Gun Safety Bill Gains Traction With Support Of Both North Carolina Senators

CHARLOTTE, NC – Meaningful movement in Washington when it comes to safe communities and gun reform.  A bill that’s been given the green light from both of North Carolina’s Senators is headed to the house for review. 

Senator Thom Tillis is touting the bill’s focus on improving access to mental health and law enforcement training while saying increasing purchase age, mandatory wait limits, and banning of certain types of weapons was never on the table for discussion. 

Meanwhile, gun law reform advocates in North Carolina say this is a positive step. 

“So this is so important that congress is finally taking action,” said Becky Ceartas. 

She is the Exec Dir. of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence. 

She says congress has stalled on legislation like this before, but has hope something will be different this time around. 

“56% of North Carolinians in a recent poll said that they wanted stricter federal gun laws,” explained Ceartas.

She says 2020 was the most violent year of the 21st century in North Carolina. And that some of the provisions in the bipartisan bill will prevent gun violence and suicides. 

“That is exactly what red flag laws seek to address is catching people when they are exhibiting those warning signs of being a threat to themselves or others,” said Ceartas.

The bill:

  • Improves background checks for purchasers under 21. 
  • Better defines a licensed dealer
  • Adds new penalties for straw purchases and trafficking
  • Bans those convicted of domestic violence from ownership
  • State incentives for crisis intervention
  • Training for school resource officers
  • Improved mental health services

“I am convinced that it’s going to help communities safer and that its going to help people who may need help,” said Senator Thom Tillis while speaking with reporters on Wednesday.

Senator Tillis helped author the 80 page bill. He says there is strong bipartisan support for many of the provisions, especially the restrictions on straw purchases, and the additional funding for mental health services. 

He also doubled down on his commitment to guns and the second amendment. 

“I’m always looking for ways to ensure 2nd amendment rights for law abiding citizens, but I think we also have to recognize they get into the hands of the wrong people at the wrong time and that’s what this bill is about,” said Tillis.

The bill is now in the hands of the House. It will work through their process before coming up for a vote.