North Carolina residents will be able to purchase pistols without a permit thanks to a supermajority vote in the state legislature Wednesday, the Daily Caller reported. The 71-45 House vote was enough to overturn Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto.
The Senate also voted 30-19, mainly along party lines on the issue. Prior to this change, residents were required to submit to character evaluations from their local sheriff before exercising their Second Amendment rights.
The requirement for a federal background check remains in place when purchasing pistols from dealers licensed to sell firearms, meaning it won't be completely unregulated. Still, Democrats were breathlessly warning that the new rule, which goes into effect immediately, would allow dangerous individuals to purchase handguns.
Proponents of the change contend that the federal system makes local permits unnecessary, the Associated Press reported. The move is even supported by North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, though its current president was against it.
"Second Amendment supporters made history today," Paul Valone, executive director of Grass Roots North Carolina, said following the vote. The pro-Second Amendment group actively campaigned for sympathetic GOP candidates for just this type of move.
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said the passage of the legislation fulfilled "long-standing goals of Second Amendment advocates in our state, and we have finally brought this legislation over the finish line." Prior to the vote, Democrats attempted to shame the GOP into backing off of the issue.
"For us to come in this tone-deaf about what happened in Nashville and to pretend that it doesn’t matter, to pretend that that might not be an issue that we’ve got to bring up, is disturbing — with a bunch of kids sitting up here," House Minority Leader Robert Reives said. Rieves was attempting to tacitly tie the change to The Covenant School shooting earlier this week as schoolchildren witnessed the vote.
Becky Ceartas, executive director of the North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, warned that more violence was inevitable after the law was passed. "We will wake up five or 10 years from now and see that our gun homicide and gun suicide rates have risen," she predicted in a news release.
This change comes at a time when other states are similarly looking to expand Second Amendment rights. A bill permitting constitutional carry recently passed in the Florida legislature and is headed for Gov. Ron DeSantis for signing, the Washington Examiner reported.
"A constitutional right should not require a permission slip from the government," DeSantis said in his State of the State address earlier this month. "It is time we joined 25 other states to enact constitutional carry in the state of Florida."
There was sufficient pushback in the Sunshine State in January when the legislation was introduced. "In an era of increased mass shootings and rising gun crime, it is outlandish that our legislature is being asked to loosen gun restrictions rather than strengthen them," the gun control organization Prevent Gun Violence said.
"Lawmakers must immediately reject Florida’s legislators should instead focus their efforts on enacting common-sense gun laws that prioritize public safety, including universal background checks, banning military-style assault weapons, and safe storage laws. In a time where hate speech and violence are all too common, relaxing requirements to carry a firearm is playing with the lives of Floridians," the organization warned.
However, that wasn't enough to stop the will of the people on this law. When DeSantis signs the legislation, it will become the 26th state to have constitutional carry, tipping the balance to a majority of states for this kind of law.
Americans are tired of mass shootings that always happen at the hands of criminals in places where guns are not permitted. Now more than ever, it's important for as many good guys as possible to have guns to stop the bad ones.