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NC Senate Bill aims to alter background check process for handgun permits

A bill proposed by the N.C. Senate would change the process for buying handguns — eliminating a step in which sheriffs conduct background checks.

Under current law, a permit must be obtained from a sheriff, who conducts a background check on the potential buyer. School of Government Professor Jeff Welty said Senate Bill 503 would replace the current permit process with a procedure that requires gun dealers to notify the sheriff after purchase when a background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System is completed.

This would leave handgun buyers subject only to the national check, Welty said. “So it would essentially make the process for purchasing a handgun the same as purchasing a long gun,” he said.

Eddie Caldwell, executive vice president and general counsel at the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, said sheriffs feel that the pistol purchase permit requirement should not be repealed as the requirement contributed significantly to public safety. FULL ARTICLE