Lt. Gov: Cooper’s veto of pistol permit repeal leaves a Jim Crow-era law in place

Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill Aug. 30, 2021 that would have changed a N.C. gun purchasing law. He vetoed the “Pistol Purchase Permit Repeal,” which would have removed the requirement that handgun buyers get a permit from their local sheriff. Given efforts to eradicate racism, you might expect a governor to eagerly sign repeal of a Jim Crow-era law which, by one account, discriminates against Black Americans even today. But not if the governor is Roy Cooper and the law is our 1919 pistol purchase permit system, which researchers suggest was enacted to deny handguns to Black Americans. Cooper recently vetoed House Bill 398 to repeal the system. Even gun control stalwarts like Mecklenburg County’s Sen. Natasha Marcus acknowledge the potential Jim Crow origins of the permit law, as they should. Professor Clayton Cramer, author of “The Racist Roots of Gun Control,” posits that its vague “good moral character” requirement was actually doublespeak for race. According to a North Carolina Law Review paper , discrimination in permit denials exists even today with “…Black applicants experiencing a rejection rate of approximately three times the rate of White applicants.” State Attorney General Josh Stein claims repealing the pistol purchase permit process would “make North Carolinians less safe,” saying: “Two years after Missouri’s permit to purchase law was repealed, the firearm homicide rate spiked by 25%, and the firearm suicide rate went up by 14%.” But that’s not the whole story. Although Missouri’s murder rate rose 17% relative to the rest […]

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