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N.C. General Assembly Legislative Update - Tuesday, March 14, 2017

N.C. General Assembly Legislative Update Link - Tuesday, March 14, 2017: http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?

Legislation Amending the Process of Reporting to NICS

Senator Shirley Randleman and I filed Senate Bill 157 (Amend Laws Regarding Mental Commitment Bars) to address the issue of individuals who might have suffered from a major medical accident/event such as an aneurysm, major heart attack, stroke, car accident, and are not able to purchase a firearm upon their recovery. Currently, if one suffers a medical event and are not capable to making important medical decisions, that individual must be declared incompetent by the Clerk of Superior Court in the county in which the individual resides. Upon being declared incompetent, the individuals name is entered in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and a mental bar is placed on that individual, precluding them from purchasing a firearm. However, if the individual recovers from their medical event and retain their competency by the Clerk of Superior Court, there's no way for the Clerk to remove the mental bar and the individual is still unable to purchase a firearm. Thus, under this bill once an individual is judged competent again, they can submit a written request to the Clerk of Superior Court which will allow the individual’s record to be updated and firearms rights are subsequently restored.

Giving Voters More Information by Restoring Partisan Elections for Local Judicial Races

Last week, the Senate passed legislation that would restore partisan elections for local judicial races, helping ensure North Carolina voters have more information about the candidates they elect. The bill would bring the election process for Superior and District Court judges into line with the process that is already in place for state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals justices, beginning with the 2018 election cycle. It would also return to the system that was in place for decades prior to the late 1990s and early 2000s, before previous legislatures changed it to prevent voters from using party affiliation to elect judges with a conservative, strict constructionist approach to the constitution. One of the easiest ways for voters to identify who shares their philosophies on the role of the judiciary is through partisan affiliation. This is a much better way for voters to select candidates in lower profile races than by relying on name ID and ballot order.

It was a pleasure meeting with students from Campbell’s Medical School recently in Raleigh.

Legislation on Firearm Rights

Legislation that I have introduced with Senator Danny Britt and Senator Andrew Brock, Senate Bill 204 (Allow Concealed Carry on UNC & CC Campuses), would allow responsible gun owners to carry onto public college and university campuses. A survey conducted by criminologists from Florida State University estimates that Americans use firearms in self-defense roughly 2.2 to 2.5 million times a year, or every 13 seconds. Data clearly shows a link between concealed carry laws and declining crime rates. Based on statistics from the FBI’s Annual Uniform Crime Report, right-to-carry states that widely allow concealed carry, have 22 percent lower total violent crime rates, 30 percent lower murder rates, 46 percent lower robbery rates, and 12 percent lower aggravated assault rates, as compared to the rest of the country. Recognizing the implications of this data, I believe we need to expand the number of places that a person with a concealed carry permit can carry firearms to protect themselves. North Carolina has very stringent concealed carry permit requirements, including paying an $80.00 fee, fingerprinting, completing a handgun safety course, a review of mental health, state and federal residence requirements, prior criminal conviction review, armed service honorable discharge requirement and be at least 21 years of age.

Recognizing Captain Richard Etheridge

Last week, in a letter to NCDOT Secretary Jim Trogdon, Representative Beverly Boswell and I announced our support for naming the soon to be completed Pea Island Bridge "The Captain Richard Etheridge Bridge." The half-mile long concrete bridge, which is expected to be completed this spring, will replace a temporary metal span that now crosses New Inlet. Captain Etheridge was born into slavery in Dare County in 1842. After being freed when the Union Army invaded Eastern North Carolina during the Civil War, he joined the Union Army and rose to the rank of sergeant. He returned home to Roanoke Island at the conclusion of the war, and later joined the Life-Saving Service. In 1880, Captain Etheridge was appointed keeper of the Pea Island Life-Saving Station, becoming the first African-American to command a Life-Saving Station. Captain Etheridge developed and taught many rigorous lifesaving drills to his crew and earned a reputation as being one of the best surfmen on the coast of North Carolina and one of the most courageous and ingenious lifesavers in the service. Caption Etheridge and his crew were posthumously awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal by The United States Coast Guard in 1996. To see a copy of the letter click here.

N.C. General Assembly Legislative Update Link - Tuesday, March 14, 2017: http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?

Press Release: Sens. Cook, Sanderson File Resolution for Revisions to Federal Shellfish Regs Campaign News & Updates N.C. General Assembly Legislative Update - Monday, March 20, 2017

Reduce Unemployment

    North Carolina’s unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent in March, 2014 according to data released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.... ( read more )
Decrease Taxes and Spending

    In 2013, we implemented a comprehensive tax reform that is providing major tax relief to all North Carolina families and making our state more attractive to job-creating businesses.... ( read more )
About Bill Cook and Family

    Bill Cook, aged 69 years, and his wife of 23 years, Holly, have lived in Beaufort County for the past decade. During this time, Cook has met several kind and generous people.... ( read more )