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the following statements today after successfully removing a gun lobby-backed provision out of HB 562 that would have repealed North Carolina’s requirement that all handgun buyers first pass a criminal background check and obtain a pistol permit—and made it easy for prohibited people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.