Under the Dome

House Democrats counter flurry of gun bills with ambitious if ill-fated legislation

Repealing the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law, requiring gun owners to carry liability insurance, conducting universal background checks for all private firearm transfers, limiting the size of ammunition magazines.

Those are some of the provisions in a bill filed Wednesday by four House Democrats in a comprehensive gun-control bill that, they acknowledge, has no chance of passing. But, co-sponsor Rep. Paul Luebke of Durham said, it carries a message.

“We worked hard to put together a bill that covers about every issue we feel ought to be involved to have a safer North Carolina,” Luebke said Wednesday afternoon.

HB976 counters proposals in several pending bills, and would rewrite current law.

It proposes to restrict the use of deadly force in self defense to your home. Current law allows it in your car and elsewhere.

It would also require guns be kept locked up if there are minors in the house, require county sheriffs to report to the federal background-check database when gun permits are denied, revoked or not renewed, and direct the state treasurer to divest the pension fund of any gun stocks. Lost or stolen guns would have to be reported.

Along with Luebke, the sponsors are Rep. Pricey Harrison of Greensboro, Rep. Verla Insko of Chapel Hill, and Rep. Alma Adams of Greensboro.

There are more than three dozen gun bills pending; nearly all of them would loosen restrictions on firearms.

“We don’t have any illusions about passage,” Luebke said. “But we felt it was important to put a number of good provisions in one bill that can serve as a model for those concerned about gun safety. A lot of my constituents would like to see a bill filed.”

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