RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) – Changes could come to a long-debated local background check system for buying handguns in North Carolina.
State leaders on Tuesday will consider repealing pistol purchase permits, among other firearm bills.
Under current law, a person needs a conceal carry permit, or a pistol purchase permit from their local sheriff’s office to buy a handgun in North Carolina.
The pistol permitting system has been in place for a century.
“The purchase permit review is long overdue,” said the president of Grass Roots North Carolina, Paul Valone.
Valone said getting the permit system for handguns is redundant because federal background checks are already required at gun sales when permits aren’t presented.
“It’s archaic, quite frankly it would allow an applicant to get a permit which is good for five years and it’s not traceable and then potentially commit a disqualifying crime and then use the permit to bypass the computerized background checks,” Valone said. “If we repeal the purchase permit system, background checks for handgun purchases will be done at the time, at the point-of-sale, rather than up to five years earlier.”
Becky Ceartas, leader of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, said the additional background check requirement can find other local infractions unseen in the national system.
“It actually has a very comprehensive background check and catches a lot of things that the national instant criminal background check system does not,” Ceartas said.
She also said that taking the extra layer of background protection away would make it easier for guns to be sold without a background check outside federally-licensed dealers, such as at gun shows or online.
“We need to do everything we can to strengthen our gun laws and not repeal them,” Ceartas said.
A similar repeal passed both the state House and Senate in 2021, but Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed it.