Friday, April 19
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Law Changes After Veto Overridden – Pistol Purchase Permits No Longer Required

Handgun sits in display case in gun store (AS Photo Family / Adobe Stock)
Handgun sits in display case in gun store (AS Photo Family / Adobe Stock)

ASHEBORO NC – Individuals looking to purchase a handgun in North Carolina are no longer required to obtain a pistol purchase permit from the local Sheriff’s Office after the NC General Assembly overrode Gov. Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 41.

Senate Bill 41, also known as the “Guarantee 2nd Amendment Freedom and Protections,” was passed by the NC General Assembly and sent to Gov. Cooper on March 16th, 2023. Last Friday, Gov. Cooper vetoed the bill saying that “eliminating strong background checks will allow more domestic abusers and other dangerous people to own handguns and reduces law enforcement’s ability to stop them from committing violent crimes. Second Amendment supporting, responsible gun owners know this will put families and communities at risk.”

Today, March 29th, 2023, the N.C. House and Senate voted to override the Governor’s veto and officially passed the bill into law.

Effective immediately, the law removes the requirement for individuals to obtain a purchase permit from their county sheriff to buy a handgun.

In a press release a short time ago, the Sheriff’s Office said that “all in-process pistol purchase permit applications on file with the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office will be cancelled and no additional purchase permits will be issued. There will not be any refunds issued for purchase permits that have been submitted to the Sheriff’s Office or electronically through Permitium.”

Anyone who is trying to purchase a handgun through a Federal Firearms Licensed Dealer (commonly referred to as an “FFL”) must still undergo a background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) as required under federal law.

According to the FBI, when a person tries to buy a firearm, an FFL Dealer contacts NICS electronically or by phone. The prospective buyer fills out the ATF form, and the FFL relays that information to the NICS. The NICS staff performs a background check on the buyer. That background check verifies whether the buyer does not have a criminal record or isn’t otherwise ineligible to purchase or own a firearm.

Private transfers of handguns or purchases from one private party to another do not require a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check under current law. However, criminal penalties still apply to any person that knowingly transfers a handgun to a person who may not lawfully possess the firearm.

Concealed handgun permits are unaffected by the new law and the Sheriff’s office will continue to process concealed carry permit applications in the same manner.  

In a press release Sheriff Seabolt says, “The Freedom and Protections Bill will speed up the process for law-abiding citizens to purchase guns. I feel confident the NICS check will provide adequate protections and put guns only into the hands of citizens who are not precluded from owning them. This bill is in keeping with the Resolution Declaring Support for the Second Amendment adopted by our County Commissioners on February 3, 2020. The primary duty of the County Sheriff is to protect the constitutional rights of the citizens; this bill guarantees those rights are not infringed.”


NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

Every attempt has been made to verify the information in this article regarding changes to State law is correct. If you have questions regarding purchasing a firearm you should direct those questions to the ATF, Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, or contact your attorney. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice.