Bill would allow sheriffs to issue pistol permits for neighboring counties

President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, speaks about gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House, Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

RALEIGH — A House bill filed near the end of March would allow North Carolina sheriffs to issue pistol permits to resident of neighboring counties.

House Bill 398 would grant a sheriff the authority to issue a pistol-purchase permit to “a resident of any contiguous county” if the current permit requirements are met.

The bill’s primary sponsors are Reps. Jay Adams (R-Catawba), George Cleveland (R-Onslow), Edward Goodwin (R-Chowan), and Bobby Hanig (R-Currituck).

The bill would also let a sheriff decline to issue a permit to a resident of a contiguous county for any reason other than one prohibited by law. In the event a sheriff does decline, they must issue written notice including all reasons for declining to issue the permit. The refusal letter must be sent within seven days, and a sheriff can’t decline on the basis that the person applying is not resident of their county.

Grassroots North Carolina, North Carolina’s largest firearm advocacy group, has mounted a letter-writing campaign in support of the bill, which is currently waiting to be heard in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Permit requests have been on the rise for years, with record-breaking numbers for firearm sales, background checks and permits in 2020, both in North Carolina and nationwide.

Last week, President Joe Biden announced he would take executive actions on firearms, none of which seem to reference concealed carry. The White House produced a fact sheet of Biden’s six “initial actions”:

  1. The Justice Department, within 30 days, will issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of “ghost guns.”
  2. The Justice Department, within 60 days, will issue a proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act.
  3. The Justice Department, within 60 days, will publish model “red-flag” legislation for states.
  4. The Administration is investing in evidence-based community violence interventions.
  5. The Justice Department will issue an annual report on firearms trafficking.
  6. The President will nominate David Chipman to serve as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Firearm advocate the Second Amendment Foundation issued a statement warning the Biden administration that “if it steps over its legal authority with any executive action or order over the constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, legal action is a certainty.”

“Joe Biden just nominated a man now working for the Giffords gun control lobbying group to head the agency responsible for gun law enforcement,” SAF founder and executive vice president Alan M. Gottlieb said of Chipman’s nomination, calling it a non-starter.

Chipman has served as a senior policy advisor to Giffords, a gun control organization which seeks to “end the gun lobby’s stranglehold” on the political system.

About A.P. Dillon 1257 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_