Controversial gun bill amended, nears approval

A controversial gun bill was amended and is moving closer to becoming a law. House Bill 562 originally would have eliminated the pistol permit system in the state, but no longer would.

The amended version would keep the permit system in place, allowing Sheriff departments to continue issuing the permits. The bill would require all Sheriff departments to have a uniform gun application, shorten the time they have to request mental health records to 15 days, limit how far back records could be pulled to five years, and require both electronic and print versions of applications to be available.

Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks said he is pleased with the changes.

“I think they heard the voices of the Sheriff’s and I think it’s very important that we really took it to heart,” Elks said. “It wasn’t a power thing. We all believed this was very important.”

Originally, the bill was opposed by many Sheriffs in the state, including Elks.

The bill is pending final approval from the House.

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