Eastern Carolina residents and lawmakers react to gun law change

Eastern Carolina residents and lawmakers react to gun law change.
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 7:27 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -Repealing the pistol permit system in North Carolina has been an ongoing battle for years. But as of Wednesday, North Carolinians buying a handgun no longer need to receive permission first from their local sheriff.

“To do the actual check it takes 5 minutes, but it could take seven days to hear back from them,” said Chuck Fulk, owner of Doc’s Gun and Pawn.

Just a day after the State Senate voted to override the veto, the House took up the issue, passing it Wednesday morning 71-to-46. Three Democrats missed the vote, giving Republicans the margin they needed to vote the measure through.

Democratic State Senator Kandie Smith says the Republican push to get the bill through shortly after a mass shooting was wrong and insensitive.

“If we look at what just happened in Tennessee, that is a glaring picture of what is on the forefront of everyone’s minds, so the first thing that I thought of is once we received that news, we didn’t have to move ahead with that vote right now,” said Smith.

Many Eastern Carolina gun shop owners say the change won’t create any more danger. Even those who were skeptical when WITN talked to them when the bill was first introduced in February now say the old rules were repetitive.

“There would be no difference in that check than it would be if someone came in here to buy a hunting shotgun, so we would do the exact same check and then we would just tell the customer either yes you’re approved or no, you’re not,” said Fulk.

The pistol permit system repeal goes into effect immediately. The NC Sheriffs’ Association backed the change.