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GunsAs long as North Carolina is going to regulate guns about as effectively as a broken down banana republic, it might as well pass laws in a similar way.

That’s about the only conclusion that one can draw about the attitudes of the folks running the General Assembly after this afternoon’s announcement by North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore that the House will press ahead with a new and thus far undisclosed version of controversial gun legislation. Not only did Moore issue an edict that the bill will be taken up in the House Rules Committee tomorrow morning (a committee that’s generally supposed to deal with matters related to managing the affairs of the House rather than substantive matters like gun regulation), he also proclaimed that it would pass the committee and then be voted on on the House floor a few hours later.

Good to know that tomorrow’s committee will be so open and honest.

No word yet on whether Moore will allow anyone other than supporters of the bill to speak at tomorrow kangaroo committee meeting. Given that the outcome has already been decided (as well as past experience in the Judiciary Committee with this dreadful proposal) there seems to be little reason to get one’s hopes up. Those wanting to listen in to the “debate” in committee tomorrow should visit the General Assembly’s audio broadcasts page and click on Committee Room 1228 at 9:00 a.m.

 

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For the first time in a while in North Carolina, advocates for common sense gun regulations are showing some real spunk (and getting some traction) in combating legislation pushed by the Second Amendment fundamentalists. Scroll down to see the new TV ad from the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. This is from a release that accompanied the ad’s release:

“The ad highlights the broad consensus among North Carolinians against HB 562—the gun lobby-backed bill that would repeal North Carolina’s requirement that all handgun buyers get a pistol permit, a process that includes a criminal background check. The ad features recently released polling paid for by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund showing that 87 percent of North Carolinians support background checks on all gun sales and a letter from the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association urging the Legislature to remove the portion of HB 562 that would repeal the state’s background check law. The bill would allow felons, domestic abusers, and other people prohibited from having guns to evade background checks by shopping with unlicensed sellers online or at gun shows….

In the past year, 819 permits in Wake County were denied to prospective handgun buyers, including felons, domestic abusers, and the seriously mentally ill. If HB 562 passes, those dangerous people would be able to meet a stranger online and buy a handgun with no questions asked. “

Here’s the ad:

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Commentary

GunsThe Greensboro News & Record tells it like it is this morning in a polite but firm editorial regarding the controversial House bill to further liberalize North Carolina gun laws. The editorial is entitled “Doctors and guns” and it rightfully labels the proposal to gag doctors who would ask their patients about firearms in their homes an unconstitutional abridgment of the First Amendment:

“Health and safety are their business. A patient can exhibit signs indicating a risk for suicide or aggression without explicitly expressing a desire to harm himself or others. While the bill does not directly prohibit doctors from asking about a patient’s access to guns, it prevents them from informing police. Imagine a psychiatrist examining someone like Seung-Hui Cho, the 2007 Virginia Tech mass-murderer, finding him in a troubled state of mind, learning he has firearms, but being barred from telling police because of Cho’s right to ‘firearms privacy.’

Because of physicians’ free-speech rights, this measure should not survive a legal challenge. But it demonstrates how completely many state legislators have surrendered to the gun mania afflicting the country.”

The editorial concludes this way:

“The bill has other unsound provisions. It would:

• Weaken criminal background checks.

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Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer

Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer

Be sure to check out today’s edition of the Fitzsimon File“More guns, more guns, more guns” — which details the latest of gun deregulation nonsense at the General Assembly.

As Chris correctly points out in examining the legislation pushed yesterday in the House Judiciary I Committee by Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer (of anti-abortion fame):

“Jobs may still be hard to come by for thousands of people in North Carolina and many folks who are working are earning less, but lawmakers want to make sure that virtually everybody in the state can now buy a gun and take it anywhere they want regardless of the implications for public safety or property rights.

Whatever the question these days, more guns is part of the answer.”

The bill, which was approved in the Judiciary Committee yesterday, will be heard this afternoon in the House Rules Committee. Stay tuned for updates.

Commentary

GunsIn case you missed it, North Carolina legislators produced another one of their inimitable, you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up moments yesterday. On the very same day that a disturbed and self-described Neo-Nazi confessed to shooting and murdering an innocent Wayne County Community College employee in cold blood earlier this week, House members defeated a bipartisan proposal that would have given law enforcement officials limited authority to destroy the gun he used to commit the crime if and when he is ultimately convicted.

Right now, in North Carolina, gun buyers and sellers are often free to obtain and re-sell weapons that were used to murder innocent people as state officials are, bizarrely, forbidden from destroying them in most circumstances. As the sponsor of the bill, Republican Representative Ted Davis of New Hanover County, noted in debate, families of murder victims can, under current law, be forced to see the weapons that killed their loved ones turn up for sale on eBay. Indeed, it’s quite likely there is nothing to prevent a dealer from ultimately obtaining the gun Kenneth Stancil used in Wayne County and touting its past use as proof of its effectiveness!

As Rep. Darren Jackson explained, the proposal was brought to the General Assembly by the District Attorney of Gaston County on behalf of law enforcement officers and court officials in his district as one small thing that state officials could do help provide a bit of peace of mind to people who put their lives on the line every day to protect the citizenry and who don’t want to see the weapons used by criminals back out “on the street.”

Amazingly, though, Davis’ and Jackson’s common sense arguments fell largely on deaf ears as the House defeated the proposal 63-50. Click here to see how your lawmaker voted.

In helping to defeat he bill, opponents like Rep. Jay Adams and Rep. Charles McGrady spoke in defense of the poor, defenseless and innocent weapons. Read More