Gun bill sent to NC House committee over ‘concerns’

North Carolina House lawmakers are weighing a gun bill that could significantly change the laws in North Carolina.

They are working on a bill that would impact how background checks are conducted for people buying guns. A vote on the measure was possible Monday night.

The bill is likely to see a number of amendments. The one measure that has gotten the most attention is the part that would end North Carolina’s pistol permit system.

Early Monday night, the bill was sent to a committee for changes after there were various “concerns.”

The bill is now in the “Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House” committee, where it could see various changes.

Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer, a Mecklenburg County Republican and the bill’s chief sponsor, sought the delay Monday as the measure had been scheduled for a floor vote in the state House.

Schaffer said the legislation has “a lot of moving parts” and needs more work in the rules committee. The bill barely made it out of the rules panel last week by a 14-to-13 vote, with four Republicans voting no.
The bill is also the target of a new political ad. In it, former Wilson County sheriff Wayne Gay, in an ad paid for by Americans for Responsible Solutions.

The bill would require those who buy handguns from licensed dealers to get a background check at that point, rather than a permit from a sheriff.

Josette Chmiel of GrassRoots NC said, “To repeal the pistol purchase permit does not eliminate background checks.”

But Becky Ceartas, executive director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, said, “If you do away with the pistol permitting system, there’s nothing in place that would require somebody, if they buy from an unlicensed dealer, to go through a background check.”

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

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