North Carolina Republicans repeal permit requirement for pistol buyers | North Carolina

Two days after three children and three adults were shot dead at a school in neighbouring Tennessee, Republicans in North Carolina repealed a state requirement that purchasers of pistols obtain a permit from a sheriff.

The enacted bill will also allow guns on some school properties where religious services are held.

The Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature successfully overrode a veto by the Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, for the first time since 2018.

The state House voted 71-46 – over Cooper’s objections in last week’s veto message – to eliminate the longstanding handgun purchase system, which among other things required sheriffs to perform character evaluations of applicants. The state senate voted to override the veto on Tuesday.

Cooper and Democratic lawmakers warned the repeal, which takes effect immediately, will allow more dangerous people to obtain weapons through private sales, which do not require a background check, and limit law enforcement’s ability to stop them committing violent crimes.

Supporters of the bill said the sheriff screening process to buy a pistol was no longer necessary in light of significant updates to the national background check system, and that the permit requirement did not serve as a crime deterrent.

In the Tennessee school shooting, the shooter carried an automatic rifle, an automatic pistol and a handgun.

In North Carolina, Republican gains in last year’s elections gave them a veto-proof margin in the senate but left them one seat shy of such a majority in the house.

On Wednesday, the house vote tally showed three Democrats failed to vote on the override, creating a margin to meet the constitutional requirement.

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Republicans needed one Democrat to join them, or two Democrats not to vote.

In 2021, Cooper successfully blocked standalone bills that contained the pistol purchase permit repeal and the ability for some congregants to carry a weapon at church services held at private schools.

At that time, Democrats had enough seats to block any override attempt.

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