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Republican Senator Thom Tillis among group discussing changes in gun legislation



CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — As gun violence continues to plague the entire country, Republican North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis is reaching across the aisle to make changes in gun legislation.

The proposal Tillis, and a group of Republicans and Democrats are discussing would incentivize states to pass “red flag” laws, strengthen background checks, and provide funding for school safety and mental health.

Mitch Hyatt, Vice President of Hyatt’s Gun Shop in Charlotte, says he’s supportive of Tillis’ proposal. 

“We do background checks every day. And the background check is only going to be as strong as the information that it pulls up. So, we want that to be accurate. And we want those background checks to be accurate to prevent the sale of a firearm with somebody that shouldn’t have one,” Hyatt said 

Some of the Democrats within this group of senators were also looking into raising the minimum age to buy semi-automatic guns from 18 to 21, but Tillis and other Republicans made it clear they wouldn’t support that. 

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“As a seller of firearms, that 18 to 21 age gap can be a little bit tricky. Because you are in a legal threshold to purchase. But we do try to be a little bit more aware of the sales interaction for customers that are under 21.”

Hyatt said sometimes employees will go as far as requiring a parent or guardian’s signature if a customer under 21 years old is trying to purchase certain weapons. 

“I think what we need to make sure of is that the Mental Health Check system needs to be accessible to NICS. We want to see that information, not necessarily to know the details, but to but to understand that a buyer is qualified or not qualified. And those are rules that are going to have to be legislated to be voted upon by Congress.” 

Tillis wasn’t available for an interview on Wednesday but sent the following statement: 

“Senator Tillis is part of a bipartisan group in the Senate seeking to find common ground solutions to curb gun violence that also protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.” 

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