Senate race in North Carolina reveals deep divide on gun control

  • Patrons look at the selection of guns available at a show in Houston, Texas. FILE PHOTO

Tribune News Service
Published: 8/25/2016 10:30:34 PM

WASHINGTON — The three candidates for U.S. Senate from North Carolina disagree over how much the federal government should limit gun sales, a division that mirrors the national debate over who should be able to purchase firearms.

The two-term senator, the former state representative and the pizza deliveryman each have different outlooks on how and when gun rights should be restricted. Republican Sen. Richard Burr has voted down legislation that would have made it more difficult for suspected terrorists to obtain firearms. Yet he approved of an amendment that would allow the U.S. attorney general to block gun sales to those terrorists if the government has credible evidence that the individual is a threat. The amendment is attached to legislation that has yet to be approved.

Meanwhile, Democratic challenger Deborah Ross spent a decade in the State House trying to block state legislation that would allow North Carolinians to carry a concealed handgun into restaurants and state parks as well as legislation that gave judges permission to bring concealed weapons to court. State residents with concealed carry permits can now bring their guns into restaurants and judges with the same types of permits can bring their firearms to work.

Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh, who ran for the Senate in 2014, has expressed a strong desire to protect the Second Amendment while addressing the cultural problems that have led to gun violence.

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