N.C. Gun Law Heads to McCrory's Desk, Jim Crow-Era Handgun Permitting Scheme Intact

North Carolina’s anti-gun Democrats are depressed (and their media allies are subdued) because House Bill 562 (PDF) is on the way to Governor Pat McCrory’s desk, where it will be signed with a tepid hand.


The state Senate kept the status quo Monday night by passing a compromised House version of a hot-topic gun bill, and it will now be sent to the governor.

There has been unanimity among advocates on all sides as the Senate took up the bill. They only asked that lawmakers pass the compromised bill without additional changes.

Sen. Jeff Tarte, a Cornelius Republican, introduced the bill on the floor saying while he understood some wouldn’t be able to vote for it, he asked that no amendments be put forward.

“It is not a stand alone bill in and of itself,” he said. “The primary purpose is to standardize and unify statutes. It clarifies who can use certain guns and in which instances,” Tarte said.

With a 40-9 vote, even some lawmakers who wouldn’t typically be in favor of some provisions of House Bill 562 decided it was a good compromise.

Don’t get me wrong; there is a lot to like in HB 562, including forcing recalcitrant sheriffs to do their due diligence on Title II items such as suppressors and SBRs (previously, the only way to get these items in many N.C. counties was via the unproven-in-court “gun trust” route).

Unfortunately, HB 562 was watered down and prevented from repealing a major social injustice.


Gun prohibitionist groups  such as Moms Demand Action and the North Carolina Sheriffs Association objected to repealing a Jim Crow-era handgun permitting scheme that was originally written to deny blacks the ability to get handgun permits to defend themselves from the Ku Klux Klan. At the time the law was written, this was a self-defense bill for the sheriffs and their deputies, many of whom were law enforcement by day and Klansmen by night in one of the most shameful eras in state history.

Sadly, it seems that mindset hasn’t entirely died yet. Moms Demand Action and other gun prohibitionists rushed to the NCSA’s support, and our state’s skittish Republicans backed away, even after it was proven that the NCSA was lying about the substandard performance of their racist permitting scheme.

Hopefully we’ll be able to do a better job attacking this ugly remnant of N.C’s segregationist past in a future session of the legislature.

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