Imagine a pro-gun lawmaker in the midst of a fight on permitless carry claimed he had a report that proved definitively that requiring carry permits resulted in twice as many murders as constitutional carry, only for it to turn out such a report never existed. We all know good and well that such a lawmaker would be eviscerated in the media and potentially face some kind of disciplinary action.
Well, it seems that a North Carolina legislator did something kind of did something similar.
The only difference is that she allegedly did it from the anti-Second Amendment side.
Gun rights advocacy group Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) is calling on Senate Leader Phil Berger to discipline state Sen. Natasha Marcus (D-Mecklenburg) for alleged false claims made during a floor debate about the state’s pistol purchase permit system.
Grass Roots North Carolina has sued two sheriff offices over failure to process and issue pistol permits and concealed carry permits in the last year. The organization is an all-volunteer 501(c)(4) “dedicated to preserving individual liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights with emphasis on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.” It was founded in 1994.
The group is calling for Marcus to be disciplined under Article II, Section 20 of the North Carolina Constitution (Powers of the General Assembly) and citing a Jan. 9, 2008, North Carolina House of Representatives memo titled “Authority of Legislative Bodies to Discipline Members.”
In a press release, GRNC says they found “conclusive documentation” that during debate on the Senate floor regarding House Bill 398, Marcus made false claims of having proof that repealing the purchase permit system would result in handguns purchased by unqualified buyers who pass the FBI computerized background check but otherwise “failed the permit application.”
Now, Marcus’ efforts weren’t successful. The bill passed, only to be vetoed by the governor.
Still, the claim is significant…and wrong.
While a local official issuing a permit may be privy to information that hasn’t made it into the NICS database such as pending charges or what have you, it’s unlikely there is a whole lot of people in North Carolina who can clear a NICS check but are actually prohibited people.
Yes, it happens, but it’s pretty rare.
Marcus made her alleged claims in an effort to try and scuttle the bill. Now, Grass Roots North Carolina wants her punished for lying in such a manner. I get where they’re coming from, too.
See, Marcus was trying to leverage her alleged lie into a defeat of a pro-Second Amendment bill, one that would repeal a Jim Crow-era regulation that was originally intended to keep black people disarmed. She couldn’t defeat it with facts, so she allegedly resorted to outright fabrications.
The question is, will anything happen?
Personally, I’m skeptical. Even if everyone agreed she lied, I’m just not sure the legislature would want to sanction one of their own for something like that. Especially since it’s inevitable that someone will try to use it on the majority’s side at some point or another. That’s likely a rabbit hole no one wants to go down.
Still, it’s important to call attention to these kinds of shenanigans. They shouldn’t be happening.
On the other hand, we shouldn’t be surprised that they are.