This story originally published online at NC Policy Watch.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper vetoed a bill that would allow people to purchase pistols without receiving permits from county sheriffs.
Cooper vetoed a version of the bill in 2021, but there’s a greater likelihood his veto will be overridden this year.
Supporters of Senate bill 41 contend required federal background checks make the sheriffs’ checks are redundant. But a repeal would open a loophole for pistols purchased from private sellers.
The bill would also allows people with concealed carry permits to carry firearms in schools that double as places of worship. It wouldn’t apply to property school boards or counties own.
“Eliminating strong background checks will allow more domestic abusers and other dangerous people to own handguns and reduces law enforcement’s ability to stop them from committing violent crimes,” Cooper said in a statement Friday. “Second Amendment supporting, responsible gun owners know this will put families and communities at risk.”
When Cooper vetoed the pistol permit repeal in 2021, the legislature did not attempt to override it.
He vetoed guns in schools bills twice, in 2020 and in 2021. An attempt to override failed in 2020, and the legislature didn’t try in 2021.
Cooper said in his statement the bill increases the chances a child would find a gun. He noted a recent NC Child Fatality Task Force report detailing increasing rates of child gun deaths.
This year Republicans have a veto-proof majority in the Senate and are one vote away from it in the House. The House passed the bill last week with a vote of 70-44, with three Democrats voting for it.
Three-fifths of legislators present and voting in each chamber are needed to override a veto. This year the bill has a chance of surviving an override attempt if all 120 House members vote and just one House Democrat votes to override.
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