An official statement affirming the N.C. House's support of the second amendment won approval in a committee Tuesday but questions linger about the wording of the non-binding resolution.
The resolution, sponsored by freshman Republican Michael Speciale, says President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and members of Congress "have proposed ... actions that would have the effect of infringing on the right of American's to keep and bear arms."
In the debate, Democratic Rep. Marcus Brandon asked bluntly: "Do (resolutions) have to be factual?"
"There's absolutely nothing factual in the bill," Brandon said later, saying it's all opinion.
"Facts are facts," Rep. Tim Moore, the Republican committee chairman responded, saying the N.C. General Assembly can find facts as it deems fit.
Much of the other discussion involved why it was aimed at the Obama administration and Republicans moved to add "members of Congress" to the description.
Another provision, questioned by Democratic and Republican members of the House Rules Committee, lists infringement as "registering guns, banning certain kinds of weapons and accessories, requiring extreme background checks and restricting concealed carry permits." The main question is what "extreme" means. Speciale, a retired Marine from New Bern who owns an AR-15 assault rifle, said asking private sales to involve a background check is extreme.
He also said any registration of guns should be banned. "Every infamous dictator in history has required that guns be registered so they know where to go get them when they are outlawed," he said. "The government has no business knowing whether I have a gun."
The resolution also cites of two U.S. Supreme Court cases -- District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago -- to justify the individual right to keep and bear arms. But Rep. Darren Jackson, a Raleigh Democrat, said the rulings are being misconstrued and in one instance upheld an assault rifle ban. "That's not what the decisions convey," he said.
The committee made a number of other fixes to the language of the bill before approving it by a 12-7 vote along party lines. The resolution is not expected on the House floor Tuesday but may come up later this week. If approved, as is expected, the resolution would be sent to the state's congressional delegation.