NSSF: Democrat governor vetoes bill that would have ended practice discriminating against black gun owners


By Larry Keane and our friends at NSSF

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper had an opportunity to end his state’s discriminatory Jim Crow-era law.

Legislation to repeal the state’s requirement for citizens to obtain a pistol purchase permit from their local sheriff was passed by state lawmakers and sent to his desk for signature, in what would have ended a practice known to discriminate against African-American gun buyers.

Instead, he vetoed the measure.

The move was expected, yet it is still disappointing that politicians side with gun control measures even when they prove to be racially discriminating.

It was a lost opportunity to stand up for his citizens’ Second Amendment rights and put an end to abuses of permit system that unlawfully denied North Carolinians the ability to protect themselves.

NSSF backed the legislation that would have repealed the 102-year-old relic of the Jim Crow-era and brought North Carolina into the 21st Century.

Gov. Cooper vetoed N.C.’s House Bill 398, which passed both the state’s House of Representatives and Senate with overwhelming support.

The legislation earned the backing of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, but Gov. Cooper’s veto put gun control politics ahead of North Carolinians’ rights. He said he’d rather be signing more gun control legislation.

“Gun permit laws reduce gun homicides and suicides and reduce the availability of guns for criminal activity,” Gov. Cooper wrote in a press statement. 

“At a time of rising gun violence, we cannot afford to repeal a system that works to save lives. The legislature should focus on combating gun violence instead of making it easier for guns to end up in the wrong hands.”

Rights Denied

The issue came to the forefront when the Wake County Sheriff’s Office refused to accept handgun permit applications during COVID-19 restrictions.

Individuals and groups sued Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker in federal court. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina ruled the sheriff’s office must pay $26,000 in fees and damages.

A similar lawsuit was also filed against Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office for slow-walking permits there, which are required by law to be issued within 14 days.

North Carolina’s pistol purchase permitting system has been abused. The recent examples of sheriffs closing off permits during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate how the sheriffs made unilateral decisions to deny firearm sales to citizens at a time when firearm sales were skyrocketing over personal safety concerns.

Without the permits, most North Carolinians were barred from their ability to legally purchase firearms. Without the ability to lawfully purchase firearms, their Second Amendment rights were violated.

That’s not a new phenomenon, though. The University of North Carolina’s Law Review studied the rejection rates for pistol permits issued by county sheriffs.

The findings demonstrated that the law is used to discriminate against African-Americans based on subjective criteria, not fair application of upholding God-given rights.

Historic Abuse

“As a whole, the system is largely redundant with federal law, adding cost, time, and frustration for handgun purchasers,” the study’s authors wrote. “Furthermore, the permitting system is ripe for abuse by allowing denials for subjective ‘good cause.’ This subjective criteria for denial is suspect since Black applicants are rejected at a rate near three times as high as White applicants.”

The pistol purchase permit law was enacted in 1919, at a time when the UNC Law Review noted it was intended to deny minorities the ability to possess handguns. It has remained in effect since. State senators rebuked Gov. Cooper’s veto that keeps the discriminatory practice.

“The North Carolina Senate voted to repeal the Jim Crow-era pistol permit system that the Democrats created to prevent black people from owning guns,” state Republican Sen. Chuck Edwards wrote in a statement. 

“But the bill will not become law because Gov. Roy Cooper and every Senate Democrat, like those legislators in 1919, voted to maintain the discriminatory gun control system that they would view as racist in any other context.”

Politics Over Policy

Gov. Cooper’s claims that the permit system is needed for public safety were also debunked by the UNC Law Review study.

“Finally, when compared to states without the permitting requirement, North Carolina’s crime rates are within a few percentage points of theirs, indicating that the permitting system is not sensible policy,” the UNC Law Study states.

There are already safeguards in place to ensure firearms sold at retail aren’t allowed to be purchased by prohibited individuals. The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is used across the country to verify that firearms sold at retail are only transferred to those in good standing with the law.

Gov. Cooper’s veto was a lost opportunity to stand up for the rights of his citizens. He chose gun control politics over good policy. His explanation that more laws are needed to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens because of the criminal actions of those who have no respect for law is lacking. His veto only serves to keep discriminatory practices alive when they belong in the past.

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What facts? Former U.S. Rep. Giffords caught spreading lies to push anti-gun agenda – NSSF

September 2, 2021

By Larry Keane and our friends at NSSF

Former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, who heads up the gun control group bearing her name, is spinning tales and vilifying the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) to advance President Joe Biden’s shared gun grab visions.

Giffords penned an op-ed in The Philadelphia Inquirer calling for nationwide universal background checks on all firearm transfers. She claims this is what America needs but couldn’t be more wrong.

