today to Sen. Berger demanding formal disciplinary action under Article II, Section 20 of the North Carolina Constitution. Copies of the letter from MCSO documenting the falsehood as well as the legal memo from GRNC Director of Legal Affairs Ed Green are available upon request.


September 8, 2021

The Honorable Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore

16 West Jones Street, Room 2007

Raleigh, NC 27601

Dear Senator Berger:

Grass Roots North Carolina has now received conclusive proof that in the August 18, 2021 Senate floor debate over House Bill 398 (“Repeal Purchase Permits”), Sen. Natasha Marcus used false information to  attack the bill. 

As documented in the recording we have posted at, Marcus claimed background checks for pistol purchase permits (PPPs) are supposedly superior to those conducted under the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System (NICS), saying:

“In Mecklenburg County, in the last fiscal year, over 2,300 permit applications passed the NICS background check but failed the permit application. So if this bill passed, all 2,300 plus of those applicants will now have a new unrestricted pass to purchase a handgun…”

That assertion is false. As outlined in the attached letter from Mecklenburg County Sheriff Office Public Information Manager Janet Parker in response to a FOIA request by GRNC Director of Legal Affairs Ed Green, the number of permit denials claimed by Marcus is not of people who passed NICS but were denied by Sheriff Garry McFadden; in fact, it represents all permit denials for the fiscal year 2021, including those denied via NICS.

When questioned on the source of her information, Marcus failed to provide the data for eight days, claiming that her unspecified “source” was gathering documentation. Only in response to my open letter to the Senate did she claim the information was provided by Permitium, LLC lobbyist Andy Munn in a series of text messages for which she provided screen images.

When called out publicly, Marcus doubled down on her claim, saying: 

“You will see that the texts confirm exactly what I said on the floor: More than 2,300 permits were denied in Mecklenburg County during the last fiscal year due to issues that became apparent AFTER the applicant had passed a NICS check.  This proves that the permit check system is neither duplicative nor unnecessary. It is an important tool to keep handguns away from dangerous and unstable people and it saves lives.  Your efforts to eliminate it are reckless.”

But referencing the number of denials claimed (2,379) to have passed NICS but “failed the permit application”, MCSO’s Public Information Manager responded:

“The number of PPP application denials in your request appears to represent the total number of denials (or very close to the actual total) for the entire fiscal year, including denials based on NICS disqualifiers. MCSO does not keep records distinguishing reasons for denial contained within NICS and reasons for 

denial outside of NICS. Nor does the MCSO keep easily accessible records that indicate all of the reasons for a PPP application denial when there are multiple reasons for denying a single application.”

Facts about Mecklenburg County pistol purchase permit denials:

  • MCSO does not keep the statistic claimed by Marcus: Permitium lobbyist Andy Munn could not tell Marcus how many passed NICS but failed the application because MCSO does not enter or store that information.
  • Marcus’ claim covers all denials, including those stopped by NICS: The total number of denials was 2,378 including those stopped by NICS – one less than Marcus claimed “passed the NICS background check but failed the permit application.”
  • The denials do not mean 2,378 people couldn’t purchase handguns: Some reasons for denial, such as failure to pay the permit fee or sign the release, or failure to provide previously requested documentation, were probably cured in a subsequent application that resulted in issuance of a PPP.
  • Denials included 426 who weren’t residents of Mecklenburg County: These applicants were likely eligible to own firearms but simply applied in the wrong county.

Sen. Marcus should be held to account:

Because effective public policy relies on accurate, honest information, propagating false information to colleagues and constituents represents serious misconduct, particularly when the falsehoods are uttered in a floor debate to mislead legislative colleagues with respect to legislation under debate.

Accordingly, please consider this a request by Grass Roots North Carolina for Senate leadership to formally discipline Senator Natasha Marcus as authorized under Article II, Section 20 of the North Carolina Constitution, the authority for which is outlined in a January 9, 2008 North Carolina House of Representatives memo entitled “Authority of Legislative Bodies to Discipline Members.” 


F. Paul Valone

President, Grass Roots North Carolina

Executive Director, Rights Watch International

Radio host, Guns, Politics and Freedom

Gov. “Jim Crow” Cooper Vetoes Repeal of Jim Crow Law

As most of us expected, Gov. Roy “Jim Crow” Cooper (D-NC) vetoed HB 398 which would have repealed the 1919 pistol permit purchase law. That law was enacted by an all white, all Democrat, white supremacist General Assembly within months of a riot involving African-American WW I vets demanding their rights. The co-sponsor of the bill, Sen. Earle A. Humphreys (D-Goldsboro), was the brother-in-law of US Sen. Furnifold Simmons who was the architect of the Democrat’s white supremacy campaign begun in 1898.

It was men like these veterans who terrified the white supremacists. They had been to war, they had defeated the Kaiser, and they had seen Paris so to speak.

