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Opinion

NC lawmakers maddeningly slow to address gun legislation
General Assembly should be called to task
 
Published Saturday, August 17, 2019 8:46 pm
by Kelly Alexander

North Carolina's Republican-leaning General Assembly has been slow to address common-sense gun legislation, including so-called "red flag" bills.

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“Do something!” is the anguished cry of citizens, about gun violence.


Our citizens want constructive action, and they want it now.  Unfortunately, Republican intransigency has stood in the way of open debate on common sense gun legislation. Last night democratic legislators, Reps. Morey and Clark, stood tall on the floor of the N.C. House, announcing discharge petitions for two pieces of common sense gun legislation bottled up in a House judiciary committee since the start of session.  


House Bill 454, introduced on March 27, would authorize “extreme risk protection orders”, commonly referred to as “red flag” legislation. The concept was endorsed by the President in his recent address to the nation following the domestic terrorist violence in El Paso, Dayton and Gilroy.


House Bill 86, introduced on Feb. 18, would require permits for the purchase of an assault weapon; require a 72 hour waiting before a purchased firearm can be delivered; restrict the age of purchase for an assault weapon; prohibit the sale or possession of a bump stock and require safe firearm storage, among other measures. Up until this point the Republican majority has kept these bills form being debated.


A discharge petition is a little used parliamentary maneuver that allows a bill to be removed from committee and reported directly to the floor for debate.  It requires the signature of 61 members.  If all 55 democrats sign, only six Republicans will need to join for the petition to take effect.  Because the Republican leadership does not want these measures debated, both bills are likely to continue to languish in committee.


An Elon University poll taken in 2013 found that North Carolinians supported common sense gun control; 90% supported mandatory background checks; 83% supported waiting periods before a citizen can purchase a handgun; 56% supported banning the sale of semi-automatic assault rifles and 55% supported limiting the number of rounds of ammunition in clips or magazines.


High Point University’s HPU Poll in 2017 found 83% favored federal licenses for gun ownership; 92% favored criminal background checks; 91% favored providing services to mentally ill people who show violent tendencies; 74% favored banning bump stocks; 71% favored banning high-capacity ammunition clips and 62% favored banning assault style weapons.


In the face of increasing citizen demands for action, my Republican colleagues, continue to do nothing.  How high must the tide of domestic terrorism rise before Republicans will see the light?  How many more times will condolences be offered, rather than concrete solutions?


Kelly Alexander is a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Comments

Let's just do away with the rest of the Amendments eh especially the 1st how would you like that eh cupcake
Posted on August 19, 2019
 
Assault Weapons have been illegal for general civilian ownership since 1934. Do your research into what is an assault weapon or weapon of war and what is not.
Posted on August 18, 2019
 
The only action that would make common sense is to abolish gun free zones. No one has the moral authority to deny people the right of self defense.
Posted on August 18, 2019
 
What is an assault weapon? A single shot bolt action .22 caliber rifle becomes an assault weapon if someone shoots someone with it. A baseball bat becomes an assault weapon if someone hits someone with it. How can you simply throw out terms such a "assault weapon"?
Posted on August 18, 2019
 

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