America doesn’t need more background checks. America needs better background checks. That’s exactly what NSSF has been fighting for since 2013.

NSSF’s FixNICS® campaign is focused on improving the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) so the background check system works as it was intended.

The firearm industry spearheaded this initiative and changed laws in 16 states and in Congress to ensure all disqualifying adjudicated mental health and criminal records are submitted to the FBI.

Since NSSF started this effort, submission of disqualifying records to the FBI increased 270 percent, from about 1.7 million in 2012 to over 6.14 million in 2021.

Pennsylvania, where Giffords is stumping for gun control, is one of the most improved states because of the firearm industry’s efforts, not Giffords’ gun control.

In 2012, Pennsylvania submitted just one disqualifying mental health record to the FBI. The firearm industry changed that. Today, 944,974 records are submitted.

Still, Giffords demands Congress act to push for universal background checks without clarifying that the murderer, who took six innocent lives and wounded Giffords, passed the very background check she demands.

She overlooks that the background check her attacker passed didn’t account for his noted drug abuse, his violent outbursts or declining state of mental health.

Better laws were needed to stop the likes of her attacker, not more laws that would infringe on the rights of those who obey the law.

Gun Control Lies

Giffords’ troubles with the truth don’t end there. She claims that 90 percent of surveyed gun owners support universal background checks. That’s not the entire story.

The fact is the most recent attempt for universal background checks in Congress, H.R. 8, was rammed through without even debate and passed on near-party lines.

Colion Noir, attorney and Second Amendment advocate, took apart this myth over the vague wording and what the question leaves out. What is never asked is if Americans agree with being put on a national gun registry – a watchlist – simply for exercising Constitutional rights.

Giffords wasn’t done though. She claimed unlicensed gun dealers are selling guns wholesale in America. She’s dancing with words to confuse readers. There are licensed firearm retailers and private sellers.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regulates firearm retailers. Private parties are able to sell firearms within the laws of their states, some of which require background checks before transferring a firearm.

Anyone else selling guns for profit without a license has an entirely different category. That’s criminal. The firearm industry wants criminals locked up.

Giffords blasted Members of Congress for failing to pass any meaningful legislation to improve public safety when it comes to firearms. Again, this is false.

Congress passed, and President Donald Trump signed into law, the FIX NICS Act in 2018, named for NSSF’s program, because it demanded what NSSF has pushed for since 2013. It compels federal agencies and incentivizes states to submit all disqualifying mental health records.

It passed with broad bipartisan support, with 78 U.S. Senators co-sponsoring the law. That was the firearm industry leading that effort for real change and real safety. Giffords was on the sidelines.

Losing Gambit

None of Giffords lambasting the firearm industry is a surprise. She’s grown increasingly frustrated with NSSF because the firearm industry has consistently and routinely shined a light on her half-truths and extremist gun control spin.

That’s evident even now. NSSF is leading the opposition to her and antigun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s hand-selected puppet David Chipman, whom President Joe Biden nominated to lead the ATF.

NSSF ran television advertising for the very first time to inform senators and their voters of Chipman’s gun control ambitions.


This is the man who couldn’t define “assault weapons” when asked under oath but wants to ban them.

If he couldn’t, he has openly advocated in Congressional testimony to twist the National Firearms Act to reclassify the semiautomatic Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR) and require all owners to register them and pay a tax – all 20 million-plus in circulation.

This is the same Chipman who denigrated gun buyers as “Tiger King” and zombie apocalypse preppers and lied about helicopters being shot down at the stand-off at Waco, Texas.

Giffords calls NSSF extremist, but it’s clear she’s got an axe to grind. She also knows that Americans are embracing their Second Amendment rights in record numbers.

Over 21 million background checks were conducted in 2020 for the sale of a gun. In 2021, that number is topping 11 million so far. She ignores that background checks are being conducted for the sale of firearms at retail and they’re shattering records.

Giffords ignores these truths so America doesn’t uncover the truth of her ultimate goal. Giffords wants to ban MSRs, the most popular-selling centerfire rifle in America, and standard capacity magazines.

She supports President Biden’s goal of repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), so activist lawyers can sue the firearm industry into oblivion for the actions of criminals. She supports gun registries so every law-abiding gun owner is on a government watchlist.

Giffords backs the expanded use of so-called “red flag” laws that would do more than disarm gun owners, these laws would also deny them Second Amendment rights without Due Process.

She wants to enact age-based gun bans, to unconstitutionally deny young adults under 21 the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Giffords’ goal isn’t just more background checks. Her goal is to eliminate lawful gun ownership. That’s the most extremist position out there.

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