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NC Governor Roy Cooper proposes gun law changes after school shootings

Roy Cooper (North Carolina Governor's Office)

RALEIGH, N.C. — On the same day that students across the nation took part in a protest against gun violence, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said that he believes anyone who wants to buy an assault-style rifle in the state should have to get a permit in the same way they do if they want to buy a handgun.

“After the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, conversations about school safety and gun reforms have taken place all over America. Brave students are making their voices heard, and it’s clear they want action. I do too,” Gov. Cooper said Wednesday morning.

He said he wants to raise the age to buy an assault weapon to 21. Under current North Carolina law, anyone who wants to buy a handgun has to get a pistol permit from their local sheriff.

“Until the federal government takes action to discontinue the sale of assault weapons to civilians, North Carolina law should be updated to raise the legal age of sale of these weapons to age 21 and require anyone buying them – at a store, online, or at a gun show – to go through the same background check and permitting process as they would for a handgun,” Cooper wrote. “There’s no good reason for the current double standard. Background checks are an important part of keeping guns out of the wrong hands, but they are only as good as the information in the database.”

The governor has also asked for a review of the current background check system in North Carolina.

Read Gov. Cooper’s entire statement here.