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Letter to the Editor: Concealed carry legislation would invite disaster

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

My wife and I are very concerned with the recently proposed North Carolina legislation to combine the aspects of concealed carry and open carry for handguns.

We are all for freedom, but insist on freedom with responsibility. The proposed law would grant anyone over the age of 18 who passes a background check the right to carry a concealed handgun. Gone would be the training requirement imposed to obtain a concealed carry permit. With it would be removed the classroom education and testing that ensures concealed carry permit holders understand the laws and responsibilities of being allowed to carry a concealed weapon. Not to mention the shooting accuracy test. That is something we think could be important. The proposed new law would replace the current training classes with an elective (?) high school class. First, not everyone who would purchase a gun for concealed carry is necessarily in high school. Second, combining guns with high school age kids is a really bad idea. Emotions and attitude issues are often heightened during high school years. Not a good time to introduce firearms to untrained kids.

Providing concealed carry permits on this basis is inviting disaster. Untrained and ignorant of the law, the new class of concealed carry gun owners would be uncontrolled. It would be the same thing as deciding 12 year old kids should be allowed to drive because it would be convenient for Mom not to have to go pick them up from school or take them to the game. Common sense says otherwise. We entrust citizens with privileges based on perceived degree of competence and an expectation of safety. Just as 12 year olds would be at risk of making potentially lethal errors in judgement in driving, so would unvetted gun owners who don’t know the laws and have not been adequately trained.

Doing away with legitimate concealed carry permitting is such a bad idea, it begs the question, are these lawmakers this dumb, or are they complicit in setting the stage for gun ownership to be challenged based on the predictable disasters so likely to occur as the result of this legislation? Not everyone is capable of behaving responsibly in tense situations. Proper training and evaluation by a qualified instructor is critical to making the process of arming the citizenry for concealed carry a workable, sustainable and safe practice.

To date, there are virtually NO instances of properly permitted Concealed Carry holders committing any sort of crime or harming any innocent person though use of a firearm. This could all change with the loss of the current controls built into the program. How many improperly vetted concealed carry gun related deaths would it take to convince the public that “obviously” guns are the problem? On the contrary, guns save lives. It is therefore of highest importance to protect our gun ownership and concealed carry rights by preventing the watering down of the current law. Country folks would say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Good advice.

Say NO to changing the NC Concealed Carry permit process. And say WHY to those who would attempt to do so.

RICHARD BRAKE

Rocky Mount

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