North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein pushed Monday for a package of crime prevention proposals he said would better equip law enforcement to tackle gun violence, the opioid crisis and the state’s backlog of sexual assault cases.
Stein, the only high-profile Democrat to announce his candidacy for Governor in 2024, outlined an extensive list of policy goals three days before a General Assembly deadline designed to pare down legislation that will be considered through next year. Bills unrelated to taxes or spending, elections or a few other exceptions that haven’t passed one chamber by Thursday face long odds for consideration during the rest of the biennial session.
Stein said gun violence prevention efforts are urgently needed. He exhorted lawmakers to prioritize adopting universal background checks and red flag laws, which could allow state courts to temporarily remove firearms from people who might pose a danger to themselves or others.
Republicans, who hold veto-proof majorities in both legislative chambers, oppose those ideas but have found some common ground with Democrats, primarily on the safe storage of firearms.
“We don’t want to have to have there be a school tragedy for this state to take action,” Stein said. “We can take action today that will reduce the likelihood of a school shooting ever occurring.”
Republished with permission from The Associated Press.