3 weeks ago
GREENSBORO, NC – A Cabarrus County lawmaker introduced a bill Wednesday that would allow North Carolinians to carry a concealed handgun without a permit.
North Carolina is an open carry state. The current concealed carry law in North Carolina requires an applicant to take and pass a safety and training course that involves the actual firing of handguns and understanding of North Carolina gun laws. Prior to 1995, it was illegal for someone to conceal carry at all.
After news of the proposed bill broke, hundreds on social media voiced their opinions on House Bill 69.
We took some of those recurring comments on Facebook to Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes and Gary Lewallen, a certified firearms instructor and former Archdale Police Chief.
Barnes is a pro-second amendment advocate but doesn’t agree with the proposed bill. Lewallen is also a pro-gun and pro-second amendment, and was more neutral on the bill, with limitations.
Comment: If it is legal to open carry without training or a permit, why can’t a person conceal carry without training or a permit?
BARNES: “The CCW class, the concealed carry class, teaches you what and when you can use your gun.”
Barnes added the law requires someone to tell law enforcement they have a concealed weapon should an officer approach them. He’s worried if the proposed bill passes, people would no longer have to tell police they had a gun hidden on their body or in their car.
LEWALLEN: “They need to be able to understand their rights to carry and conceal as well understand when to use deadly force. There should be no reason why we can’t have an eight-hour class on your basic firearms and your rights to carry and conceal in North Carolina.”
Both Barnes and Lewallen agreed, they would like to see training classes take place prior to someone purchasing a gun in any situation, whether to open or conceal carry.
Comment: You already go through a background check to buy a gun, so why be redundant? A permit to conceal carry makes zero sense and it makes it zero percent safer.
BARNES: “When you open carry everyone knows you are carrying and you can avoid that person. Someone can also see if that person is violating the law while open carrying, say, if they were to try and go into a location, such as a gun or store where they don’t want people armed.”
LEWALLEN: “It (open carrying) doesn’t prevent someone from calling the police or the sheriff and saying hey, I’ve got a person here and they’re making me feel uneasy, I’m in fear because of this gun on their side and they (police) have to come and investigate it.”
Well, there you go. If this is the best among the “experts” this journalist could come up with, that station ought to be shut down. As for the statement that “There should be no reason why we can’t have an eight-hour class on your basic firearms and your rights to carry and conceal in North Carolina,” hey, you don’t suppose that he stands to lose some business if constitutional carry passes in N.C., do you? All of those concealed handgun permit classes he teaches? I wonder how much he makes on all of that?
As for the awful Sheriff, this is just stunning. He ought to be teaching his deputies that everyone is assumed to be carrying, all of the time. Asking the question or waiting for someone to self identify is ridiculous and dangerous. You understand that, right? Only peaceable, law-aiding men and women will self-identify, whereas criminals will not, and this may lead the police into a false sense of security. The law cannot be trusted. If he isn’t teaching his cops that, he needs to be replaced with someone who has some common sense.
As for their idiotic comments on openly carrying, they are making this out to be something it isn’t. North Carolina is a “Gold-Star” traditional open carry state. I openly carry all of the time and have never had any problem from citizens or LEOs. Women and children do not go running and screaming, and I’ve had many people stop me and chat about it. Sending deputies out to “investigate” open carriers is a silly waste of time. He ought to be telling the dispatchers to ask the caller what law is being broken. “Ma’am, was he brandishing a weapon or threatening someone?” “No? Okay, then what he is doing is legal, and we don’t investigate legal use of firearms any more than we investigate mowing the lawn.”
In every state that has it, constitutional carry isn’t a problem, and the world doesn’t come to an end regardless of what these old timers have to say. They’re stuck in the dark ages advocating Jim Crow laws that are bigoted and prejudiced. Don’t be like them.