Some North Carolina defendants facing domestic violence charges would have to turn over their guns to the sheriff under a proposal that will likely soon be state law, the Raleigh, N.C., News & Observer reports.
The bill’s supporters said it would help protect victims in serious domestic violence cases. The state House on Tuesday approved the bill, which has already passed the Senate, by a 116-1 vote. The House must take a final vote before sending the bill back to the Senate. Sen. Tony Rand, a Fayetteville Democrat who is the bill’s sponsor, said he would recommend the Senate approve the bill with the House changes.
The bill would require judges who issue domestic violence restraining orders to direct those accused of domestic abuse to surrender their guns in cases where defendants had used or threatened to use a deadly weapon on a child or spouse, had seriously injured a child or spouse, or had threatened suicide. When the restraining orders expire, defendants could go to court to request the guns be returned. The law would become effective Dec. 1.
Earlier complaints that the bill was a stealth gun control measure had diminished by voting time. In the end, Grass Roots North Carolina, a gun-rights group, was the only organization actively opposing the bill.