Bipartisan gun safety bill conversations continue; Eastern Carolina gun store owner reacts

By WITN Web Team
Published: Jun. 15, 2022
Copyright 2022 WITN. All rights reserved.

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A bipartisan group of senators has been addressing an agreement on principle for gun safety legislation.

A package of reforms to address gun violence and gun safety is in the works. Legislators Wednesday met to continue the discussion on what it would entail.

The following components will be included in the bill:

  • “Red flag” Laws
  • Mental health and telehealth investment
  • Closing the boyfriend loophole
  • Enhanced review process for buyers under 21
  • Clarifying the definition of a Federally Licensed Firearm Dealer
  • School security resources

With mental health being a heavy topic of conversation surrounding the bill, there is a common misconception when it comes to its association with gun violence.

“Services are in short supply. There is a huge stigma around mental illness still… we have come a long way in the last few years, but we have lightyears to go before we can end this whole stigma of folks who are struggling with mental illness that they are violent or that they have a propensity to violence,” Keith Hamm, Integrated Family Services mental health professional said.

When it comes to the handling of gun sales, an Eastern Carolina gun store owner says safety is her number one concern.

“We do everything we can to ensure that a firearm is not transferred into the hands of a prohibited person,” Carolina Caliber Company CEO Patty Richardson said. “And most firearm owners that I know, responsible dealers and firearms owners, we all feel the same way. The last thing we want is for a firearm to be transferred to someone that shouldn’t have it.”

Still, as far as the bill goes, there were key pieces that are left out of the agreement:

  • Expanded background checks
  • Assault weapons ban
  • Higher minimum age of purchase

Lawmakers are still discussing the final package, and changes are likely. There is no timetable for a vote right now.

Posted in Community, Mental Health