Y’all seem ready and willing to introduce new pro-gun legislation this session, so I wanted to take a moment and let you know about a few things that I’d like to see fixed in the general statutes regarding guns:
Currently, a concealed pistol can only be secured in a vehicle on school grounds.
This was a big step when this bill passed, but it was rushed and worded poorly. I know folks that pull over their vehicle before reaching school grounds, lock their concealed handgun in a lockbox or glovebox or something, and then get into the carpool line in order to pick up their children. Why can’t they just leave it in their holster? The less fiddling they have to do with the pistol, the safer things are. One friend went so far as to tell me that he owns a S&W Shield with a thumb safety, because he likes the extra safety for when he has to fiddle with his pistol before picking up his kids.
Clarify the law regarding concealed carry on the NC State Fairgrounds.
Concealed Handgun Permit holders in NC have proven themselves to be a safe, law abiding group of people. We can carry in the supermarket on a Sunday afternoon around large crowds of people, so what makes the fair any different? Furthermore, Agriculture Commissioner Troxler cited NCGS 14-269.3 as his justification for not allowing concealed carry at the fair, which reads:
§ 14-269.3. Carrying weapons into assemblies and establishments where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry any gun, rifle, or pistol into any assembly where a fee has been charged for admission thereto, or into any establishment in which alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Sounds good, except for section B (5), which exempts people with valid Concealed Handgun Permits:
(5) A person carrying a handgun if the person has a valid concealed handgun permit issued in accordance with Article 54B of this Chapter, has a concealed handgun permit considered valid under G.S. 14-415.24, or is exempt from obtaining a permit pursuant to G.S. 14-415.25. This subdivision shall not be construed to permit a person to carry a handgun on any premises where the person in legal possession or control of the premises has posted a conspicuous notice prohibiting the carrying of a concealed handgun on the premises in accordance with G.S. 14-415.11(c). (1977, c. 1016, s. 1; 1981, c. 412, s. 4; c. 747, s. 66; 1993, c. 539, s. 165; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2013-369, s. 3.)
The biggest stick in my craw regarding this whole thing is that I cannot find any legal justification for the decision not to allow concealed handguns at the State Fair. Yes, my bias is that people should be able to carry concealed at the fair, but for me, it’s even more important that we follow the law as written.
Expand concealed carry privileges, but don’t be stupid about it.
I’m all for expanding the concealed carry privileges that are afforded to concealed handgun permit holders in the state, and I think Senator Tarte was sort of on the right track with the “Homeland Security Patriot Act” in that CHP holders will be allowed to carry in the same places as police officers. That part of the bill is good.
Unfortunately there is a bunch of derp in the bill as well that needs to go away:
1. Issuing badges to CHP holders is silly, unneeded, costly, and it serves no purpose. Requiring the CHP holder to carry the badge (exposed or not) is even more silly.
2. Having two classes of CHP permits adds unneeded complexity for police officers, but I’ll accept it as a stepping stone to expanding privileges for all CHP holders in the future. I promise I’m not just spouting off about this, I’ve actually taken the last week to speak with some LEO friends of mine from large departments in the Triangle area, and they all said that we should just expand CCW rights for all CHP holders.
3. But seriously, issuing badges is such a bad idea I need to bring it up again. Why not just print this extra-special permit on a different color of paper so it’s super easy to to tell the difference between it and the not-so-special permit?
4. Simunition training. On the surface it sounds fun, but sim rounds hurt like crazy and are not appropriate for folks with certain physical disabilities, the elderly, etc. (You know, the people that can’t defend themselves any other way, so they carry a pistol for self defense.)
Kill the Pistol Purchase Permit
Yes, I know y’all tried it last year, but at the very least pass a bill and send it to the Governor. I’m the “gun guy” for most of the people in my life, and over the past couple of months I’ve heard from SEVERAL people that the requirements for getting a pistol purchase permit in Durham County are too much work, so they’ll just forget about it and not get a gun.
If you can’t kill the PPP, remove the subjectivity from it. Make the PPP Shall Issue, just like the concealed handgun permit. Seems kind of silly that a Sheriff could deny someone a PPP on the “good moral character” part of the law, but then as long as that person isn’t disqualified from doing so, they could just go apply for a concealed handgun permit from the same Sheriff and be issued one.
Set a reasonable timeframe for issuing a Concealed Handgun Permit
A couple years ago the General Assembly passed a bill that cut the timeframe for issuing a CHP down from 90 days to 45 days. Unfortunately, the wording in the law doesn’t make this 45 day window start on the day of the PPP application, but when the Sheriff receives mental health information back from whatever hospitals they make the applicant request information from. This is making for some extreme wait times in certain counties.
45 days from the day of the application should be plenty of time to request and get information on the applicants mental health. Seems easy enough to me.
I’m sure there’s more, but these are the things I’d like to see fixed most.