The North Carolina House Democratic Caucus is trying to use passage of HB 937 which amended a number of North Carolina's firearms law as a fundraising tool. Not surprisingly, they misstate much of what was in their amendments.
Those "common sense gun safety" amendments included background checks for all private sales - not just at gun shows. That amendment also used terminology straight out of Mayor Bloomberg's playbook especially in how they defined transfers. The other amendments that they offered would have restricted magazines to 10 rounds, mandated a safe storage law, banned the storage of firearms in locked cars on university and community college campuses, and increased the penalty for consuming alcohol while carrying concealed. It is already against the law to consume alcohol while carrying. The intent of this last amendment was clearly to give the Democrats a campaign tool.
I find it amusing that Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake) would say that the Republicans voted in lockstep on each and every amendment. There were 12 amendments proposed to HB 937. 11 of these amendments had a recorded vote. Examining the votes on each amendment, I see only two - Amendment 6 and Amendment 11 - where even one Democrat voted in the affirmative to the tabling motion. By contrast, on every amendment, you have one or more Republicans voting against tabling the amendment. Indeed, on Amendment 6, you have 11 Republicans voting the same way as the Democrats. Let me put it bluntly - Rep. Jackson is a hypocrite.
If Rep. Jackson wants to hold the Republicans responsible for their votes, I say fine but it works both ways. If you are a North Carolinian and you have a Democrat who says he or she is pro-gun as your state representative, call them out on it. Pro-gun representatives don't vote for draconian magazine bans like each and every Democrat in the NC House did on Monday and Tuesday. A pro-gun representative would not have voted to criminalize private sales and transfers of firearms unless they had a NICS background check. A pro-gun representative would not have used the language provided by Mayor Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayors.
It is not enough to just vote against these hypocrites come 2014. They must be called out now in letters to the editors, posts on forums, and with calls and letters to their offices. Put them on notice that we have seen how they treat gun rights.
Dear Friend,Do you want a person sitting next to you and your family in a restaurant to be drinking and handling a firearm?I believe most people would agree the common sense answer to that question is ‘no,’ but common sense was the last thing on House Republicans’ minds last night when they pushed through House Bill 937. This bill will allow guns in bars and concealed weapons on university and community college campuses. Republicans loosened our gun laws and endangered public safety. Stand with the House Democrats on gun legislation today by contributing $50, $25, $10 $5 or whatever you can afford.While Republicans tout the Second Amendment as justification for this bill, we know it is not a Second Amendment bill but rather a policy issue. I am not anti-gun and I am not anti-Second Amendment. I grew up with firearms and I own firearms, but I know that alcohol and firearms don’t mix just as alcohol and driving don’t mix.House Democrats tried to speak up for the majority of our state and offer common sense gun safety legislation. We offered five amendments to the bill that would require background checks for firearms at gun shows, disallow firearms on our college campuses and strengthen the penalties for carrying a firearm while consuming alcohol.Republicans voted in lockstep five different times to have our common sense amendments lie upon the table, cutting them off without debate. This was nothing more than a cheap, procedural trick on the part of House Republicans, but tricks will not save their members from taking a position on these issues. Their votes last night made their positions clear and put them on the record. House Democrats will hold them responsible for those votes. Help us show the House Republicans that voters are smart enough to see through procedural tricks by contributing $50, $25, $10, $5 or whatever you can afford today.As my colleague Rep. Deborah Ross pointed out last night, “This is not something that makes our state a better place.” While our efforts were foiled yesterday, we will continue to hold Republicans accountable for their actions and stand up for legislation that best represents the hard-working citizens of this state.Sincerely,Representative Darren Jackson