Bill allowing looser gun laws stirs controversy

A proposed bill would make it easier to get a gun in North Carolina.

Under current law, North Carolinians must get a permit from their local sheriff’s office to buy a pistol.

House Bill 937 would require a concealed weapons permit or a background check to buy a pistol, but no permit from a sheriff’s office. Records of concealed-carry permits issued and weapons sales would not be open to the public.

The N.C. Sheriff’s Association does not support this new amendment.

Forsyth County Sheriff Bill Schatzman feels it’s his department’s job to keep the community safe and being in charge of issuing pistol permits is part of that responsibility.

“Certainly the sheriff’s office, as you would imagine, has access to more information than a clerk in a gun store,” explained Forsyth County Sheriff Schatzman.

Beyond permit papers, the sheriff’s office can look the at the mental illness history or records of domestic violence calls that deputies have responded to.

Clifton Davis owns Atlas Firearms in Winston-Salem. If a customers wants to buy a handgun he always asks for their ID and their permit.  If that process changes he’s on board.

“I don’t think it would be a bad thing,” Davis said.

Another part of the bill allows gun owners with proper permits to carry their guns more freely in public places, like bars and restaurants.

 

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