In major shift, NC Sheriffs’ Association backs end to state’s pistol permit system

In major shift, NC Sheriffs' Association backs end to state's pistol permit system

North Carolina would scrap its pistol permit system, which requires local sheriffs to sign off on handgun purchases, under a bill set to roll out this afternoon with support from the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association. Gun rights advocates have pressed this change for years, but the sheriffs’ association – a lobbying force at the General Assembly – always opposed. Under the current system, anyone who doesn’t already have a concealed carry permit must file with a sheriff to buy a handgun. That’s not a requirement for rifles. With recent advances in the database lookups gun dealers run at purchase, the pistol permit is no longer needed, Sheriffs’ Association Executive Vice President and General Counsel Eddie Caldwell said Tuesday. "The value of the pistol purchase permit has outlived its usefulness," Caldwell said. In 2019, the administrative arm of the North Carolina courts system finished uploading involuntary commitment records, making it much easier to search them, Caldwell said. "Now that those records are uploaded the (National Instant Criminal Background) check and the pistol permit are duplicative," Caldwell said. Repeal language is expected to roll out about 3 p.m. Tuesday during a House Judiciary 4 Committee meeting at the legislature. The meeting will be streamed online. The language will likely be added to an existing bill that would have made less significant changes to the state’s pistol permit law. Pistol permit requests surged last year, and at one point Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker suspended applications, citing the pandemic and the difficulty […]

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