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Bill to End NC’s Concealed Carry Permit Shelved – For Now

Source: AP

North Carolina Republicans’ efforts to eliminate the requirement of a permit for carrying a concealed handgun have been sidelined, at least for now. While the measure sailed through two House committees with ease, it’s now doubtful that the bill will be passed this legislative session after the planned House floor vote on it was canceled, according to AP

The NC Constitutional Carry Act (House Bill 189) would make it optional for people to go through the permitting process, which includes firearms training, the teaching of relevant state gun laws, a background check and fingerprinting.

In addition, the state’s concealed carry (CCW) law that says you must be at least 21 years old to carry a concealed weapon would be lowered so that teenagers would legally be allowed to carry a hidden, loaded firearm with them.

The North Carolina Sheriff’s Association came out against the proposed bill and studies have concluded that weakening or removing CCW permitting requirements is associated with a 29% increase in firearm violent crime rates and a 29% increase in workplace firearm homicide rates.

In addition to increasing the rate of gun crimes and gun deaths, states that had permitless CCW laws saw a 12.9% increase in officer-involved fatal and nonfatal shootings of civilians from 2014-2020 and those states also experienced a 13% decline in the rate of violent crimes solved by police.

Further research has shown that weakening or getting rid of CCW laws results in a significant increase in gun thefts – by as much as 35%. That increase in gun thefts resulted in a 29% increase in violent gun crimes.

States with permitless carry laws see thousands of guns get stolen from vehicles and homes every year – if more people have access to guns and obtain those guns then there are more guns out there for thieves to steal. Stealing a gun isn’t the same as stealing a pack of gum – there are actually life and death consequences. Gun thefts are a public safety risk and as the author of one study said, “The most frequent occurrence each year involving crime and a good guy with a gun is not self-defense but rather the theft of the good guy’s gun, which occurs hundreds of thousands of times each year.”

Looking at North Carolina, our state has seen a spike in firearm thefts over the past few years. Making guns easier to obtain and available to more people will certainly result in more firearm thefts, and as research has shown, that results in more violent gun crimes.

As we have seen over and over both here and elsewhere in the country, the legislation that politicians push is often in direct opposition to what their constituents want, and that is the case here, at least according to a 2022 poll. A Marquette University Law School Poll on state gun laws showed that 81% of U.S. adults oppose permitless concealed carry and 72% of adults in states with permitless CCW laws oppose those laws.

House Bill 189 came just weeks after Republicans overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 41. The veto override means that the state no longer requires law enforcement to issue permits before the purchase of a deadly weapon, regardless of an individual’s history of domestic violence or serious mental health problems.

One of the most unbelievable things about the permitless CCW legislation is that it would also allow North Carolina lawmakers to carry concealed weapons in places they’re currently banned from carrying them, such as the legislative building.

Guns are already easier to purchase in North Carolina now than they were a few months ago and allowing North Carolinians to carry those guns with them wherever they go would only make this state even less safe. The state is safer with this bill parked in committee.


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