© 2021 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

NC Democrats Call For 'Common Sense' Gun Controls

State Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-Charlotte) spoke at a state capitol press conference Monday with fellow Democrats calling for passage of new gun controls.

Democrats in the legislature are pushing a series of what they call "common sense" restrictions on the sale and possession of guns. Five lawmakers including Senator Jeff Jackson of Charlotte called on leaders of the Republican-controlled General Assembly to take up their ideas this spring.

Their proposals are similar to those recommended last week by Gov. Roy Cooper.  They include banning bump stocks, expanding background checks to include assault-style rifles, and raising the age to buy assault-style weapons to 21. They also want to increase funding for school psychologists and counselors and to allow courts to take away guns temporarily from anyone deemed to be a risk.

Jackson noted that Florida legislators passed gun control legislation with bipartisan support after the recent shootings in Parkland, Florida. He thinks there's bipartisan support in North Carolina, too.

"This bill is about using common sense to find common ground. I know this is a divisive issue, but we really can find common ground," Jackson said.

"This bill doesn't solve all the problems. It's not the most audacious bill that we could've possibly crafted. It was a genuine attempt to find common ground around a very divisive issue."

Jackson predicted that if the bill were allowed to come up for a vote, it would pass.

Besides Jackson, other lawmakers at a State Capitol press conference Monday were Senators Jay Chaudhuri of Raleigh and Floyd McKissick of Durham, and Representatives Grier Martin of Raleigh and Marcia Morey of Durham.

Republican House Speaker Tim Moore responded to the Parkland shootings last month by appointing a special committee to study school safety.  But he says gun control is "a discussion for another time."

That school safety committee meets for the first time on Wednesday.