Thursday, June 1, 2017

Omnibus Gun Bill Finally Moving In NC General Assembly

HB 746 is finally moving forward in the North Carolina House of Representatives. This bill, the Omnibus Gun Changes, favorably passed out of the House Judiciary IV Committee yesterday. It will now go to the House Finance Committee for review. The most important feature of this bill is that it provides for constitutional carry or permitless carry of concealed handguns. Open carry without a permit has been the law in North Carolina since 1922 thanks to the NC Supreme Court's ruling in State v. Kerner.

Grass Roots North Carolina has issued an alert thanking those on the House Judiciary IV Committee who voted in favor of sending this bill forward. They also note that Rep. Sam Watford (R-Davidson) has said he has plans to introduce weakening provisions to this bill even though constitutional carry is part of the 2016 NC Republican Platform.

From GRNC:


Good news! Today, freedom lovers scored a big victory in the House Judiciary IV Committee …

Your efforts are paying off! Due to the hard work of gun rights supporters like you over the last several weeks, the omnibus gun bill, which includes constitutional carry, has cleared its first major hurdle. It is exciting to report that this evening, the House Judicial IV Committee voted 9 to 6 to move the bill to the next step, and all weakening amendments were defeated. Kudos to the ‘
Critical Nine

Thanks to Sponsors & Outspoken Supporters
Many, many thanks to the bill’s courageous sponsors and other representatives who actively supported this bill. The sponsors are: Rep. Jay Adams, Rep. Beverly Boswell, Rep. Chris Millis, Rep. Larry Pittman, and Rep. Michael Speciale. We can also thank Rep. George Cleveland and Rep. Bert Jones for their outspoken support during the committee meeting. Well done, all!

A Couple More Hurdles
On Thursday (6/1), the bill will be shuttled to the Finance Committee. Once it’s through Finance, it’s off to the House floor. It’s possible that this important bill could land on the House floor for a vote as early as Thursday afternoon, so kindly follow up with the 'Immediate Action' below as soon as possible. 

One Republican Plans Unforced Error
The hurdles mentioned above may be set relatively low, as long as Republicans live up to their party’s platform, which has a very strong stance on gun rights, and specifically supports constitutional carry. Unfortunately, there is one hurdle that may come in the form of an “unforced error” by one or more Republicans. It sounds as though, in defiance of Republican and Second Amendment principles, Rep. Sam Watford (Davidson County) is planning to offer weakening amendments in an attempt to water down this omnibus bill.

Make no mistake, GRNC will oppose ANY weakening amendments to this gun bill, whether they come from Rep. Watford, or anyone else. We will oppose these amendments, insist that other House members vote against them, and we’ll be keeping tabs on who does what. In fact, we encourage you to phone Rep. Watford right now, and politely insist that he not propose anything that would weaken the right of the people to keep and bear arms. His legislative office phone number is 919-715-2526. You can politely remind him of the strong, pro-gun stance taken in the 2016 Republican Platform.

The Next Step
The victory in committee is great news, but we need to keep reminding legislators that voters are serious about their right to keep and bear arms. Let’s keep the pressure on, and make sure everyone in Raleigh knows what the people expect. Below, see how you can easily email House Republicans to do just that. Before you know it we’ll have constitutional carry here in North Carolina!


  • EMAIL NC HOUSE REPUBLICANS:  Use the copy/paste email list(s) below, and the copy/paste text under ‘Deliver This Message.’

  • PHONE REP. SAM WATFORD: Politely tell him that gun voters are watching and we will not accept weakening amendments to the omnibus gun bill. Remind him of the very strong, pro-gun stance spelled out in the 2016 Republican Platform, and ask him to live up to that platform. His legislative office number is: 919-715-2526.

NC House Republicans Email *List(s):;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

*Spam filters or email program limitations may cause the need to send more than one email, to cover the entire list of representatives. If so, the list above is split into three pieces, for your convenience.


Suggested Subject:
"Vote 'YES' on Omnibus Gun Bill without Weakening"  

Dear Representative:

I understand that the omnibus gun bill has cleared the House Judicial IV committee (J4), and is on its way to the Finance Committee. I also understand the bill passed though J4 without any weakening amendments. This is fantastic news! A big ‘thank you’ to the sponsors of this bill and to others who actively supported it.

I am writing today to ask you to vote ‘Yes’ on this bill if you happen to be on the Finance Committee, to vote ‘Yes’ on this bill on the House floor, and to vote ‘No’ on any weakening amendments. The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental human right, and North Carolinians are finally making headway in rolling back the oppressive erosion of this right that has taken place in recent decades. Let’s keep that freedom trend going!

On that same note, I would also remind you that strong support for “constitutional carry” is an explicit part of the Republican Party’s 2016 platform (see page 12), just as gun rights in general are. With this fact at the forefront, I can see no reason for any Republican to shy away from supporting this gun-rights legislation. In fact, among other things, pro-Second Amendment policy is precisely what voters had in mind when they chose you as their representative.

For reasons that are quite clear, voters expect you to support this bill in committee, on the House floor, and without weakening amendments. Please do so.

I’ll be eagerly awaiting more news on this topic from Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.


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