NC Gun Violence Prevention Act suggests 72-hour waiting period to buy a firearm

The omnibus bill is 16 pages long and Mecklenburg County Senator Natasha Marcus hopes both sides of the aisle can come together and find things they can agree on.
The NC Constitutional Carry Act would eliminate the need for a permit in North Carolina for those who want to carry a firearm concealed.
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 2:49 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Proposed gun laws in North Carolina continue to make their way into the NC General Assembly.

Some pro-gun rights legislators have introduced bills that would remove some of the processes in place to buy firearms, while others are looking at ways to stop gun violence and improve safety efforts for gun owners.

North Carolina Senate Bill 210 and it’s companion bill, House Bill 289 lays out an omnibus list of gun violence protection efforts that Mecklenburg County Senator Natasha Marcus calls a ‘menu of ideas.’

“I’m inviting my Republican colleagues to take a look at this menu of ideas, all of which I think are popular common sense, things that we could do to make North Carolinians feel more protected, less vulnerable to this constant threat of gun violence. And let me know which ones you want to work on. Which ones can we agree to?” she said.

Marcus said that some of the efforts in the bill are already seeing support across the state, even by gun owners.

“The majority of North Carolinians over 90%, by the last survey support, for example, universal background checks on all gun sales, it is something we could do we should do. To me, it is irresponsible that we don’t do it already,” she said.

Marcus said she thinks there can be support for some of the ideas in the bill from both sides of the aisle.

“We know that most of the folks on the other side of the aisle are not going to want to take up an omnibus gun safety prevention or Gun Violence Prevention Act, all of the provisions that we propose,” she said.

“But again, we’re hopeful that we can get at least some of these provisions through there’s some really good common sense ideas. I hope that Republicans won’t just dismiss all of the ideas out of hand because Democrats are on the bill.”

With 16 pages the bill lists several ideas that Marcus and others want to have discussions about. One of the suggestions --- to require a waiting period of three days before someone could legally buy firearms deemed assault weapons and long guns.

“It is unlawful for any person in this State to receive a pistol, assault weapon, or long gun unless a period of 72 hours has passed from the date of purchase or agreement to give away or transfer the pistol, assault weapon, or long gun,” the bill reads.

Senate Bill 210 lists more than 100 guns that would be classified as ‘assault weapons’ and be subject to the waiting period but there would be exceptions Marcus said. Marcus said she believes the cooling down period, as it’s commonly known as, could help prevent violence.

“We believe that it would stop a lot of the people who go in mad and think that gun violence is going to solve their problem, or go in in a state of depression that often happens, where somebody … something has really rocked their world, and they are suicidal,” she said.

Marcus is clear that her goal isn’t to take away anyone’s rights by requiring the 72-hour waiting period.

“We’re not denying anybody the right to get that firearm if they pass that background check. But just to slow things down a little bit,” she said.

As an omnibus bill Marcus said she wants to get the conversations going on what steps can be taken to address gun violence including addressing what are commonly known as ghost guns.

“We’ve included a prohibition against ghost guns, for example, which are becoming more and more of a problem. If you talk to law enforcement, they’re very concerned about ghost guns that are really completely unregulated at this point and so we’ve updated it, and we’re hoping to push forward and get some conversation started,” she said.

There are more previsions included in the bill but some of the main points of it include:

Require a permit for the purchase of an assault weapon or long gun

  • Ban on bump stocks and trigger cranks
  • Require safe storage of firearms in homes and vehicles
  • Allow law enforcement to destroy of seized firearms
  • Prohibit sale and possession of ghost guns
  • Prohibit possession of semiautomatic firearms for those under 21
  • Require firearm liability insurance
  • Require reporting of lost or stolen firearms