On Wednesday morning, the Republican-led N.C. General Assembly overturned Gov. Roy Cooper's veto for the first time since 2018 on a bill to remove the permit requirement for pistols.
The N.C. Senate voted to override Cooper's veto on Tuesday via a 30-19 vote, and the N.C. House voted to override the veto Wednesday by a 71-46 vote. Republicans have a three-fifths supermajority of seats in the state Senate but are one seat short in the state House.
"After years of Cooper pretending he's a King, with the Left's jesters calling the shots for him, the People of North Carolina have ended his veto streak and reaffirmed core American rights in the process," the North Carolina Republican Party said in a tweet.
Three House Democrats were absent for the vote, allowing Republican lawmakers to reach the three-fifths needed to override the veto.
One of the Democrats, N.C. Rep. Tricia Cotham (D-Mecklenburg), released a statement saying she was receiving scheduled medical treatment during the vote, which took place at 9:40 a.m. Cotham also had an excused absence from the initial House vote on the bill on March 15.
The law officially repeals the requirement to obtain a permit from a sheriff and for that sheriff to run a background check on the buyer before the purchase or transfer of a pistol. Before the law was passed, people subject to domestic violence restraining orders could not be issued a permit.
"Without any debate allowed by GOP leadership because the arguments were too compelling for them to hear, the House voted to override my veto and eliminate strong background checks for handguns in North Carolina," Cooper said in a tweet. "Allowing known domestic abusers and mentally ill people to buy handguns puts communities at risk."