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Friday, August 26, 2005

Battered Spouses in NC Get Weapon Info By Law

From ACSBlog:  North Carolina lawmakers have approved a measure that would require courts to give battered spouses something extra when they seek a restraining order--information on how to apply for a concealed weapon.

The so-called "Domestic Violence Victims Empowerment Act" would encourage victims to seek temporary permits to carry concealed weapons. The bill, which passed overwhelmingly in both houses of the state legislature, would also add protective orders to the evidence a sheriff can consider when determining whether to issue an emergency permit to carry a concealed weapon. Normally, an applicant must wait 90 days for such a permit. The measure becomes law Oct. 1 unless Gov. Mike Easley decides to veto it.

The president of the gun-rights group that pushed for the measure said it's more about helping victims of domestic violence help themselves.

"We're not interested in them shooting their abusers," said Paul Valone, president of Grass Roots North Carolina. "We're interested in delivering a message: When police can't protect these people, they are capable of protecting themselves."

Victim advocates, however, are less enthralled with the bill's passage. Beth Froehling, Public Policy Specialist of the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV), explained that studies "clearly indicate that firearms and domestic violence are a deadly combination." Purchasing firearms, she elaborated, "is not the answer and does not 'empower' victims."

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