Governor Cooper seeks changes to NC gun laws

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has urged lawmakers in Raleigh and Washington to pass a series of bills following the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school, but Republican House Speaker Tim Moore has criticized some efforts of Democrats to restrict access to guns as “disingenuous”.

In a video, Cooper urged federal lawmakers to pass a universal background check bill and ban assault weapons.

He also called on state leaders to close a shotgun and rifle licensing loophole and pass a red flag law. That would allow a judge to temporarily take guns away from someone who is threatening themselves or others. Nineteen states and Washington, DC have such a law.

“What on earth is more important than protecting our children?” Cooper asked. “We need Republicans in North Carolina and across the country to come to the table and pass these bills or we need to elect new leaders.”

Spokesman Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) mentioned some of the steps lawmakers took a few years ago when they formed a school safety committee, including additional funding for school safety and for law enforcement to track potential threats.

“Unfortunately, there are bad people in this world. And I think when it comes to gun control, which the left always wants to talk about, I think disarming law-abiding citizens isn’t the way to make people safer,” he said. “But there has to be some underlying mental health issue, things like that that bother someone so much.”

Rep. Marcia Morey (D-Durham County), a former judge, was one of the leading proponents of implementing a red flag law in North Carolina.

“But there was no conversation. Yesterday we had just a moment of silence on the floor of the house. And tragedies like this don’t require moments of silence. We can do something,” she said. “It can not go on like this. Eventually we will get gun safety with common sense. It has to happen. Otherwise we will see how this slaughter continues.”

She has also backed a bill requiring a permit to purchase a long gun.

“It’s a symptom of bigger problems. And I think trying to use these things to influence law-abiding citizens who own guns is disingenuous,” Moore said.

He said the state needs to “invest more in mental health resources.” It is unclear whether lawmakers will propose additional funds in the state budget for this. Negotiations are still ongoing.

Governor Cooper, who said he had heard this argument before, pointed out that expanding Medicaid would give the state billions of dollars in health care.

This week Senate Republicans tabled a bill to do that and make other changes aimed at improving access to health care. Even if the Senate passes it during the current session, Speaker Moore said it still doesn’t have enough support in the House of Representatives and won’t be included until next year. Governor Cooper seeks changes to NC gun laws


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