House bill would repeal background checks for handguns

RALEIGH, N.C. — Republican House lawmakers are trying again to repeal the state's requirement for a pistol permit to carry a concealed handgun in most cases.

House Bill 746 is scheduled to be debated in the House Judiciary IV Committee at some point Wednesday afternoon after the budget committee meeting has ended. The measure did not meet the crossover deadline in April, but sponsors have added a $100,000 appropriation for "outdoor heritage promotion" to allow the bill to remain alive under House rules.

The measure would remove the requirement for a pistol permit, changing state law to say that any U.S. citizen 18 or over may carry a handgun openly or concealed without a permit in most places, except where prohibited.

The currently required permit is issued through a county sheriff's office, which conducts a criminal background check and looks for records of mental illness or incapacity. The requirement has long been a sore spot with gun rights advocates, who say it gives sheriffs too much power to deny gun owners what they say is their constitutional right to carry a weapon. FULL ARTICLE