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North Carolina Republicans voted to remove permit requirements for handguns just days after the Tennessee school shooting.

The day following a Tennessee school shooting that left three nine-year-olds and three adults dead, Republican North Carolina lawmakers voted to enact a bill that would remove permit requirements for residents to purchase a handgun.

Senate Bill 41, which eliminates required background checks for handguns conducted by sheriff’s offices statewide, was initially vetoed by Democratic Governor Roy Cooper on Friday after passing the State Senate and House earlier this month.

“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,” Gov. Cooper said. “Second Amendment supporting, responsible gun owners know this will put families and communities at risk.”

The legislation removes sheriffs’ authority to refuse a permit based on signs of mental illness, domestic abuse incidents that might not be captured in a national database, or other indicators that a person could be a danger to themselves or others.

North Carolina loosens reigns on permit requirements

On Tuesday, the day after the school shooting at Covenant Presbyterian School that left three children, three adults, and the gunman dead, North Carolina State Senators voted along party lines to override Gov. Cooper’s veto. 

Wednesday morning North Carolina State Representatives voted along party lines to override Gov. Cooper’s veto, meaning just two days after the 13th school shooting in the U.S. in 2023, the neighboring state of the latest school shooting essentially opened the floodgates for handgun purchases.

“For us to come in this tone deaf about what happened in Nashville and to pretend that it doesn’t matter, to pretend that that might not be an issue that we have to bring up is disturbing with a bunch of kids sitting up here,” House Minority Leader Robert Reives said as he pointed to the gallery in the State Capitol.

“It is incredible to me that this is what we have turned into,” he said.

Mike Creef is a fighter for equality and justice for all. Growing up bi-racial (Jamaican-American) on the east coast allowed him to experience many different cultures and beliefs that helped give him a...