Gun Safety Shenanigans in the NC State House
There are gun safety shenanigans happening in the N.C. State House. Why? Because North Carolina politicos think moms aren't paying attention
North Carolinians agree that not everyone should be able to have a gun — not violent criminals, not domestic abusers, not the dangerously mentally ill. That’s why 90 percent of us want people to be screened through a background check before they are allowed to buy firearms.
But lately N.C. lawmakers have been trying to pull a fast one. They thought no one was paying attention, so they have been trying to ram through a law that dismantles N.C.'s pistol permit system, which requires anyone who wants to buy a handgun to go through a criminal background check.
Seriously, ram through. They suddenly introduced the legislation right before the filing deadline and will vote on it this week.
Well, this mom is paying attention, and I don't like it one bit.
When Missouri did this in 2007, repealing its permit-to-purchase law, its gun-related homicide rate spiked at a time firearm homicides were level across the country. The Journal of Urban Health later published a study showing that the repeal contributed to a 14 percent increase in Missouri's murder rate and was associated with an additional 49-68 murders a year.
I don’t want that to happen here in our state. We don’t need a spike in people getting shot here in North Carolina, thank you very much.
We can’t let our state lawmakers pass this legislation, which also criminalizes doctors for questioning their patients about gun safety and reporting risky armed patients to the authorities; forces schools to allow weapons in their parking lots, and opens the way for people to bring guns to the NC State Fair.
Lawmakers have been trying to rush this legislation through committees, first in an attempt to make it before the April 30 legislative crossover deadline when bills have to pass one house to stay alive. When that didn't happen, they tried to tack on an appropriation in order to keep the bill alive.
What they didn't count on was moms all over the state who are paying attention and are speaking out. Moms have been inundating lawmakers' offices with calls and emails telling them to vote no on HB 562. And it's working! On May 5, lawmakers decide to put the bill on hold temporarily in response to the growing opposition.
But we can't let up. The legislation could be taken back up at any time, so lawmakers need to hear NOW from moms who oppose weakening the proven gun laws that protect our families. Please join me and contact your lawmaker now.
Beth Messersmith is the NC Campaign Director for MomsRising.org and a Triangle mom of two. These opinions are hers and do not reflect those of Carolina Parent.