Consider the shame of the North Carolina General Assembly working to rush through a bill that weakens gun laws as National Gun Violence Awareness Day approaches. It is right up there with a billboard vilifying Muslims displayed during Ramadan. Both are disturbing enough on their own, but the timing somehow makes them feel even worse.
H.B. 746 in its current iteration would allow concealed or open carry of a pistol by anyone 18 or older without first qualifying for a permit, according to The News & Observer. The paper notes there was confusion in a committee meeting over what the bill does; that can happen when you legislate in a hurry. And yet, the bill made it out of committee and now goes to the full House for a vote, possibly later today.
Meanwhile, Wear Orange Day (National Gun Violence Awareness Day) is Friday, June 2 with events scheduled throughout the state and around the nation through the weekend. The Council is a partner in the collaborative effort as are members of a statewide coalition working to reduce gun violence, including North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action, and MomsRising. Other faith, health, justice, well-being, and child advocacy organizations committed to making the country safer include: the American Academy of Pediatrics, the YWCA, Bishops United Against Gun Violence of the Episcopal Church, the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, the Franciscan Action Network, the National PTA, and Everytown for Gun Safety.
Along with wearing orange on Friday in solidarity with others working to increase gun safety, a call to your member of the General Assembly today stating your opposition to H.B. 746 would be an important advocacy step on behalf of North Carolinians. The Council’s Gun Violence Prevention page offers a variety of denominational statements and liturgical resources that you might share to help your elected leaders appreciate your concern from a faith perspective.