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Following Advocacy by North Carolina Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers, Governor Roy Cooper Vetoes Legislation to Repeal Handgun Background Check 

March 24, 2023

Since the Introduction of SB 41, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers Have been on Forefront of Urging Lawmakers to Reject this Dangerous Legislation that Would Worsen Gun Violence in the State.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Today, the North Carolina chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement applauding North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper for vetoing SB 41, legislation to repeal the background check requirement for purchasing a handgun. The life-saving handgun background check law has been on the books in North Carolina since 1919,  providing sheriffs with authority to deny permits to people who could be a threat to public safety, including those who would pose a risk of harm to self or others with a handgun.  

“As advocates, we are proud to see Governor Cooper take this action today, but as parents we’re relieved by this administration’s commitment to protecting our communities,” said Kari Procton, a volunteer with the North Carolina Moms Demand Action. “North Carolina should be working to prevent the next tragedy, not causing it. We applaud Governor Cooper for honoring his oath and taking decisive action in the fight to end gun violence. Now, we look forward to working with him and our gun sense champions in the legislature to uphold this veto and find common-sense solutions that protect all North Carolinians from gun violence.” 

Proponents of repealing the pistol purchase permit system have misleadingly argued that federal officials will still conduct background checks on handgun sales—but that’s only true for sales from licensed dealers. If repealed, the state would create a loophole between state and federal gun laws where a person would be able to purchase handguns firearms at gun shows or from strangers they meet online with no background check, and no questions asked. 

Governor Cooper’s veto of SB 41 comes as his administration recently announced the signing of an executive order establishing the state Office of Violence Prevention. The new office, under the Department of Public Safety, will coordinate efforts across state agencies and partner with local leaders to reduce gun violence in North Carolina. 

For decades North Carolina has benefited from relatively strong gun laws, however this current effort by lawmakers could result in higher rates of gun violence, not seen in the past century in the state. In an average year, 1,588 people die by guns in North Carolina, and 3,530 more are wounded. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in North Carolina. More information on gun violence in North Carolina is available here. To speak to a North Carolina volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please reach out to [email protected]

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