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Following Governor Roy Cooper’s Veto, Moms Demand Action and Student Demand Action Volunteers Condemn North Carolina State Senate for Voting to Override the Veto and  Repeal the Handgun Background Check 

March 28, 2023

Former Republican Governor Pat McCrory Recently Said North Carolina’s Pistol Permit System Should Stay in Place, Highlighting Bipartisan Opposition to the Veto Override

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 condemning the North Carolina Senate’s action to override North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of 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 the authority to deny permits to people who could be a threat to public safety, including those who would pose a risk of harm to themselves or others with a handgun. This veto of SB 41 comes just one day following a mass school shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. The bill will now go to the House for a vote.

“Even as we grieve the lives taken in yesterday’s shooting in Nashville, the North Carolina State Senate has sided with the gun lobby to weaken our gun laws and put our communities at greater risk of gun violence,” said Sylvia Burns, a volunteer with the North Carolina Moms Demand Action. “As both an advocate and a mother, I am outraged at what North Carolina Republicans are willing to do to pander to gun extremists and their gun lobby allies. We look forward to working with him and our gun sense champions in the House 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 If moved through the House and repealed, the state would create a loophole between state and federal gun laws in which a person would be able to purchase handguns at gun shows or from strangers they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, and no questions asked. 

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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