Thursday, May 19, 2011

Report On NC Hearings On Omnibus Bill Amending Gun Laws

The North Carolina House Judiciary C Committee held hearings yesterday on HB 640 - Amend Gun Laws. This is an omnibus bill that amends a number of existing gun laws in North Carolina and improves gun rights. You can read more about the details of the bill at Sean's blog here.

Grass Roots North Carolina released this summation of the hearings by e-mail tonight. I'd say they were pleased with how they went. GRNC President Paul Valone was one of those who testified on the bill at the hearings.
HB 650
On Wednesday, the NC House Judiciary C Committee took on House Bill 650, "Amend Various Gun Laws." Thanks to the efforts of Sponsors Mark Hilton (R-Catawba, GRNC ****), Steven LaRoque (R-Greene, Lenoir, Wayne, ****), George Cleveland (R-Onslow, ****) and Kelly Hastings (R- Cleveland, Gaston, ****), plus the leadership of Rules Chairman Tim Moore (R- Cleveland, ****) and Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Meckleburg, ****), the bill is likely to receive a committee vote next Wednesday. Gun rights supporters should immediately e-mail these courageous legislators with thanks.

HB 650 is a huge and aggressive bill, meaning it will be difficult to pass. But if passed, it will go far toward reversing the creeping encroachment on gun owners' rights perpetuated in previous sessions of the legislature, including (but not limited to):

  • Castle Doctrine (yet another vehicle for popular Castle Doctrine is now moving);
  • Reducing penalties for carrying firearms on "educational property," including a protection against accidentally becoming a criminal by requiring that offenders "knowingly" brought the gun onto educational property;
  • Enabling concealed carry at events for which admission is charged;
  • Reducing penalties for a host of minor (often inadvertent) gun violations;
  • Adding protections for gun owners whose guns are confiscated pursuant to domestic protective orders;
  • Improves concealed handgun reciprocity to straight recognition of out-of-state permits;
  • Removes provisions for concealed handgun applicants under which sheriffs are conducting intrusive investigations of medical history; and
  • Enabling employees to keep guns in locked vehicles at places of employment.

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