CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A proposed bill before the North Carolina Senate is drawing strong opposition from sheriffs around the state.
Nikky Hubert is well on the way to owning her first gun. She wants to carry a concealed weapon and has already taken classes. On Wednesday, she went to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office to apply for a concealed carry permit.
While Hubert is taking extra classes and going through the process, which can take months to get approval, she doesn't agree with a current bill under consideration by the State Senate which would make it easier for some people to purchase guns by removing the need to go to the sheriff's office for a permit.
People wanting a concealed carry permit would still have to apply at the sheriff's office. If the bill were to pass, people could purchase guns straight from gun stores after the store, or gun seller, does a federal background check with a limited mental health check.
"That makes me feel a little bit unsafe. I didn't mind going through the process." said Hubert about the proposed legislation, "I like the fact that there is a background check and they're going to check my mental health."
State representatives initially approved House Bill 937 two months ago, but recently an amendment was added that has some concerned. The bill which would toughen penalties on some gun crimes, revoke permits from people who are convicted of certain crimes and conceal the names from people who apply for gun permits and concealed carry permits.
Mecklenburg County Sheriff Chipp Bailey said that he agrees with every law-abiding citizen’s right to own firearms, but says he wants the state to continue to allow his office the right to dispense permits, because of the NICS system does not catch all mental health issues.
"We also check our transport logs for involuntary commits and those kinds of things which wouldn't be picked up by NICS or some other device." Sheriff Bailey said, "I think it’s important for us to know who is being permitted for firearms or who is going out to buy firearms...until the process gets where you can really count on it, then I think the sheriff's need to be involved with it."