Law enforcement opposes proposal to relax concealed gun rules

Posted June 6

— With the state House poised to debate legislation Wednesday ending the requirement that people obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon in North Carolina, law enforcement agencies around the state are lining up in opposition to the measure.

House Bill 746 would allow any U.S. citizen 18 or over who legally owns a gun to carry it concealed without a permit anywhere he or she can carry it openly, except where prohibited.

Concealed carry permits are issued through a county sheriff's office, which conducts a criminal background check and looks for records of mental illness or incapacity. Applicants must also be at least 21 years old and must show they have passed an eight-hour gun safety class.

"They're getting some training. They're getting some knowledge of the law. But just to say, 'You're 18 years old, take a gun and go,' that bothers me," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Tuesday.

Harrison isn't alone among law enforcement. The North Carolina Association of Police Chiefs also opposes repealing the permit requirement.

"[T]he repeal of the concealed carry permit requirement eliminates a valuable method to identify persons who should not be carrying a firearm, such as the mentally ill, convicted felons and identified gang members," the association said in a statement. "The NCACP opposes the repeal of the concealed carry permit system as detrimental to the safety of the public and law enforcement officers."

Harrison said ending concealed carry permits adds too much mystery to traffic stops.

"It means I don't know who the law-abiding citizens are and who the bad guys are," he said. "So, it puts a lot of pressure on us."

Catherine Mortensen, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, said 12 other states already allow "permitless carry."

"We don't want these people to be criminalized just by the fact of putting on a coat or putting the firearm in their purse," Mortensen said. "When law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry a firearm concealed without a permit, crime rates go down, and people are safer."

A recent poll commissioned by gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America shows 89 percent of North Carolina voters support the current law, including 83 percent of gun owners.

"Law enforcement are the ones having to deal with this. Legislators don't have to deal with this, and it does concern me," Harrison said.

The measure also proposes changes to other state firearms laws, such as allowing lawmakers and their aides to carry guns at the legislative complex in Raleigh, loosening rules on possessing a weapon on school property and dictating how law enforcement officials dispose of guns used in crimes. It also calls on state education officials to develop a firearm safety class as an elective course in North Carolina high schools.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Mark Cline Jun 7, 2:00 p.m.
    user avatar

    Because of all of the misinformation, disinformation, and plain old, all out lies being foisted on the unknowing public, I must line up against this bill.

    I have a much better idea: Ditch the permit, require the training. Very similar to the requirement of Hunter Safety Certification to apply for a hunting/fishing license. No card, no carry.

  • Tom Baker Jun 7, 8:22 a.m.
    user avatar

    As long as cc holders don't advocate for regular training, they have no moral ground to stand on. If they want to be a asset for increased safety in the community, they need to train to act with a high level of awareness in a split second. As long as that is not happening, they are just another risk factor.

  • Raymond Mclemore Jun 7, 7:18 a.m.
    user avatar

    Next bill, mandatory gun carry in elementary school.😉

  • Raymond Mclemore Jun 7, 7:15 a.m.
    user avatar

    They are on wrong side here because we all know where the Reps. stand on this. Right beside the NRA and big money. Safety of citizens and law enforcement in at the bottom of there voting list. Just an opinion.

  • Rick Edwards Jun 7, 5:56 a.m.
    user avatar

    Already you have to announce to the LEO that you have a concealed weapon on you at first contact during a stop.
    If that is included in the new law, I don't see how this adds danger to officers.
    The bad guys will still be bad .

  • Carl Strauss Jun 6, 11:09 p.m.
    user avatar

    Sheriff Harrison is a politician. He is siding with the gun grabbers, because he needs the lefty vote in his county. Anyone who thinks law-abiding citizens need a permission slip from a politician in order to exercise their Civil Rights is not fit to serve. Harrison took an oath to protect the 2nd Amendment, among other things, and his statements alone tell you what he thinks of that oath (their just words to him). His quote also tells you what he thinks of the citizens of Wake County---untrustworthy sheep---and he's the superior shepherd.

    Considering Sheriff Harrison's long career and position, there is no way he actually believes that traffic stops will be more dangerous. He is feigning ignorance here. . . poorly. He knows darn well that bad guys who are a threat to deputies are not out getting carry permits (they can't even pass background checks). Let's get real, Sheriff---as long as you're protected, right? (A guy who carries a gun every day. Classic "for me, but not for thee")

  • Anna Temple Jun 6, 10:09 p.m.
    user avatar

    Cell phone in 1 pocket. Pistol in the other. Then someone breaks in line at the burger joint. Capital offense?

  • Kiara Babel Jun 6, 10:05 p.m.
    user avatar

    I agree with the sheriff,

  • Barrett Powell Jun 6, 9:50 p.m.
    user avatar

    It is common knowledge that law enforcement is against concealed carry of any kind. I can understand why. It is a safety issue for them. But the so called training for conceal carry is a really not the kind of training you might think it is. It is VERY basic. In fact, I'm not even sure I would consider it "training". If you clear someone to own and carry a gun, what difference does it make HOW they carry it? They STILL HAVE THE GUN!!

    Raise the limit to 21 from 18. Make conceal carry a privilege and not a right. Make it so you can lose that privilege if you do something stupid or break the law. Have it indicated on your driver's license. End of story.

  • Mickey Barbour Jun 6, 8:16 p.m.
    user avatar

    So Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison, running a tag tells you that a bad guy has a gun? No only a law abiding person may have one.
    Or that any one with a gun is guilty till proven innocence?