Target: North Carolina General Assembly
Goal: Eliminate the loopholes in North Carolina’s handgun permit program so guns don’t end up in the hands of felons
In Mecklenburg County, which includes Charlotte, NC, more than 60 people who have been convicted of felonies hold active handgun permits. Some of these offenses were violent crimes and even involved the use of handguns. Five of the 60 permit holders were convicted of robbery with a dangerous weapon, three of manslaughter, two of firing a gun into occupied property, and one of murder in the second degree. Other individuals were convicted of violent assault and some of using dangerous weapons to attack and injure government officials.
These individuals can possess handguns even after their convictions due to a fault in the permit program in North Carolina that fails to detect newly convicted criminals and doesn’t give law enforcement the authority to revoke permits from violent offenders.
To get a government-issued permit in North Carolina, an applicant must pay five dollars and pass a basic background check by a county sheriff. The background check is intended to weed out felons, but when permit holders commit violent crimes after receiving their permit, there’s no way for the system to revoke their ability to carry a license. The permits are good for five years, and this lengthy timeframe is long enough for an individual to be convicted of a felony, serve time, and be released. Sheriffs don’t have the legal authority to revoke permits or confiscate handguns possessed by these individuals.
A bill addressing this problem and co-sponsored by Rep. Henry Michaux Jr., D-Durham is currently in the House Rules Committee. The new law would allow sheriffs to revoke a permit if the holder is convicted of a crime that would have barred him or her from getting the permit. Sign the petition below to tell the North Carolina General Assembly to support this law, as it’s a step in the right direction to closing loopholes in the state’s faulty permit program.
Dear North Carolina General Assembly,
Convicted felons can easily hold handgun permits and possess firearms in the state of North Carolina. This is because of the state’s faulty handgun permit program. The system does not notify the state or police force when a permit holder is convicted of a felony after they have received his or her permit.
Law enforcement currently does not have the ability to confiscate firearms or permits from violent criminals. Some of these criminals have been convicted of crimes that actually involve firearms and should certainly not have easy access to handguns.
Support the bill currently in the House Rules Committee that would close this loophole and allow sheriffs to revoke a permit if the holder is convicted of a crime that would have barred him or her from getting the permit. If felons are able to keep their handgun permits and firearms, there’s a greater chance they will commit additional offenses. Please help keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: gfairchild via Flickr