After considering 10 amendments and voting on seven of them, the NC House passed HB 562 by a 78 yea to 37 nay vote in its 3rd Reading. The pistol purchase permits system repeal was deleted in its entirety. As things were left yesterday, the pistol purchase permits would have only been required for private sales as an exemption was made for sales through FFLs. Today's Amendment 10 by Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett) stripped that provision out of the bill.
There are some good things left in the bill. The process for obtaining a pistol permit has been standardized, newer shooting ranges will be protected, state preemption is reiterated, and chief law enforcement officers have to sign off on NFA items if the applicant is not precluded by state or Federal law. Oh, and you can also carry an ordinary pocketknife in the State Capitol and on its grounds.
As you can probably imagine, the Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors and their backers in the legislative gallery who wore their Felon-Orange shirts are crowing about the defeat of the pistol purchase permit repeal. In fact, they are proclaiming victory saying that "the Moms fought the law and the Moms won."
“It was really great that most of the amendments were brought forth by Republicans. This is not a partisan issue: we are talking about common sense safety laws. We're building strong, bipartisan opposition to the gun lobby,” said Sarah Green, state chapter leader of Moms Demand Action.Sarah Green is correct that the amendments that neutered the bill were brought by the Republicans. The GOP is not called the stupid party for nothing. If the Republicans who knelt in obeisance before the state's sheriffs think that avoiding the issue will gain them political points, they are even stupider than I thought. Those in the galleries wearing their Felon-Orange shirts will never support them and those of us in the gun rights community will never forget.
Paul Valone, president of Grass Roots North Carolina, certainly doesn't intend to forget those Republicans who paid lip service to gun rights in 2014 and then deserted us in 2015. In an email to me, with which I have permission to quote, he said:
"Grass Roots North Carolina would like to thank North Carolina House Republicans for giving us exactly what we asked for: Recorded votes. Lots of recorded votes that tell us exactly who our friends are and are not, and which activate our core supporters going into the 2016 primary elections. Inevitably, the party in power becomes comfortable and unmotivated, in time forgetting who 'brung 'em to the dance.' When they achieve supermajorities and draw themselves comfy districts, that time apparently shrinks to four short years. But in their safe Republican seats, they forget something: Other Republicans can occupy those seats. In 2016, we will use those recorded votes to provide them a few little reminders of that fact."Paul is correct. We know who our real friends are when it counts. We also know who is just a fair weather friend making nice noises about the Second Amendment but deserts us when push comes to shove.