of North Carolinians Support Background Checks for All Gun Sales
At Urging of North Carolina Mayors and Law Enforcement, Legislature Scraps Repeal of Permit System, Preserves Background Checks For All Handgun Purchases
July 23, 2013
mayors and law enforcement tonight helped block a dangerous NRA-backed attack on gun background checks from passing the General Assembly, as lawmakers stripped language from HB 937 that would have repealed the state's handgun permit requirement -- effectively eliminating background checks for private handgun sales.
mayors and law enforcement have
spoken out in strong opposition
to the version of the bill pushed by
gun lobbyists, which would have made it easier for criminals, domestic abusers and those with severe mental illnesses to get handguns.
90 percent of North Carolinians support background checks for all gun sales.
The previous version of HB 937, which passed the North Carolina State Senate, would have repealed the state's requirement that all handgun purchases by private sellers undergo a background check -- creating easy access to guns for dangerous people who are currently unable to pass a background check.
mpirical evidence shows states that have
taken similar measures
weakening laws on background checks have seen a spike in violent crime.
In states that require background checks for all handgun sales, however, 39 percent fewer law enforcement officials are killed with handguns, and the firearm suicide rate is 49 percent lower.
Currently, because of a dangerous loophole in federal law, criminals can avoid background checks by buying firearms from unlicensed "private sellers" -- often at gun shows or through anonymous online transactions -- who are not required by federal law to conduct them. An estimated 6.6 million guns were transferred in 2012 without a federal background check, accounting for approximately 40 percent of all gun sales in
the United States
After the language was removed from the bill in Conference Committee,
mayors and law enforcement issued the following statements:
Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt
"Allowing convicted felons and domestic abusers to buy handguns in our state with no questions asked would have been a recipe for disaster, and I'm glad
mayors and law enforcement came together to urge our legislature to do the right thing and remove this dangerous language from HB 937. Still, I have grave concerns about other provisions in the bill, particularly the expansion of the carrying of firearms on educational property and guns in bars. Those are both deadly combinations."
Durham Mayor Bill Bell
"Background checks are not just formalities to acquiring a handgun, they are a critical tool for protecting public safety. Eliminating the handgun permit requirement would have made our communities less safe, and would have deprived law enforcement of an important tool to make sure guns don't fall into dangerous hands. We can always do more to make
communities safer, but today was a move in the right direction."
Morrisville Mayor Jackie Holcombe
"Mayors and law enforcement leaders from across
came together to speak out against the provision in this bill that would have eliminated background checks on handgun purchases because we care about the safety of our communities. It's ludicrous that our legislature was trying to make it easier for convicted felons to buy handguns with no questions asked. Our lawmakers in
and in Congress need to remember that 90 percent of North Carolinians and
over 90 percent of Americans
support background checks."
About Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Since its creation in
, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 members to more than 950 mayors from across the country, including 15 mayors from
. We have more than 1.5 million grassroots supporters, making us the largest gun violence prevention advocacy organization in the country. The bipartisan coalition has united the nation's mayors around these common goals: protecting communities by holding gun offenders accountable; demanding access to crime gun trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat gun trafficking; and working with legislators to fix weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other dangerous people to get guns. Learn more at
SOURCE Mayors Against Illegal Guns