Everything that’s in North Carolina’s new gun law

Second Amendment

You no longer need to get a permit from the sheriff to buy a handgun. North Carolina’s law also changes where you can take those guns and how you store them.

NORTH CAROLINA, USA — With an override of Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto, there is a new law about guns in North Carolina. The changes break down into three categories. How you can buy a gun. Where you can take the gun, and how to store the gun.

How you buy guns

Starting immediately, you no longer need to get a permit from the sheriff’s office to buy a handgun. If you buy from a gun dealer, you will still need a federal background check. If you’re buying from a private seller, like your neighbor, you won’t need a background check or a permit. That’s why Governor Roy Cooper originally vetoed the bill. 

Here’s what he said about his veto earlier this month:

“I think that this legislation that completely eliminates the permit for a pistol, which would make it easier for people who commit domestic violence to be able to buy guns. I think that’s going backward. We need to go forward to try to reduce gun violence while respecting the second amendment,” Cooper said.

On the other side of the issue, a spokesperson from the National Rifle Association says North Carolina’s new law is a victory for the second amendment.

“At the end of the day, we don’t think you should need government permission in order to exercise your Constitutional freedoms,” said D.J. Spiker with the NRA. “If you want to buy a handgun to protect your family and have it in your home, you shouldn’t have to go to the government first and ask for permission. Removing that step, which we see as a burden, an impediment to both being able to defend yourself your home, your family, and again, a Constitutional freedom that you have. We just don’t think you need to have government there in order to execute that.”

According to Giffords, a gun safety group that tracks gun laws across the country, said North Carolina was one of 10 states that required a permit to buy a pistol. Now it’s down to nine. Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon, and Rhode Island.

Where you can take guns

While that part of the law goes into effect immediately, there are other changes that we’ll see in the coming months. Beginning in July, non-sworn law enforcement employees will be allowed to conceal carry in law enforcement buildings. But that’s only if they have the law enforcement head’s permission. That would be someone like the sheriff or police chief.

Then in December, people will be able to carry guns at churches that share a property with a school building. But it would have to be outside of school hours and when the school is not being used for any non-religious extracurriculars for minors.

A reminder – concealed handguns still cannot be carried: in any state or federal building like a courthouse, on school grounds during school hours, in areas of assemblies like parades, funerals, or demonstrations, in businesses that have posted signs banning concealed weapons, or if you’re under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances not prescribed by a doctor.

How to store guns

The last section of the new law is all about gun safety. 

It requires the state department of public safety to work with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Wildlife Resource Commission to launch a two-year safe gun storage initiative. That entails the creation of a website and a toolkit of information for local communities to use to launch sage storage initiatives at the local level. The departments are not allowed to use the initiative to advocate for new gun laws changing Senate Bill 41.

Click here to read Senate Bill 41.

Check out more of our Dig In 2 It topics on the WFMY News 2 YouTube channel.

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