NC Lawmakers Pass Several Gun Bills, One Involves Concealed Handguns At Churches

RALEIGH, N.C. — Several gun bills are making their way through the North Carolina Legislature.  House Bill 49 would make it easier for people attending religious services to arm themselves.  The measure would affect places of worship that also serve schools.

Another bill would repeal the state law requiring people to obtain a permit through the sheriff’s office.

Supporters of the bills say, if passed, they would protect their second amendment rights.  People who oppose the bills are concerned more guns could end up in the wrong hands.

Governor Cooper vetoed several bills similar to these in 2021.


CHARLOTTE — It’s a law that’s been on the books for more than 100 years in North Carolina.  But, now some lawmakers are hoping to repeal it.

Senate Bill 40 or the Pistol Purchase Permit Repeal would remove state law requirements that anyone buying a gun must first obtain a permit from their local sheriff’s office.

Grass Roots North Carolina, a gun rights organization, is among several groups that sued Sheriff Garry McFadden, claiming his office failed to issue pistol permits in a timely manner.  State law requires sheriffs to issue pistol permits within 14 days of the date of the application, and concealed handgun permits within 45 days.

“A number of urban sheriffs have abused the pistol purchase permit system to actually shut down handgun sales,” says Paul Valone, President of Grass Roots North Carolina.

Sheriff McFadden says his office has implemented several changes to make the permitting process more efficient.  It’s now mailing permits to customers to eliminate office visits, and utilizing a new interface to reduce duplicate entries for new applicants.

Robert Dawkins with the group Action NC says repealing the pistol purchase permit could be dangerous.

“The biggest issue is taking away the ability of the sheriff to regulate gun permits. That’s huge, around the country we’re in the middle of a string of violence.  We’re not just talking about neighborhood violence, black on black crime, but we’re talking about people shooting and killing people on campuses,  at school,” says Dawkins.

Since October 24, 2022, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office has processed over 6200 applications.  There are thousands of pistol permit applications that have not been approved.  McFadden says his office continues to wait on mental health facilities to return the releases needed to process applications.