The devil is in the details as they say. Yesterday, the NC House's Rules Committee reported out a committee substitute version of HB 563, the Second Amendment Affirmation Act, and I'm not exactly happy. Yes, there are good things in the bill and yes, it goes to the floor of the House. However, the way the Rules Committee has so mangled up the elimination of the pistol purchase permit irks me to no end.
Section 18 of the revised bill states in part:
Subsections (a) and (b) of Section 10 of this act become effective October 1, 2021, and apply to offenses committed on or after that date. Subsection (c) of Section 10 of this act becomes effective October 1, 2018, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date. Subsection (d) of Section 10 of this act becomes effective December 1, 2015, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.As I said, the devils in the details. What this means is that the pistol purchase permit system is eliminated in its entirety effective October 1, 2021 as Section 10 (a) and (b) refer to those parts of the General Statutes controlling permits. However, if you purchase a pistol from an FFL after October 1, 2018, a permit won't be needed if they run a NICS check.
The original substitute bill that I saw earlier this week would have set that date at December 1, 2015. What this means is that the Rules Committee and the House Republicans have again kow-towed to the North Carolina Sheriffs Association. If this provision remains in the bill and the bills passes into law, the sheriffs will continue to get their $5 per permit for another three years.
What makes this more egregious is that Bloomberg and his Demanding Mommies in their Felon Orange Tee's will claim this as a victory for gun control. This when most Republican House members don't give a large rodent's behind for them but will bend over backwards to the NCSA.
The changes in Section 10 (d) are actually good and timely. It provides standardization of the forms and process. The "good moral character" provision limits the evaluation of conduct to the last five years. Finally, it allows for appeals that can go up as far as the Court of Appeals. Previously, appeals stopped at District Court.
The arguments put forth by the sheriffs and the NCSA that they know the people in their county and know who is a potential problem are ridiculous. To think that is superior to a NICS check for a new purchase is a joke. The way the sheriffs are clinging to this Jim Crow inspired law is appalling. That some of the bitterest clingers are African-Americans is just even more appalling.
If we can't do away with the law, I say return it to the Clerks of Court where it was originally. Heaven knows they are better record keepers than any sheriff's department in the state and most likely much less biased.