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NC Has Large Loophole in Gun Law After Vegas Shooting

North Carolina receives a D- grade from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.  (Scott Butner/flickr)
North Carolina receives a D- grade from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. (Scott Butner/flickr)
October 5, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. – While the nation mourns the lives lost and injuries suffered from the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history, questions are emerging about how to prevent future incidents.

A national report card from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence indicates North Carolina isn't doing enough to prevent gun violence, giving the state a grade of D- for its current laws.

Laura Cutilletta, the Law Center’s legal director, says the Tar Heel State has a big loophole.

"It does require a background check to buy a handgun, to get that permit, so you can buy a long gun from an unlicensed seller without a background check," she points out.

The Las Vegas shooter had 23 weapons in his hotel room, many of them classified as long guns.

Other states such as California have opted to pass additional laws to require licensed dealers to record the sale of guns, even between private sellers, and conduct background checks.

North Carolina leads the nation in gun theft and gun store break-ins, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Cutilletta notes that gun advocates say it's too early to talk about gun reform after the Las Vegas shooting, but argues the time to act was yesterday.

"It's offensive to the people that are losing their lives to gun violence every day to say that we're not going to talk about it, we're not going to talk about using solutions that have been proven to be effective, and we're not going to talk about it because it doesn't fit with what the gun lobby wants us to talk about," she states.

Cutilletta points out that 33 people die every day because of gun violence. She says the states with the lowest gun death rates also have the strongest gun laws.

The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence recommends that North Carolina require background checks on all gun sales, prohibit the possession of guns in bars and limit the number of firearms that can be purchased at one time.


Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC