Added safeguards will result in less gun violence

Published 2:25 pm Friday, December 6, 2019

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To the Editor:

This letter is written to the elected officials in North Carolina.

I would like to take a moment of your time to address something that is dear to my heart, and that is gun control. I realize that you have a multitude of pressing issues to address for the citizens of this great state. However, gun violence is an epidemic.

I would like to propose an amendment to the current policy for concealed carry permits and sheriff issued pistol permits renewal. North Carolina is a permissive state in regards to owning a gun. The state speaks to those citizens who are of good moral standing. My hope is to appeal to all responsible gun owners.

I am not suggesting taking away gun rights or the right to bear arms, but I am speaking to safeguard the innocent and unarmed.

Currently, to renew a permit, a fee is paid to the county in which the individual resides, unless the permit has expired for less than 60 days or greater than 60 days than the renewal process is slightly different.

I feel an additional safeguard would be repeating a national background check, finger printing, mental health evaluation, and a gun safety training course should be required whether it’s a new applicant, renewal or expired. Gun owners should prove competency that include how to properly use a firearm and circumstances that warrant the use of the firearm.

Too often on the news we read about gun violence in one form or another. Now I have my own story. His name is Kent Sessoms who was murdered in a domestic dispute on 11/23/19. He was unarmed, defending his sister against her ex-husband. If stricter gun control measures became law, his death would have a positive impact not only in his community but surrounding areas.

After further research, if House Bill 454 extreme risk protection or red flag law was passed, Kent and so many others like him may still be alive. His assailant could have been reported as a danger to themselves and/or others. Their weapons could have been confiscated.

Additionally, if House Bill 86 restricting who can obtain a long gun, which also includes shotguns and assault style rifles, Kent’s death may have been prevented.

I don’t have a solution to how such a program should be funded with these changes. There is a sector of our population that will sink low to cheat the system. I like to appeal to their moral compass as well. They too will be held accountable for their actions and if necessary will have their day in court.

My hope is to find a solution that will put an end to avoidable gun violence and to prevent another story like Kent Sessoms. But one person cannot do it alone. It will take a community banded together to protect each other. Use your voice and vote. Every vote counts.

Angela Jones