CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY)- The North Carolina House passed bills that would expand background checks for firearms to include those sold between private individuals on the internet or at gun shows. These bills would also extend the amount of time the FBI has to vet people flagged by the instant check system.
Republicans and Democrats are divided on this issue and lawmakers from the Charlotte area are essentially on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Sister station WJZY sent out a questionnaire to all of our federal lawmakers in North Carolina and heard back from a few. Rep. Alma Adams said she agrees to all common-sense gun reform measures. On the other hand, Rep. Madison Cawthorn had very different opinions.
WJZY asked Cawthorn how lawmakers in D.C. are going to reach across the aisle on gun reform.
“There is no kind of legislation that can restrict people from obtaining a firearm that I believe is constitutional,” Cawthorn said. “So I don’t think there was much of a middle ground at these kind of woke liberals would be allowed to take.”
Reports have said the gun purchased by the Colorado shooter was purchased legally, but Cawthorn said there are other solutions to prevent a tragedy like this rather than tighter gun laws.
“Well, one thing is more access to mental health. I think that you have to be a very depraved and evil person to want to go shoot an instance,” he said.
But Cawthorn said along with mental health, he believes the mass shooting in Colorado is a direct result of President Joe Biden’s airstrikes in Syria.
“I think this is really a failed policy by the Joe Biden Administration because they just started dropping bombs on Syria last month, even though we had we have been reaching historic peace deals in the Middle East,” Cawthorn said. “And now the Syrian immigrant is now shooting people up in Colorado. I think the two are linked.”
But politics aside, advocates in Charlotte said getting guns off the streets needs to be lawmakers’ main objective.
“I had a .357 Magnum at the age of 16 that I carried back into a gun store so he can measure it to sell me a holster. I walk right back out of the store with the bullets and the holster at 16 years old.”
Gemini Boyd, the CEO of Project Bolt, said he hopes stricter gun legislation will lead to fewer innocent lives being lost.
“I’m praying that President Biden comes up with a plan, that he can attack this situation that he can tell them we would not have in this no more. We don’t need your money. We don’t need anything from you. What we need you to do is stop making these particular firearms,” Boyd said.