National Archives

In his veto message to the General Assembly, Cooper said:

“Gun permit laws reduce gun homicides and suicides and reduce the availability of guns for criminal activity. At a time of rising gun violence, we cannot afford to repeal a system that works to save lives. The legislature should focus on combating gun violence instead of making it easier for guns to end up in the wrong hands.”

Bear in mind that the repeal of the law was endorsed by the North Carolina Sheriffs Association and that all sales of handguns from dealer go through a NICS check by the FBI. Indeed, once in possession of a pistol purchase permit which is good for five years, there is nothing to stop either a felon or someone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor from purchasing a handgun from a dealer or a private individual. The pistol purchase permit substitutes for a NICS check and would cover up the lie told by the convicted individual.

The law still requires the sheriff of the county to attest to the “good moral character” of the applicant. In counties with hundreds of thousands of residents or even a million plus, can Cooper and those opposed to the repeal of this law honestly say the sheriff really knows the residents enough to attest to “good moral character”? I think not.

As research on the application of the law in North Carolina’s most populous county – Wake – shows, blacks are still much more likely to be denied a permit than whites. Thus, while laws that are supported by both black and whites regarding voter ID are called discriminatory and “Jim Crow”, an actual Jim Crow law designed by its sponsors to discriminate against blacks and which it still does is vetoed.

A friend elsewhere commented that the pistol purchase permit is nothing but a poll tax on an enumerated right. He was right. The 24th Amendment to the US Constitution eliminated the poll tax for voting but Cooper’s action today keeps it in place with regard to the Second Amendment.

UPDATE: Paul Valone, President of Grass Roots North Carolina, released this statement on Cooper’s veto of HB 398:

“By vetoing House Bill 398 to repeal our Jim Crow-era pistol purchase system, Governor Roy Cooper has made it clear he places political posturing above actually taking action to eradicate racism. He has also shown that he doesn’t care about the thousands of North Carolinians who, amid civil unrest and “defund police” measures, have decided to buy guns to defend their families but are being obstructed by urban sheriffs who violate the law by delaying permits.

“Most ironic is Cooper’s claim that he vetoed the bill due to increasing ‘gun violence’ when, in truth, violent crime had been declining for decades until his own party caused urban homicide rates to skyrocket. Grass Roots North Carolina will be doing its dead level best to over-ride Cooper’s veto while showing the people of North Carolina exactly who their governor really is.”

Historical Ignorance Is No Excuse

As philosopher George Santayana wrote, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Taken a step further, historical ignorance is no excuse for opposing a law meant to write a wrong.

In this case, it is the 1919 law originally entitled “an act to regulate the sale of concealed weapons in North Carolina.” Both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly have voted to repeal this law and have sent HB 398 to the governor’s desk where it is likely to be vetoed.

One of the leading opponents of the repeal is Sen. Natasha Marcus (D-Mecklenburg). A lawyer and community organizer, Marcus proudly proclaims her membership in Moms Demand Action. She is a graduate of Hamilton College in New York and the Duke University School of Law.

From Marcus campaign website

In her opposition to the repeal, the AP reports this:

The local pistol permit requirement began in 1919 during the Jim Crow era, and some bill supporters argue it’s still preventing law-abiding black residents from obtaining weapons. But a local NAACP leader spoke against the bill earlier Wednesday, and Marcus said such opposition is evidence to her that the current permitting system isn’t racist.

Just because a local NAACP leader spoke against the repeal does not confer racial neutrality upon the law. I’m sure if Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R-NC) who is black had condemned the existing law as discriminatory and based upon a desire for white supremacy – which it was – that Sen. Marcus would ignore it and call Lt. Gov. Robinson just a tool of the NRA.

For Sen. Marcus’ edification and education, here are some links that illustrate the history as well as the disparate impact of the law:

By historian Clayton Cramer – North Carolina’s Permit to Purchase Law: The Rumble Seat of Gun Control Laws?

By Nicholas Gallo in the North Carolina Law Review – Misfire: How the North Carolina Pistol Purchase Permit System Misses the Mark of Constitutional Muster and Effectiveness

Finally, a couple from myself – “An Act to Regulate the Sale of Concealed Weapons in North Carolina” – Part I and “An Act to Regulate the Sale of Concealed Weapons in North Carolina” – Part II

I do not hold the fact that Sen. Marcus was born and bred in New York against her. My mother was born and raised in New York and Paul Valone who has been tireless in the fight to overturn this Jim Crow law is also a New York native.

I do hold her ignorance of North Carolina history against her. I also find it contemptuous that she uses the testimony of a NAACP leader as her justification for saying the law is not racist. To be perfectly frank, she couldn’t care less whether it was or was not racist. All that matters to her is that it is gun control of which she is a card carrying supporter.