June 10, 2023
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North Carolina – On Friday, Governor Roy Cooper vetoed Senate Bill 41 to repeal our Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit law and to facilitate parishioners in defending churches against violent sociopaths. It now becomes our responsibility to override that veto. We need your help!

Senate Bill 41, returned by Cooper to the legislature, will first go to the Senate, where Republicans hold the necessary 6/10 to override the veto. Next, the bill goes to the House, where Republicans lack just one vote for the needed supermajority.

The good news is that in the House, three Democrats – Reps. Marvin Lucas (Cumberland), Shelly Willingham (Bertie, Edgecombe, Martin), and Michael Wray (Halifax, Northampton, Warren) – voted for final passage of SB 41.

The question becomes whether politicians, under considerable pressure from the most anti-freedom NC governor since the defeat of the British, will buckle and vote against us on the override vote. That will depend in large part on you.

CALL & EMAIL THE 3 HOUSE DEMOCRATS: No later than Tuesday, politely contact Lucas, Willingham, and Wray, thank them for their vote for SB 41, and tell them that the safety of church-goers currently denied the ability to protect themselves depends on their vote to over-ride Cooper’s reckless veto.

  • Marvin Lucas: Legislative Office: 919-733-5775
    Email: Marvin.Lucas@ncleg.gov
  • Shelly Willingham: Legislative Office: 919-715-3024
    Email: Shelly.Willingham@ncleg.gov
  • Michael Wray: Legislative Office: 919-733-5662
  • Email: Michael.Wray@ncleg.gov


Suggested Subject: “All churches deserve the same protection”

Representatives Lucas, Willingham and Wray:

I thank you for your vote for Senate Bill 41 (“Guarantee 2nd Amendment Freedom and Protections”), and strongly urge you to over-ride Governor Roy Cooper’s reckless veto.
Part I of the bill (“Protect Religious Meeting Places”) merely offers churches which sponsor schools the same protection other churches have enjoyed since 1995. As a reasonable and measured response to increasing attacks on religious institutions, the bill does not apply to religious functions held in public schools, to institutions of higher learning, or at any time curricular or extracurricular school functions are held. If Cooper’s veto is allowed to stand and an attack occurs at a North Carolina church, those responsible will be held to account.

The bill’s opponents claim that under Part II (“Repeal Pistol Purchase Permits”), lack of purchase permits for private transfers will mean fewer background checks. In truth, criminals and even lawful citizens rarely use the archaic permits. Few people even know they are legally required.

Moreover, repealing the Jim Crow-era law will ensure that background checks for dealer sales will be done at the time and point of sale instead of up to five years prior. Purchase permits are valid for five years, during which permit holders can commit disqualifying crimes but still use their permits to bypass the computerized National Instant Background Check System.

A 2014 North Carolina Sheriffs Association report entitled “Pistol Purchase Permit Revocations: A Report to the General Assembly” found “165 or 23.5% of permits being subject to revocation in Camden County and 35,488 or 38% of permits being subject to revocation in Mecklenburg County. Several sheriffs’ offices had over 40% of their permits reported subject to revocation in the NICS report.” But the report also found that “conducting periodic background checks on all active permits manually (researching each name on a weekly or monthly basis) is a nearly impossible task for all sheriffs’ offices.”

By voting to over-ride Gov. Cooper’s veto, you will be voting to enhance public safety. I will be monitoring this issue through Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.

Read Related: North Carolina Denying the Racist Roots of Its Own Jim Crow Gun Laws

About Grass Roots North Carolina

Founded in 1994, Grass Roots North Carolina is an all-volunteer 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving individual liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights with emphasis on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.Grass Roots North Carolina

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