A North Carolina state Senate committee has taken steps to make it easier to purchase a gun without a background check, amending pro-gun legislation currently under consideration on Tuesday.
WRAL reports that the Judiciary Committee voted Tuesday morning to let guns be purchased privately without a permit. The provision still requires background checks and a permit for purchases from a licensed dealer. But these items will not be required for private purchases, including those made at gun shows.
The bill still requires a permit to carry concealed weapons but the areas where concealed guns can be taken is expanded, reports The News & Observer of Raleigh. This includes: all educational property, not just restricted to public colleges and universities as an earlier version presented; private schools, unless they prohibit weapons; and parades and funeral processions, unless they’re expressly prohibited.
“We’re here to enhance our Second Amendment rights, which have been too long restricted by the previous [Democratic] majority,” said Sen. Buck Newton, a Republican who represents sections of Johnston, Wilson and Nash counties in North Carolina. “These are, by definition, law-abiding citizens,” referring to those with permits to carry concealed weapons.
The amendment belongs to a larger package that the Senate is taking up after it passes through the state House of Representatives.
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It would also allow judges, registers of deed and court clerks to carry a gun during their work days.
With the North Carolina governorship and both houses of the Legislature all controlled by Republicans for the first time in more than a century, conservative legislation is the focus of much of the current session.
As state Republicans push through their legislation, Democrats continue to raise questions about the lasting effects of the gun bill.
Speaking to The Huffington Post, state Democratic Party spokesman Micah Beasley said Republicans aren't thinking their actions through.
"Republicans in the General Assembly have no concept of consequences. They have shown that time and time again," said Beasley. "Guns and alcohol don't mix. Guns at town parades or at playgrounds with our children is unacceptable. Guns on campus make our college students less safe. To add insult to injury this legislation undermines our local sheriffs' ability to make their towns and cities safe."