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Concealed gun bill gets mixed reviews from gun owners, firearms instructors

Posted June 9
Updated June 10

— A bill that would relax North Carolina's laws governing the carrying of concealed weapons is drawing mixed reactions from those in the firearms community.

The state House voted 65-54 this week to pass House Bill 746, which would make it legal for anyone who legally owns a gun to carry it concealed without a permit anywhere they can carry it openly, which includes most public places.

Legal gun owners would not need to undergo the eight-hour training course currently required for a concealed carry permit unless they wish to carry a concealed weapon into locations where that permit would still be required.

House Bill 746 would also allow lawmakers to carry guns in the legislative building.

Currently, the minimum age for a concealed carry permit is 21. The law would allow permitless concealed carry by any gun owner 18 and over.

Some law enforcement agencies say they're opposed to the bill, as do some gun owners. But others say it will offer more protection.

Two separate surveys, one by Survey USA and another by Public Polling Policy, recently found that four in five voters opposed relaxing gun restrictions.

The Fraternal Order of Police opposes the bill as well, but supporters say the legislation would enhance 2nd Amendment freedoms for law abiding citizens.

"As it stands, we can already carry any open carry without training, so it really doesn't change anything," Sovereign Guns shop owner Kiran Frampton said. "It just means they can now carry concealed rather than open and maybe not get so many people worried about seeing guns."

Gun owner Mary Eakes said she disagrees with loosening gun laws.

"I think loosening the laws would be absolutely wrong. I think they need to tighten the laws to where the right people can get the guns," Eakes said.

Tim Jackson agreed, adding that concealed carry permit classes give people good "general knowledge and safety (on) how to handle your weapons system, knowing when to discharge it and when not to discharge it."

"I've always been an advocate of safety first. Once you fire that round, it's out and you can't reset it," he said. "Education is power. Knowledge is power."

Craig Jackson said he can understand why some people might feel safer if House Bill 746 passes.

"There are a great number of citizens that recognize, a lot of times, you don’t have law enforcement agents present everywhere you go," Jackson said. "So, for them to feel safe, if it means you can conceal a weapon, I think that far outnumbers the opportunities where the law enforcement does."

After passing the House, the bill's next stop is in the North Carolina Senate.

15 Comments

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  • Jay Hanig Jun 12, 11:38 a.m.
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    Opinions vary as to which is better: open carry or concealed carry. I am of the opinion that concealed carry is the better way if it is open to you. As a CCW permit holder, I have the choice of carrying either way yet I've chosen concealed carry exclusively as my preferred method of protection. Why? Because I retain the advantage of knowing what I will do if I'm attacked while my attacker does not. Also because it removes the drama that some people enjoy inspiring at the very sight of a weapon. I have zero interest in being "SWATted" while out shopping.

    In all the years I've carried a concealed weapon, nobody has ever asked me if I was armed. No one. That says to me nobody knew... and what they didn't know didn't hurt them.

    There are two things I've learned about having a gun on my person: 1) Accept no substitute. I am not Bruce Lee and 2) When you need a man with a gun, you need him very badly and RIGHT NOW.

  • William Campbell Jun 12, 5:15 a.m.
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    I find it comical that so many people actually believe the current permit system is preventing 18 year olds from carrying concealed handguns.

  • Henry Cooper Jun 10, 8:14 p.m.
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    Once again... REALLY?

    I know someone pointed out already there is still a permit process and background check.

    If you are an example of a LEO then this is sad. How can you enforce a law you don't know and are so upset about (maybe with to much emotion to make a good decision)? If all the "training, constant practice and certification results in your understanding being this then the programs, teachers, and certifications need to go in the dumpster.

  • Tim Orr Jun 10, 12:45 p.m.
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    There should be one change to this law. In order to get a permit to purchase a weapon, or carry one, you should have evidence showing you took a safety class.

  • Tim Orr Jun 10, 12:42 p.m.
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    I'm glad you're not still a cop because you obviously don't understand the law. There are background checks to PURCHASE a weapon no matter how you carry it.

  • Norman Lewis Jun 10, 11:55 a.m.
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    Carrying concealed without a permit does not allow purchase of a firearm without a background check so nothing much would actually change. i would prefer the permit system requiring education and competency to continue with the instructor issuing the permit for concealed carry after passing the class .

  • Mike Brody Jun 10, 12:59 a.m.
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    I'm wondering how many people who own guns without a conceal permit actually carry anyway. And if they don't, why not? If this law is being passed with their thinking of "leveling the playing field" if I were to be a criminal, seeing someone who is carrying openly is much more of a deterrent than seeing someone who might be carrying a concealed weapon. It's more of a roll of the dice type deal then. I know quite a few people who own guns not carry openly even though they are allowed to under the current law.

  • Mark Cline Jun 9, 9:33 p.m.
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    That's why we need the Castle Doctrine, and Concealed Carry. To level the playing field. If you are justified in your use of force, then you cannot be sued. That's why the training is so important.

    In fact, I would rather see the Legislature address the training issue. Perhaps we need something similar to the NC Wildlife Commission's Hunter Education Certification. Requiring gun owners, and prospective gun owners, to possess a safety, and legal, certification card would be the ticket?

    There's a provision in this legislation to reinstate firearms safety training in schools as an elective. I believe it should be required. Minimum training courses already exist. Some are already taught in some schools.

  • Deborah Turner Jun 9, 9:18 p.m.
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    Criminals already carry without a permit. Drug dealers,robbers, carjackers,home invaders and the list goes on. Look at Durham's murder rate. Criminals have special rights in this nation and have the upper hand against law-abiding citizens.

  • Mark Cline Jun 9, 7:32 p.m.
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    I agree with you, Larry Jackson. It's all about deterrence. If law abiding citizens are allowed to carry concealed handguns, that adds an unknown factor to a bad guy's plan.

    Just like those holes in the ground in the middle of America. Some had missiles in them, some didn't. Some of us have guns, some don't.

    Number one rule in winning a gun fight: It's better to avoid the fight than to win it.

    That's what I spend class time to impress upon the minds of those individuals who want a CCHP.

    However, sometimes the inevitable happens. In that case, having a gun, any gun, is better than not having one.

    I've been carrying for over 21 years. Been through a bunch of classes in those years. Taught a bunch of classes, too. One thing I've learned in all of that is that I don't want to be involved in a gun fight.

    Also, being a cop is extremely difficult, and dangerous. If you ain't one, don't try to be one! Even if you're carrying! ESPECIALLY if you're carrying!!!

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