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NC House passes bill that eases pistol permitting

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Pistol purchases would no longer need a permit from sheriff’s offices under a bill that passed the North Carolina House on Wednesday.  

Current law requires sheriffs to conduct criminal background checks before issuing permits. Anyone who’s been convicted of a felony isn’t eligible.  

Republicans argue that the requirement is cumbersome. They say some sheriffs have been too slow to issue permits.  

“The permit has been weaponized, so to speak, because they don’t want to issue more guns,” said Representative Dean Arp, a Republican from Union County.

Most Democrats oppose the change. They argue that eliminating the permits could make it easier for criminals to buy guns.

Democratic Representative Allison Dahleof Raleigh says the process is as simple as other common registrations.  

"In order to vote in the state of North Carolina and in order to vote in the United States, you have to register," she said. "That's all we're asking."

The bill now goes to the Senate. Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a similar measure in 2021.  

Colin Campbell covers politics for WUNC as the station's capitol bureau chief.
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