The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) recently joined the National Rifle Association (NRA) in backing the North Carolina Rifle & Pistol Association’s (NCRPA’s) renewed push to repeal North Carolina’s Pistol Purchase Permit Requirement.  The NCRPA maintains that the federal NICS screening system is more effective at catching problem handgun purchases.

NCRPA President Fred Edgecomb, in a recent press release, calling the current law “unsafe,” noted that “A Pistol Purchase Permit is good for five years from the date of issue and herein lies the problem…During that five-year period, an individual can commit a felony, abuse drugs, or ignore a restraining order, yet not be required to undergo a background check because their permit is current.  That is not a safe way to protect the public.”

In order to purchase a handgun in North Carolina, a citizen must first apply to their local sheriff for a Pistol Purchase Permit.  The applicant must appear in person with a government ID, pay a fee, and undergo a criminal background check.  The citizen who receives a Pistol Purchase Permit can then use the permit to purchase a handgun within 5 years from the date that the permit was issued.

Long gun (rifles and shotguns) purchases in North Carolina are screened at the point of sale through the federal NICS system, which quickly screens the potential firearms applicant for known criminal activity or other problems which would prevent the firearms purchase.  There is no state screen for long gun purchases in North Carolina.

The local sheriff’s oversight of pistol purchase permits in NC harkens back to the “Jim Crow” era following Reconstruction, when laws were designed to keep freed slaves from protecting themselves.   A sheriff could selectively keep handguns out of the hands of African American citizens without having to adhere to clear, non-discriminatory regulatory standards.  Similar repressive laws were largely banished by the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

To address these problems, the NCRPA announced on April 29, 2020 its statewide campaign to end North Carolina’s Pistol Purchase Permit regulations.  To support this effort, the NCRPA has increased its current lobbying representation in the state legislature, to include a team of respected lobbyists from the law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, LLP.  In addition, the NCRPA intends to educate the public about this antiquated and unsafe law.

In its communications to the NCRPA offering its support, the NSSF pointed out that only 12 other states require a similar permit, and most of those states are actively anti-gun, including California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.

The NSSF created a flyer stating its reasons for supporting the NC Pistol Purchase Permit repeal movement.  Please view that NSSF flyer by clicking below:

NSSF:  Repeal North Carolina’s Pistol Purchase Permit