RALEIGH, NC – Tonight, in a victory for gun violence prevention, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted to stop an attempt to repeal background checks for handgun buyers by removing the provision from HB 562. Although debate on other amendments continues, the North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statements commending the North Carolina House for protecting background checks on all handgun sales, which stop felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people from getting armed – even when they buy from unlicensed sellers online or at gun shows.
Statement From Sarah Green, Volunteer Chapter Leader with the North Carolina Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America:
“As a North Carolina mom, I am grateful that House members are listening to the voices of the 87 percent of North Carolinians, the law enforcement officials, and the more than 100,000 Everytown supporters in the state who know background checks on all handgun sales save lives. I am proud that our Representatives appear poised to stop a provision that would allow dangerous criminals including domestic abusers and felons to avoid background checks by shopping with unlicensed private sellers online or at gun shows. We applaud the House for taking steps to protect North Carolina families.”
Statement from Kim Yaman, a volunteer with the North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Yaman, a mother and grandmother who lives in Cary and, along with her two young children, was a witness to the mass shooting at the University of Iowa:
“I am deeply gratified that our lawmakers are listening to the voices of people whose lives have been touched by gun violence. My family’s deeply personal experience with a mass shooting that killed five people including the gunman and left my dear friend paralyzed for the remainder of her life is why I feel so passionately that North Carolina must do all it can to protect our citizens from gun violence.”
Last month, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund aired ads statewide highlighting the broad consensus among North Carolinians against HB 562. The ad featured recently released polling paid for by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund showing that 87 percent of North Carolinians support background checks on all handgun sales and a letter from the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association urging the Legislature not to repeal the state’s background check law. The bill would have allowed felons, domestic abusers, and other people prohibited from having guns to buy handguns from unlicensed sellers online or at gun shows, with no background check and no questions asked. When Missouri made this same mistake in 2007, gun homicides in that state spiked by 25 percent.
In addition, Everytown and North Carolina Moms have rallied at the General Assembly to underscore the importance of keeping North Carolina’s background check requirement for handgun purchases in place. The rally brought together moms, mayors, gun violence survivors and legislators who voiced opposition to HB 562 for its potentially devastating impact on North Carolina public safety.
North Carolina is one of 18 states (plus the District of Columbia) that requires background checks not just for sales by licensed gun dealers, but also for handgun buyers that buy from unlicensed sellers. The provision of HB 562 that was amended sought to remove North Carolina from that group, moving the state backwards.