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Editorial: Senate should bury reckless concealed carry bill

The lead editorial in this morning’s Winston-Salem Journal [1] gets it right: The bill passed last week by the North Carolina House to completely deregulate the concealed carry of weapons by individuals 18 and older is a dreadful idea. That’s right: Under the bill, North Carolina would now allow young people too young to buy a beer or cigarettes to carry a gun in the sweatpants.

Here’s the Journal in response to claims that this is about self-protection:

“…the N.C. Fraternal Order of Police opposes the bill. So do gun-control advocates. They worry that if the bill passes, people would be able to carry concealed weapons without having gone through a firearms safety course that a concealed-carry permit requires. And the bill puts no limit on the number of weapons a person can conceal, the News & Record of Greensboro reported.

Republican Rep. John Faircloth, a former High Point police chief, voted against the measure. The legislation “is not going to make a big dent in what might could happen anyway, but it does open up a lot of possibilities that I think we could probably close with a little more work on this bill, particularly in the area of requiring some kind of training,” Faircloth said during the floor debate.

Proposed amendments that might mitigate the potential danger were blocked.

People who carry concealed weapons need extra training to make sure they know what they’re doing. This is a reckless bill that the Senate should end.”

And this is from the good people at North Carolinians Against Gun Violence [2]:

The vast majority of the public supports the current permitting systems that are on the books.

  • 89% of North Carolinians favor retaining the requirement to obtain concealed-carry permits.
  • 80% of gun owners think permit laws should remain in place.

83% of Democratic gun owners, 73% of independents, and 72% of Republican owners all think that current concealed carry permit requirements should stay on the books.

69% of NRA members think permits should continue to be required.

Make no mistake, permitless carry puts everyone in the community at risk, significantly weakens law enforcement’s ability to protect the public, and threatens citizens’ rights to safely and peaceably enjoy public spaces in their community.

Here are a few facts you should know about permitless carry:

  • Researchers have found that states with lenient concealed carry laws have higher rates of aggravated assaults, and the risk is likely even higher in states with no restrictions on who can acquire a gun and carry it in public.
  • Claims that permissive concealed carry laws lead to decreases in crime—by helping fight off criminals and creating a deterrent to offenses—have been disproven. Evidence suggests that permissive concealed carry laws may actually increase the frequency of some types of crime, like assault.
  • Research confirms the common-sense conclusion that more guns create more opportunities for injury and death, not fewer.

Let’s fervently hope the Senate does the right thing.