CHAPEL HILL – A new bill that would eliminate background checks for the sale of handguns has already been passed through the State House and may soon become a law. Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt gives his opinion on the proposed bill.
“I couldn’t be more disappointed that our legislature is considering that, disappointed that it’s passed the house and that it may actually become a law in North Carolina” said Kleinschmidt.
The new gun bill would eliminate the states handgun purchasing permit by allowing unlicensed private sellers to not run a background check. Last year roughly 40 percent of all gun sales in the country were without a federal background check. Mayor Kleinschmidt says he worries that by eliminating background checks, people who should not be able to get a hold of handguns will have access.
“It’s saying that people who have, who are mentally ill, people who have a history of domestic abuse, people who have dangerous criminal backgrounds, are going to be able to purchase guns from private sellers without having their backgrounds checked” says Kleinschmidt.
Mayor Kleinschmidt is a part of a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns which consists of 14 mayors from North Carolina among many other across the nation. These 14 mayors have signed a letter, in conjunction with the Association of Police Chiefs that opposes this new bill.
“The Association of Chiefs of Police in North Carolina stands with the 14 Mayors who signed this letter and who oppose the repeal of the current requirements” said Kleinschmidt.
With the current gun laws that exist in North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Carrboro do not remain free of gun violence. Mayor Kleinschmidt speculates that this law could lead to an increase in gun violence and possibly more incidents like the shooting out front of Mary Scroggs Elementary in Chapel Hill last year.
“We have not been free from gun violence here in Chapel Hill, and some of the cases that we have had here have been very high profile” said Kleinschmidt.
For more information on the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns you can visit their website at www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org