As the North Carolina legislature returns to Raleigh for the start of the 2022 legislative session today, lawmakers will once again have the opportunity to pass life-saving gun safety bills. 2021 was marked by staggering levels of gun violence fueled by the gun lobby’s “guns everywhere” agenda. Across the nation, we saw record homicide numbers in some cities and historic levels of gunfire on school grounds, a trend that we’ve seen play out in North Carolina schools.
Gun violence continues to plague communities all across North Carolina. Just this past Sunday, a string of shootings in Winston-Salem left seven people wounded. Earlier this month, one person was shot and wounded at Hanes Mall, and a shootout in Durham County forced a school bus full of children off the road. In March, three people were killed and three more were wounded in a shooting at a Fayetteville hotel. These tragedies only scratch the surface of the gun violence impacting North Carolinians on a daily basis and underscore the state’s urgent need for gun violence solutions.
Despite high levels of gun violence across the state, lawmakers have continuously made concerted efforts to weaken the state’s gun laws. Just last year, the legislature passed a bill that
would have repealed North Carolina’s pistol purchase permit requirement, which requires every person to pass a background check before buying a handgun, even from an unlicensed seller. This year, to keep North Carolina safe, lawmakers must prioritize a gun safety agenda — starting with funding Violence Intervention Programs which have been shown to reduce gun violence in some of the most heavily impacted communities.