North Carolina’s Jim Crow-era firearm law undermines civil liberties

North Carolina’s Jim Crow-era firearm law undermines civil liberties

A repeal that would have scrapped a Jim Crow-era law requiring North Carolinians to obtain a permit to purchase a handgun from their county sheriff was vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper earlier this week. The veto came shortly after the legislation was passed by the state legislature despite zero support from state Democrats. Current state law requires an individual to present an application, pay a fee, and undergo a background check in order to purchase a handgun. Each of the 100 counties in North Carolina has specific rules for applying to obtain this permit, and each presents its own barrier to the free exercise of Second Amendment rights, but Cooper has now refused to correct this discriminatory law. This became a crisis of national focus last year when Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker suspended permit applications, citing pandemic concerns. Accommodations were made for nearly every other aspect of life except this one. Baker was unmoved until he faced a lawsuit . He has since agreed to settle the lawsuit and pay damages. This permit scheme in North Carolina set up Baker as the sole arbiter to grant or deny Second Amendment rights. No single person should be subjectively deciding who gets to exercise the right to keep and bear arms. Any policy that promotes such an anti-American idea is antithetical to the Bill of Rights and a threat to the civil liberties enjoyed in all 50 states. These permit-to-purchase laws in North Carolina were enacted to prevent black Americans […]

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