RALEIGH, N.C. – As the North Carolina General Assembly considers HB 562, legislation that would repeal the requirement that all handgun buyers in the state pass a criminal background check, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America released a new poll today (available here) showing that 87 percent of likely North Carolina voters support requiring background checks for all handgun sales.
“Thanks to sneaky tactics by gun lobby-backed legislators the repeal of criminal background checks has been slipped into an omnibus bill – and it could soon be easy for dangerous people to buy firearms in our state. North Carolina Moms are watching this very closely and we will remember who sides with the NRA – instead of the 87 percent of North Carolinians who support background checks,” said Sarah Green, volunteer chapter leader of North Carolina Moms Demand Action, which has more than 101,000 supporters in the state. “Just look at what happened to Missouri when they repealed background checks – they saw a 25 percent rise in gun homicides, increases in gun trafficking and a growing market for crime guns. If lawmakers vote in favor of this bill then they are voting to arm criminals and make the streets, shops and playgrounds of North Carolina less safe for all our children. Lawmakers should be making rational evidence-based decisions to ensure our public safety, not bending to the extremist interests of the gun lobby.”
Repealing the background check requirement in North Carolina would allow felons and other dangerous people to evade background checks and arm themselves. The bill would eliminate permits for purchasing a handgun, meaning that no criminal background check would be required before buying from an unlicensed seller. For several decades, this law has kept guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill in North Carolina.
Since Missouri repealed its background check requirement in 2007, 68 more people are shot to death each year in that state. This is a 25 percent spike in the state’s gun homicide rate, which is now the fifth highest in the country. More information about Missouri’s background check is available here.
“This bill proposes that individuals who have not undergone a background check can carry loaded weapons on our streets – that makes no sense,” said Kaaren Halderman of Durham, a volunteer with North Carolina Moms Demand Action. “Why would our legislators vote against the will of the majority of the people of North Carolina and against the scientific evidence that shows background checks save lives? Ensuring public safety, not political favors, is the obligation of our elected officials. We’re waiting for them to do the right thing for the people of North Carolina.”
“As a mom, the safety of my children is my number one priority,” said Christy Clark of Huntersville, a volunteer with North Carolina Moms Demand Action. “When I’m taking them to the park or the grocery store, the last thing I want to worry about is if a stranger with a gun is a law abiding citizen or has a violent criminal record. This bill just doesn’t make sense – and 87 percent of North Carolinian voters support background checks because we know they work. Why would legislators knowingly support a bill that could allow guns to easily fall into the hands of those who shouldn’t have them like domestic abusers and violent felons? That isn’t good for the safety of my children or the safety of North Carolina families.”