Our View: Keep permits for concealed weapons
Rocky Mount Telegram
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Legislation recently approved by the N.C. House that would end the requirement for people to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon in North Carolina is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.
The measure would eliminate the training and permitting currently required for people 21 and older to carry a concealed weapon and lower the age to 18 for any U.S. citizen who wants to carry a concealed weapon without a permit anywhere he or she can carry it openly, except where prohibited.
Supporters of the bill say the bill will “expand the opportunities for law-abiding citizens to be able to better protect themselves and their loved ones from harm,” according to bill sponsor N.C. Rep. Chris Millis, R-Pender.
Opposition to the measure extends well beyond gun-control advocacy groups. The N.C. Police Chiefs Association, N.C. Fraternal Order of Police and members of the state’s law enforcement community — including many police chiefs and county sheriffs — also oppose the measure.
N.C. Rep. John Faircloth, R- Guilford, a former local police chief, was one of eight House Republicans who voted against the measure. He expressed serious reservations about removing the training requirement for people who carry concealed weapons.
Concealed carry permits are issued through county sheriff's offices, which conduct criminal background checks and look for records of mental illness or incapacity. Applicants must show they have passed an eight-hour gun safety class.
The Telegram is a strong supporter of Americans’ 2nd Amendment right to own firearms. But the current conceal-carry law doesn’t restrict anybody’s right to keep and bear arms. It’s a common-sense public safety measure to ensure that those who carry concealed weapons have been taught when and how to properly and legally use them.
The legislation was approved by a 65-54 vote in the House — seven votes short of the number needed to override a gubernatorial veto.
If the Senate follows suit and approves the measure — and we strongly urge them not to — then Gov. Roy Cooper should certainly veto it.