OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

The North Carolina General Assembly is considering a bill that would close the state's gun purchase database to the public. Well, if there's any justice, a front-page story in today's Charlotte Observer should bring that bill to a grinding halt.  The Observer analyzed gun permits in Charlotte and surrounding Mecklenburg County, and found almost 300 people have gun permits even though they aren't legally allowed to buy or possess a gun.

More than 60 people who hold active Mecklenburg County permits to buy handguns have been convicted of felonies, some involving guns, an Observer data analysis shows.

Five were convicted of robbery with a dangerous weapon, three of manslaughter, two of firing into occupied property and one of second-degree murder. Others were convicted of assaults that left victims badly injured or of using weapons to attack government officials.

The Observer’s analysis also found about 230 permit holders with drug convictions, including dozens of people with multiple convictions.

Under North Carolina law, convicted felons--except for a few categories of white-collar felons--can't get gun permits.  North Carolina law also bans gun permit holders from using or being addicted to illegal drugs.

The Observer also turned up something equally alarming.  Of the 60 felons it found in the gun permit database, all but one committed their crimes after getting a permit.  And four of them are still under court supervision.  Yet, there's no way for a gun dealer to know a buyer committed a felony after getting a permit.  In North Carolina, all you have to do to get a gun is to show your permit--no background check at the store is required.  Additionally, sheriffs have no way of knowing when a permit holder has committed a felony or drug-related offense, let alone any power to seize permits.

“There’s no mechanism and no way I can go get it,” Mecklenburg County Sheriff Chipp Bailey said of the permits. “Anything we can do to keep the public safe, I’m in favor of that. … I just don’t know logistically how we’re going to do that.”

Because gun dealers don’t report their sales to any agency or database, law enforcement agencies can’t know whether permits are actually used to buy guns.

And because there is no statewide database of permits, North Carolina’s 100 sheriffs can’t share what they know with their colleagues.

Moreover, under current law, all the sheriff can do when he learns a permit holder has committed a felony is to send a letter demanding that the permit can be surrendered.

The really scary part is that this is just one jurisdiction--albeit the biggest.  Makes you wonder how many other convicted felons in this state still have permits.

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

The bill to close the database is currently being touted as a way to protect gun owners from theft--undoubtedly a response to a blatantly irresponsible decision by The Journal News of New York to publish the names and addresses of gun owners.  One of the bill's sponsors, state representative Mike Hager, says the paper was doing what law enforcement should be able to do.   What Hager leaves out is that under the current system, practically the only way law enforcement can find out is via tips from the public--or from suspicious gun shop owners.

Two bills are pending that should make it easier to close these loopholes.  One would let the county sheriff revoke the permit of anyone convicted of a felony or drug offense.  Another would shorten the life of a permit to three years.   Under current law, permits are good for five years--enough in some cases to commit a felony and serve time without having to surrender it.  Hopefully it won't take someone dying at the hands of a convicted felon to move things along.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA) on Sun May 12, 2013 at 01:31 PM PDT.

Also republished by Southern Action and Shut Down the NRA.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.