Updated as of March 31, 2023 at 10:53 a.m. to include more detail on the response of the senators who sponsored SB41.
The North Carolina General Assembly voted this morning to eliminate all pistol purchase permitting laws in North Carolina. The change comes mere days after a deadly shooting in Tennessee took place.
With the statewide change, the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office will no longer issue or require pistol purchase permits. The process to purchase a handgun in the state is now only limited by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, instead of both the NICS and a state pistol purchase permit.
Any pistol purchase permits that were pending when the law was repealed will not be issued, and the passing of Senate Bill 41 does not affect any concealed handgun permitting laws.
In addition to loosening the restrictions for an individual’s ability to acquire a handgun, it is still prohibited for any person to knowingly possess or carry any gun, rifle, pistol or firearm on educational property or at any curricular or extracurricular activities sponsored by a school.
Yet, SB41 allows an individual with a valid conceal carry permit to carry a handgun specifically in places of religious worship that are located on an educational property — only provided that the handgun is possessed and carried outside of school operating hours, the property is not an institution of higher education, the property has not posted notice prohibiting concealed handguns on the premises and the property is not owned by a local board of education or county commission.
This bill only adds exceptions for places of worship that are located on educational properties. SB41 did not change the fact that individuals are permitted to conceal carry with a permit in a place of worship — with the exception that the congregation posts notice banning the possession of firearms on its property.
North Carolina has the fourth highest number of religious congregations in the country as of 2020, according to the 2020 U.S. Religion Census. Within North Carolina, Alamance County ranks 19th out of the state’s 100 counties for most religious congregations, while neighboring Guilford and Rudolph counties rank third and 16th respectively.
SB41, Guarantee 2nd Amendment Freedom and Protections, was approved by the General Assembly and sent to Gov. Roy Cooper by the General Assembly on March 16. Cooper vetoed the proposal on March 24.
The House and Senate have the ability to override the governor’s veto, if they have a three-fifths majority vote. On March 28, the North Carolina Senate voted to override the governor’s veto. After another successful three-fifths vote in the House, the bill took effect immediately this morning.
The primary sponsors of the bill are Republican Senator for District 24 Danny Earl Britt, Republican Senator for District 46 Warren Daniel and Republican Senator for District 7 Jim Perry. Republican Senator for District 25 — which includes Alamance County — Amy Galey also sponsored SB41.
On March 31, a representative from Galey’s office said she was at a conference and will be unavailable until April 3 after Elon News Network’s requests for comment.
Senators Britt, Perry and Daniel also did not respond to Elon News Network’s requests for comment as of March 31.
What you need to know: A timeline of the action in the General Assembly
This is a developing story.
Anthony Bamford, Nina Devany, Ryan Kupperman, Sarah Moore and Kyra O'Connor contributed to the reporting of this story.