North Carolina’s Senate passed the pistol purchase permit bill SB41, known as the “Guarantee 2nd Amendment Freedom and Protections” bill, on February 16, 2022. The state House passed the bill on March 15, and on March 24, Governor Roy Cooper vetoed it. However, on March 30, the State Senate voted to override the veto, and the State House followed suit. 

Days after the elementary school shooting in Nashville, there has been a shooting at Forsyth Tech Community College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and currently, two suspects are still on the loose.

At present, it is not clear whether anyone has been harmed in the occurrence. Around 11:50 am, updates from both the police and the college confirmed that there was no active shooter present on the campus. A shelter-in-place order is still in effect, and the situation remains uncertain with regard to any casualties resulting from the incident.

Following the latest legislation, individuals no longer have to apply for a pistol purchase permit from the local sheriff’s office when buying, selling, or transferring a handgun, except when purchasing through a firearms dealer. The new law also launches a statewide firearm safe storage awareness initiative and allows all churches and places of religious worship to protect their parishioners. 

However, the law has not affected concealed handgun permits, which still require an application through the sheriff’s office.

Also Read | Forsyth Technical Community College shooting happens hours after North Carolina’s pistol permit veto override

Despite its passing, the bill has been met with mixed reactions. Republican NC House Speaker Tim Moore claims that it “preserves the Second Amendment rights of North Carolinians by repealing the outdated pistol permit system,” whereas Democrat Attorney General Josh Stein argues that the move “has made our communities less safe” since “dangerous people – like violent criminals and domestic abusers – will be able to more easily get their hands on guns.”

The bill’s passing implies that background checks are no longer necessary for private transfers of guns, but they are required for sales through firearms dealers. Sheriffs’ offices will not issue refunds for any fees already paid for pistol purchase permit applications, and any permits that were still pending will not be processed.

The new law will allow those with concealed handgun permits to carry their concealed handguns on property that is both educational and for religious worship from December 1, 2023, subject to certain conditions. 

Also Read | North Carolina college shooting: ‘Active shooter’ puts Forsyth Tech Community campus on lockdown, suspects remain at large

Individuals who work at a law enforcement facility in a non-sworn officer role and have a concealed handgun permit can bring their concealed handgun to law enforcement facilities starting July 1, 2023, provided they have written proof of approval from the head of the law enforcement agency in charge of the facility.