Gun Registration Records Destroyed
Russ Chastain 10.12.14
From 1935 until 2014, a county in North Carolina required gun owners to register their firearms with the county clerk. Alleged to be a “Jim Crow” law aimed at disarming or otherwise disenfranchising black citizens, the law was certainly unconstitutional and thus illegal, but it stood for decades. Durham county kept records of guns and citizens’ guns for almost 80 years.
A bill to repeal the law passed the NC senate in March, 2013, and the state house in June, 2014.
The law required every gun and every sale to be registered, even if the gun was sold to someone outside the county.
Once repealed, there was some debate regarding the records. While at least one official declared the records to have historical value and intended preserving them in the state archives, civil rights advocacy group Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) threatened legal action if they were not destroyed and even offered to pay for commercial shredding of the documents.
The county decided instead to spend its own money by having its staff shred the records, displaying the type of financial “wisdom” native to most government operations. The shredding can be seen in time-lapse in the video below. Make sure you turn down the sound, because the accompanying music can be a bit obnoxious.
The destruction of these records is a victory for gun owners, although the ongoing struggle for freedom from oppressive government is far from over.