Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Are NC Republicans Caving To Sheriffs' Association?

Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC) seems to be caving to the demands of the NC Sheriffs' Association with regard to pistol purchase permits. According to GRNC, McCrory has instructed the House Republican Caucus to send HB 937 to a conference committee rather than to concur with the Senate version of the bill.

However, it should be noted that the House Republicans led by Speaker Thom Tillis are under no obligation to follow any instructions from McCrory. Tillis has announced his intention to run for the US Senate and will need the votes from gun rights supporters if he hopes to win the primary. As GRNC notes below, he needs to be reminded of this.

From GRNC:
Sheriffs' lobbyist more worried about his nearly $290,000 salary than the rights of NC gun owners…

It has become clear that the cabal committed to preserving NC’s embarrassing and obsolete Jim Crow-era pistol permit system is being led by NC Sheriffs' Association Executive Director, Eddie Caldwell. Not an elected Sheriff subject to the will of voters, but rather a lobbyist hired by the NCSA, he is clearly more interested in protecting his cushy job and benefits than the rights of North Carolinians.

HB 937 in jeopardy: McCrory needs spine injection

Worse, Governor Pat McCrory seems to be getting week in the knees in the face of sheriffs' demands, and has instructed the House Republican Caucus to vote not to concur and to send the bill to a House-Senate conference committee to remove the measure. What is at stake, however, is not just the purchase permit repeal, but the entire bill, including restaurant and campus carry. Why? Because if the bill goes to conference committee -- which will give the media and UNC more time to agitate, anything could be removed.

Latest round of GRNC radio spots highlight NCSA & McCrory

Caldwell is apparently trying to protect his nearly $290,000 per year compensation package after being blindsided by the purchase permit repeal addition to HB 937 in the Senate.

The whole sordid story is detailed in the GRNC video and radio spots just released HERE, or go to: v=JcEXhtDjXrs&

Implications of conference committee

GRNC has had extensive discussions with Senate Republicans, and we are certain they were sincere in the changes to HB 937 they made. There was no deliberate effort to cut out Eddie Caldwell and NCSA from legislative plans.

Currently, there have been no indications that the Governor intends to veto the bill, but he did tell the Republican Caucus that he wants the bill sent to conference committee to change the permit provision to one which "studies" the issue. Representatives for House leadership have indicated willingness to move "a" bill, but have not committed to what will be in it.

GRNC opposes the conference committee for the following reasons: As you may or may not know, once both chambers have passed different versions of a bill, it goes back to the first chamber for concurrence. By legislative rules, a bill cannot be amended on concurrence, so removing the PPP provision could only be done by voting not to concur and then sending the bill to a conference committee comprised of members from each chamber.

There are several problems with that, not the least of which is that once it goes there, we have absolutely no control over what comes out. Added to that, the media will get additional time to beat on Republicans for weakening amendments.


We need gun owners to do four things:

  • TELL McCRORY TO DEVELOP A SPINE: He should resist the feather-bedding of the NCSA, particularly given the fact that felons are bypassing background checks under the current system;
  • CONTACT ALL NC SHERIFFS: Tell them the rights of NC gun-owning voters are more important than Eddie Caldwell’s pay.
  • TELL SPEAKER TILLIS THE NEXT MOVE IS UP TO HIM: Tillis doesn't have to kowtow to either the NCSA or the Governor. Given his announced bid for Sen. Kay Hagan's seat, it would be shame for him to further alienate gun owners by failing to concur. Therefore, he should move quickly and resolutely to vote to concur.
  • HELP GRNC PASS HB 937: GRNC has spent tens of thousands of dollars on radio spots, alerts and legislative team expenses to pass what could be the most pro-gun initiative in North Carolina history, but we can't do it without your support, so please go HERE or to:

Contact Information

  • GOVERNOR PAT McCRORY: First, email him BY CLICKING HERE or going to: and then call him Wednesday morning at (919) 814-2000. Let McCrory know that contrary to what the Sheriffs' Association claims, HB 937 IMPROVES background checks. Even if you already called, call again.
  • EMAIL & CALL SPEAKER THOM TILLIS: Let him know that you appreciate his earlier efforts, but that the Senate has upped the ante and now he needs to resist the power-hungry NC Sheriffs' Assoc. and pass HB 937 AS IS by making sure the House VOTES TO CONCUR. To contact Speaker Tillis, email and call him on Wednesday morning at 919-733-3451.
  • CALL YOUR NC HOUSE REP: Let him know the sheriffs' association has known about the "felon loophole" for decades and done nothing. Their objections ring false. Ask him/her to ask why the bill is in the House Rules Committee, where bills are generally consigned to die, and why it hasn't gotten a prompt committee hearing. Find your House rep by going HERE or to:
  • EMAIL NC Sheriffs: Tell them the rights of law-abiding NC gun owners trump the selfish interest of a few Sheriffs.

Use the following cut-and-paste email list to contact NC Sheriffs:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;


Suggested Subject: "Concur and Approve HB 937!"

To Gov. McCrory. Speaker Tillis and the NCSA:


If you cause House Bill 937 to be sent to conference committee for the pistol purchase permit repeal to be removed, you will be in the position of obstructing Point of Contact background checks for gun purchases.

The North Carolina Sheriffs' Association (NCSA) has known for decades about the loophole enabling felons to evade background checks. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has been in existence since 1998. What has the NCSA done to close this loophole?

Nothing. And the reason is as old as man himself: Power and money. If the measure dies and a felon uses a purchase permit to buy a firearm and then uses it in a crime, you will be responsible.

I strongly urge you to push for immediate House concurrence and final approval. Conference is too dangerous and potentially damaging to what now stands as a bill which balances Second Amendment freedoms with punishing violent predators. I will monitor your actions via Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.


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