Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Finally! (updated)

House Bill 937 - Amend Various Firearms Laws - is finally on the legislative agenda of the North Carolina House for a concurrence vote today. The House is voting on the Senate Committee Substitute which, among other things, kills off that legacy of the Jim Crow era the pistol purchase permit system.

The House convenes today at 10am.

I will have results of the vote up as soon as it is available.

UPDATE: Gun owners just got screwed.Whether we got royally screwed will be determined by what comes out of the Conference Committee.

The House failed to concur on the Senate version of HB 937 by a vote of 100-14 and the bill was sent to a Conference Committee. It looks like the House kow-towed to the opposition of the bill from the NC Sheriffs Association. I'm sure opposition by the University of North Carolina System also played a part.

The Committee members from the House are the primary sponsors of the bill: Representatives Jacqueline Schaffer (R-Mecklenburg), Justin Burr (R-Stanley), John Faircloth (R-Guilford), and George Cleveland (R-Onslow). Schaffer is the chair of the Conference Committee for the House.

Burr and Cleveland were rated as 4 star by GRNC-PVF while Faircloth was rated a 3 star. Schaffer, a House freshman, did not return the GRNC-PVF questionnaire and thus automatically earned zero starts.

The details of the roll call vote are not yet posted

Despite some rumors to the contrary, Grass Roots North Carolina was always pushing for concurrence with the Senate.

UPDATE II: Grass Roots North Carolina has released the following statement regarding HB 937 and the House's failure to concur with the Senate.
Although only 14 stalwarts voted for concurrence on HB 937, we have received assurances from the Speaker's office that: (1) All provisions other than the purchase permit repeal will remain in the bill; (2) The limited campus carry will actually be slightly improved; (3) Although a full purchase permit repeal is unlikely (owing partially to the fact McCrory would likely veto it), negotiations are underway on a compromise which the Speaker has said would satisfy all parties; and (4) The bill would be passed this year.

Consequently, we do not suggest beating on leadership yet. In coming days, GRNC will be working closely with conferees to ensure a strong bill is sent back to both chambers for concurrence. Additional details will be released as they become available.
The final roll call vote has been changed to 96 yea and 18 nay. The breakdown can be found here. A no vote was to concur with the Senate version of the bill.

UPDATE III: The State Senate has appointed their four members of the Conference Committee. The Senate chair is Sen. Buck Newton (R-Wilson) who is not only rated 4 stars by the GRNC-PVF but is one of the staunchest supporters of Second Amendment issues in the General Assembly.

The remaining members from the Senate are Senators Kathy Harrington (R-Gaston), Andrew Brock (R-Davie), and Shirley Randleman (R-Wilkes). Both Harrington and Brock are rated 4 stars. Randleman was not rated as she replaced a candidate (Sen. Don East) who had passed away just before the election. However, Randleman's answers to Project VoteSmart indicate she is pro-gun.

Given the Senate lineup, I am encouraged that with the exception of the pistol purchase permit issue we won't lose anything and may even gain.

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