Gun-rights advocates have convinced a veto-proof majority of North Carolina legislators to vote for the repeal of the state’s pistol purchase permit law. That includes three Democrats who will be key to whether the effort makes it across the finish line.
Because, as Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman explains, a veto-proof majority doesn’t actually guarantee a veto override. He details how gun owners in Louisiana know that fact all too well.
President Biden went back to the well with a new executive order this week. He’s pushing to force more Americans to obtain federal licenses before selling their guns, to get the FTC to go after gun advertising, and to have the ATF release more violation records from licensed dealers. Still, the actions are much more limited in nature than his previous two orders.
Democratic senators asked the Treasury Department and DOJ to advocate for credit card companies to implement a special merchant code for gun stores after those companies paused their plans last week. A federal just upheld New York’s Times Square gun-free zone and its ban on carrying on the subway system. I take a look at why a federal court’s ruling that Florida’s under-21 gun ban probably won’t save the law in the long run.
Plus, former Cody Firearms Museum curator Ashley Hlebinsky joins the podcast to talk about the University of Wyoming’s new firearms research center.
For the second time in less than two years, the North Carolina legislature has sent a bill to repeal the state’s Jim Crow-era pistol-purchase-permit law to Governor Roy Cooper’s (D.) desk.
The North Carolina House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 41 on Wednesday with a 70-44 vote. Alongside repealing the 104-year-old law permit-to-purchase requirement, the bill would allow permit holders to carry concealed firearms while attending religious services on school property, allow certain government employees to carry concealed handguns in law enforcement facilities, and create a public education campaign dedicated to safe firearm storage.
The bill’s passage sets up a potential veto showdown with the Democratic governor of an otherwise Republican-dominated state. In 2021, Cooper rejected separate bills to repeal the permit-to-purchase law and allow licensed concealed carry during religious services on school grounds. Republicans in the legislature at the time did not have the votes to override those vetoes.
Since then, Republicans have gained a veto-proof majority in the Senate and are just one vote away from the same in the House. Three Democratic representatives joined their Republican colleagues in voting for Senate Bill 41 on Wednesday, suggesting that a veto override is possible.
Just because a bill passes with veto-proof majorities doesn’t mean those votes always stick around when it really counts.
Huge majorities in the North Carolina legislature just passed a wide-ranging gun bill that includes a repeal of the state’s 104-year-old law requiring a permit to purchase a handgun. The final vote came on Wednesday when the state House gave its stamp of approval with the support of three Democratic legislators. Those three House Democrats, and whether or not they hold firm in their support for the bill, will determine if repeal makes it across the finish line.
Unlike the state senate, where Republicans now hold a veto-proof majority, North Carolina House Republicans must be able to count on at least one Democratic vote to override a veto from Governor Roy Cooper (D.). And though he hasn’t publicly signaled one way or another what he intends to do with the bill now that it’s on his desk, all signs point to a likely veto.
Cooper vetoed separate bills to repeal the permit-to-purchase law and allow licensed concealed carry during religious services on school grounds back in 2021. Both policies are included in Senate Bill 41, and he hasn’t offered any public comment suggesting his views on either policy have changed.
On paper, supporters of the bill should feel pretty confident in their prospects despite the Governor’s opposition. After all, even if two Democrats defect in the face of a tough veto override vote, the bill can still make it into law, provided everyone else stands firm. However, a recent example from another southern state serves as a cautionary tale that a veto override is no guarantee, even when a bill initially passes with huge margins of support.
President Biden Announces New Executive Order on Guns
By Jake Fogleman
Joe Biden is set to sign new executive actions targeting guns.
The White House announced a new executive order aimed primarily at increasing the use of background checks in private gun sales on Tuesday. It would also encourage using so-called red flag laws and push the ATF to release records of violations by licensed dealers.
“Specifically, the President is directing the Attorney General to move the U.S. as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation by clarifying, as appropriate, the statutory definition of who is ‘engaged in the business’ of dealing in firearms, as updated by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” the White House said in a fact sheet announcing the order.
Federal Judge Upholds Times Square, Subway Gun Bans
By Stephen Gutowski
New York’s ban on carrying firearms in its most iconic intersection can continue.
U.S. District Judge Nelson Roman ruled on Monday the gun-free zone that covers several city blocks in midtown Manhattan does not violate the Second Amendment. He cited two founding era bans on taking guns to “fairs” or “markets,” though one was against terrorizing people, and several late 19th century laws as analogues to the modern ban. He ruled those constituted a historical tradition in line with the standard set in the Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling.
“The Court is therefore persuaded by the Defendants’ argument that N.Y. Penal Law § 265.01-e(2)(n) is in line with the historical tradition of banning firearms in locations where large groups of people are congregated for commercial, social, and cultural activities,” he wrote in Frey v. Nigrelli. “These laws appear to recognize that the presence of groups of people, often in confined spaces, renders a location uniquely vulnerable to firearm violence.”
Democratic boosters of the effort to attach a unique credit card code to gun stores are seeking new help from the federal government.
On Wednesday, a coalition of fourteen U.S. Senators sent a letter to federal regulators urging them to issue guidance for credit card companies to implement a new merchant category code (MCC) for gun stores. The letter, spearheaded by Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), specifically asked the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to establish procedures for using the MCC to “identify and report potentially illegal gun sales to law enforcement.”
“Financial firms are already obligated to report suspicious transactions connected with a range of illegal activities,” the letter reads. “Implementation of the new MCC code could provide banks with key insight to identify suspicious patterns of firearm and ammunition purchases, which could potentially help law enforcement preempt mass shootings.”
On this week’s episode, we’re exploring a new effort to make firearms law and history a specific academic pursuit.
Ashley Hlebinsky joins the show to tell us about the University of Wyoming’s Firearms Research Center. She is the former curator of the Cody Firearms Museum who helped found the new center. She explains what she and a top law professor at the school hope to accomplish with the effort.
Plus, Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman and I talk about why the major credit card companies have backed away from a plan to add a merchant code for gun stores.
You can listen to the show on your favorite podcasting app or by clicking here. Video of the episode is available on our YouTube channel. Reload Members get access on Sunday. As always, everyone else can listen on Monday.
Florida’s law barring gun sales to anyone who isn’t 21 years old won a victory in federal court this week, but it probably won’t last.
On Thursday, a three-judge panel for the Eleventh Circuit unanimously ruled in favor of the ban. The judges found the law is in line with the historical tradition of firearms regulation under the Second Amendment. They ruled that late-19th-century laws against the same age group buying or carrying pistols were close enough analogs for Florida’s law.
“Because Florida’s Act is at least as modest as the firearm prohibitions on 18-to-20-year-olds in the Reconstruction Era and enacted for the same reason as those laws, it is ‘relevantly similar’ to those Reconstruction Era laws,” Judge Robin Rosenbaum, an Obama appointee, wrote for the majority. “And as a result, it does not violate the Second Amendment.”
The opinion is among the more serious attempts to justify a modern gun ban under the Bruen standard, but there are several reasons to think the Florida law won’t be around for long.
Outside The Reload
That’s it for this week in guns.
I’ll see you all next week.