Republican lawmakers in the House are once again attempting to repeal North Carolina’s requirements for having a concealed carry permit in order to carry a handgun. House Bill 746 would remove the state’s requirement for a concealed carry permit, changing state law by allowing any U.S. citizen 18 or older who legally owns a firearm to carry it concealed, except in prohibited areas.
The current permit that is required is issued through a county sheriff’s office, who conducts background checks to look for criminal records, history of mental illness and incapacity. Gun advocates in the state have explained their frustration with this rule, stating that the rule gives sheriffs too much power to deny firearm owners of what their constitutional rights are. Background checks that are conducted when purchasing a weapon will still remain in place, but the additional check during the issuance of the concealed carry permit will no longer be in effect.
Additional Bill Features
House Bill 746 adds limits on what can be asked of applicants for concealed carry permits. It forbids sheriffs from denying a pistol permit in the situation of mental disability or illness, unless the court has ruled the applicant a danger to himself/herself or others.
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The proposed bill also allows legislators, legislative employees, and former law enforcement officers to carry weapons at legislative complexes and chamber floors, as long as they have a concealed carry permit on them. The public however, would not have access to this rule. A similar bill was proposed to the General Assembly back in 2011, but made no progress. (Source: WRAL)