CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Governor Roy Cooper is calling for tighter gun laws amid National School Walkout day where students in North Carolina and across the country protested gun violence.
The walkout Wednesday marks exactly one month after 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Survivors of the massacre joined tens of thousands of students across the United States in a national walkout Wednesday morning.
After the tragedy in Florida, conversations about school safety and gun reforms have taken place all over America. Students are making their voices hear, and it's clear they want action.
"At my request, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety has directed law enforcement and school administrators to ensure their rapid deployment training and school emergency response plans are in order," Gov. Cooper said in a written statement on Wednesday. "We need smart changes to our laws that will help keep dangerous weapons from getting into the wrong hands."
Enacting extreme protection orders in North Carolina is an important step toward preventing future tragedies, Gov. Cooper said. An extreme protection order would empower people to ask the courts to take guns temporarily from an individual who is a danger to themselves or the community, Cooper said.
"In North Carolina, we also need to strengthen the background check system to make our communities safer and keep guns from violent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill. Right now, anyone buying a handgun in our state has to apply for a permit through the local sheriff’s office, a process that includes a federal background check and an OK from the sheriff," Gov. Cooper said. "This system allows time for appropriate checks to take place before someone can legally buy a handgun. But our law has a glaring loophole since this background check and permit process isn’t required to buy an assault weapon like an AR-15, the weapon used in Parkland. It should be."
To read Gov. Roy Cooper's full declaration, CLICK HERE.