North Carolina House Approves Bill to Get Rid of Outdated Handgun Permitting Process

On May 5, 2021, the North Carolina House voted to do away with a burdensome pistol permit process.

State Representative Jay Adams introduced House Bill 398. In the present, federal gun dealers have to go through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) before a person can purchase a handgun. Sheriffs in North Carolina use this system to approve pistol permits as well.

“This legislation came at the direct request of the NC Sheriffs’ Association,” declared Adams. “We have made significant improvements in updating the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and it simply no longer makes sense to have our sheriffs tasked with approving and issuing individual pistol purchase permits. It is duplicative, costly and an unnecessary burden on law enforcement and law-abiding gun owners.”

Sheriffs and elected officials alike, believe that the present permit process is outdated and unnecessary due to new enhancements and a more robust background check system in place. As First in Freedom Daily observed, this permitting system “dates back to 1919 and only applies to handguns.”

“Improvements to NICS over the last several years have rendered the pistol purchase permit obsolete,” claimed NC Sheriffs’ Association Executive Vice President and General Counsel Eddie Caldwell. “Thanks to funding from the General Assembly several years ago, decades of mental health records have now been uploaded into NICS.

With these enhancements, now the NICS check duplicates the records search done by the sheriff for the pistol purchase permit. Because the pistol purchase permit has outlived its usefulness, the NC Sheriffs’ Association supports repeal of the laws requiring a pistol purchase permit. The Association continues to support the concealed handgun permit law.”

As for the right to bear arms, North Carolina is a middling state on that issue. According to Guns & Ammo magazine’s Best States for Gun Owners rankings, North Carolina is ranked in 27th place for best states for gun owners. Scrapping this permitting process will definitely help the state in its efforts to re-establish itself as a jurisdiction that respects the Second Amendment. 

The bill was approved by a vote of 70-47 and is now in the Senate waiting for a vote. The bill can be tracked here.