Commentary

Best argument against latest gun bill is from pro-gun groups four years ago

The House is set to vote today on legislation that would weaken gun laws in North Carolina again by ending the requirement that people have to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

The permit process includes an application to the local sheriff’s office, which runs a background check and makes sure there are no documented mental health problems. Applicants must be at least 21 and also attend an eight-hour gun safety class.

Under the proposal before the House, the permit requirement would be abolished and the minimum age of people allowed to carry a hidden, loaded handgun would be lowered to 18.

Law enforcement officials are speaking out against the plan and more than 80 percent of voters in the state oppose it.

But the best argument against allowing anyone 18 and older to carry a concealed weapon anywhere they want might be the promises from the pro-gun crowd a few years ago when they were pushing legislation to allow hidden handguns in bars and restaurants and playgrounds.

Here’s then Senator Thom Goolsby, now a member of the UNC Board of Governors, in a WRAL-TV story from the 2013 debate, defending expanding the number of places where concealed weapons  were allowed.

In the Senate, backers of the bill said that the expansion of rights for concealed handgun permit holders was appropriate. Sen. Thom Goolsby, R-New Hanover, noted that those who obtain such permits go through extra training and background checks. “They’re the people we don’t have to worry about,” he said.

A story in the Indy Week a few months later about the efforts of Grass Roots North Carolina to convince bars to allow concealed weapons in their establishments quoted from a card the group was handing out.

You have nothing to fear from concealed handgun permit holders, who by virtue of training and background checks, have proven themselves sane, sober and law-abiding, the GRNC card reads.

Just four years ago, the pro-gun activists were reassuring everybody that it was safe to allow people to carry their hidden and loaded handguns everywhere because they were trained and had undergone thorough, local background checks as part of the permitting process.

Now those same pro-gun forces are demanding an end to that process and the very safeguards they promised it would provide.

One Comment


  1. Stu Shaw

    June 7, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    Unfortunately this article mis-represents the proposed legislation. Although it proposes concealed carry without a permit, it would only allow non-permitt carry in places that allow open carry, therefore it would NOT allow concealed carry in bars or places that serve alcohol. To be allowed concealed carry in those places (the texts used to mislead the reader) a person would still be required to go through the complete Concealed Carry Permit process (which will still be in effect) and obtain a permit. I think it’s a bit ingenious of the author to make the point the the guns would be HIDDEN and LOADED inferring some evil intent. The firearms would be LEGALLY concealed and who would carry a defensive firearm unloaded unless they expected to meet a nice criminal that would gladly allow them time to load there handgun before assaulting them.

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