As mass killings rise, how can sheriffs keep guns from the mentally unstable?
Before issuing thousands of permits each year for North Carolinians to buy handguns, sheriffs in Mecklenburg, Union and some other counties across the state have gone through an oft-futile exercise. Relying on statutory language allowing them to ensure each gun owner is of "good moral character," they have submitted applicants' names to large health care facilities seeking to learn whether anyone was suicidal or otherwise mentally unfit to own a pistol.
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