In New ARS Ad, Former Sheriff Urges North Carolinians to Tell Their Legislators to Protect Background Checks

June 7, 2015 – In a new 30-second TV ad titled “Safe” that begins airing today in North Carolina, former North Carolina Sheriff Wayne Gay urges North Carolinians to contact their legislators and tell them to oppose a bill before the legislature that would repeal background checks for handgun sales and open up new loopholes in the state’s gun laws.

Watch “Safe” here.

“As a sheriff for 28 years, I fought to keep our communities safe. But right now, some in the legislature want to repeal background checks on handguns. This will make it easier for criminals and the mentally ill to get guns,” says Gay, of Wilson, NC, in the ad. “When Missouri repealed their background check system, homicides shot up. I need your help. Tell the folks in Raleigh we need to keep background checks.”

Along with other changes weakening North Carolina’s gun laws, if enacted House Bill 562 would repeal North Carolina’s current “permit to purchase” system, which requires that any prospective handgun buyer pass a background check. Under HB 562, individuals currently prohibited from purchasing or owning guns – including convicted felons, individuals convicted of domestic abuse, and individuals adjudicated mentally ill – would be able to buy a handgun through an unlicensed seller without a background check.

The ad is being paid for by Americans for Responsible Solutions, and is airing on broadcast and cable. It is backed by a six-figure buy.

As of 2010, North Carolina’s gun murder rate was 10 percent higher than the national average. From 2001 to 2010, at least 11,000 people in North Carolina were killed by guns. There is also a lethal connection between gun violence and domestic violence in North Carolina. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in five of all homicides in North Carolina in 2011 involved family or intimate partner domestic violence, with half of those murders committed with a gun.

For additional background information, click here.

TRANSCRIPT – “SAFE”:

FORMER SHERIFF WAYNE GAY: As a sheriff for 28 years, I fought to keep our communities safe. But right now, some in the legislature want to repeal background checks on handguns.

SUPER: Some legislators would repeal background checks.

WAYNE GAY: This will make it easier for criminals and the mentally ill to get guns. North Carolina sheriffs know that’s a terrible idea.

SUPER: NC law enforcement oppose repealing background checks.

WAYNE GAY: When Missouri repealed their background check system, homicides shot up.

SUPER: When Missouri repealed background checks, homicides increase dramatically.

WAYNE GAY: I need your help. Tell the folks in Raleigh we need to keep background checks.

SUPER: We need to keep background checks.