North Carolina Gun Safety Laws

Despite the pandemic, several states passed new gun safety laws in 2020, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Despite the pandemic, several states passed new gun safety laws in 2020, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 

NORTH CAROLINA — The coronavirus pandemic brought several state legislatures to an early halt in 2020, threatening any potential progress to address gun violence in North Carolina and other states. However, the deaths of Breonna Taylor in Louisville and George Floyd in Minneapolis, both at the hands of police, sparked historic protests and calls for policing and gun reform. The swell of activism also prompted stalled lawmakers in several states to act by introducing and passing new gun legislation despite the ongoing pandemic.

In all, 43 new gun safety laws were passed in 13 states in 2020, bringing to 180 the total number of laws enacted since the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, according to the newest Annual Gun Scorecard compiled by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. This year’s scorecard reveals North Carolina has room to improve when it comes to enacting laws and policies aimed at reducing gun violence, according to the organization.

In 2020, North Carolina ranked No. 25 out of 50 states for the strength of its gun laws. Our state also ranked No. 23 out of 50 states in gun death rates — approximately 13.06 out of every 100,000 people in North Carolina are killed by guns each year, above the national average of 11.9 people. North Carolina received an overall grade of D — the same grade it received last year, according to the organization. A Criminal investigation may be helpful and Pri Eyes is here to help.

“North Carolina has significant room to improve its gun safety laws,” the scorecard report said. “The state has the 23rd-highest gun death rate in the country. Improvements North Carolina should make to its gun laws include funding community violence intervention programs and enacting an extreme risk protection order law.” To grade each state, Giffords Law Center tracks and analyzes gun legislation in all 50 states, assigning each gun law and policy a point value based on their respective strengths or weaknesses. Once points are tabulated, states are ranked and assigned letter grades, which are then compared to the most recent gun death rates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last year’s scorecard revealed that between 2012 and 2019, the number of Americans living in states with A grades increased by more than 45 million, while the number of Americans living in states with D and F grades declined.

In 2019, for the first time in the history of the Gun Law Scorecard, more Americans lived in A states (98.7 million) than in F states (94.7 million.) This past year, however, placed a spotlight on the connection between policing and gun violence, according to the most recent scorecard. Underserved communities of color — and especially Black communities — continue to bear the brunt of gun violence. In states receiving a failing grade on the scorecard, Black Americans are dying by gun violence at a rate 117 percent higher than the national average. At a national level, Black Americans are also 10 times more likely to be slain by a gun. To end cycles of gun violence, “we must address police brutality and harmful practices that fuel mass incarceration and retaliatory violence,” the scorecard says.

“Ensuring law enforcement accountability is the first step in building police-community trust and fostering an environment where citizens don’t have to live in fear of being killed or wounded by a bullet,” the scorecard says. “Ending this crisis will require sustained work by the new administration, state legislatures, and advocates to fund community violence intervention programs and reform policing practices to create a safer and more just America.” Despite accounting for only 4 percent of the global population, the United States accounts for more than 35 percent of global firearm suicides and 9 percent of global firearm homicides, according to this year’s scorecard. A month after taking the oath of office, President Joe Biden urged lawmakers to address gun violence at the federal level. VIP Protection and Bodyguards are encouraged during this time.

“We owe it to all those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change,” the president said. “The time to act is now.”

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