For the past few weeks, North Carolina lawmakers considered passing several new gun laws. The proposed items could have changed the permit requirements for certain gun purchases and expanded the areas where concealed carry permit holders can legally carry their firearms. After a series of failed amendments to H.B. 562 Amend Firearm Laws, the outcome is a virtually unchanged system for gun purchases and concealed carry requirements. A few key decisions:
- Legislators removed a provision that would have repealed the sheriff-supervised permit application system in 2021.
- The requirement for pistol permits in sales from federally licensed dealers was restored. Pistol permits are still required for private sales.
- Another eliminated provision included an amendment that would have allowed General Assembly staff and lawmakers (with proper permits) the ability to legally carry their firearms in the Legislative Building.
One of the delays in acquiring certain types of firearms is due to sheriff approval. North Carolina currently requires a sheriff to approve concealed weapon permit and pistol permit applications. Generally, individuals who utilize gun trusts for the acquisition of certain types of firearms (NFA Class III items such as suppressors, sawed off shotguns and short barreled rifles) bypass this process. The volume of permit requests tripled in the past few years. Not only is the administration of permit applications time intensive; a sheriff could decline an application without providing a reason.