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Proposed Bill Would Allow Temporary Weapon Permit For Domestic Violence Victims

Posted June 10, 2005

— A state lawmaker says more needs to be done to help victims of domestic violence protect themselves.

Rep. Linda Johnson, R-Cabarrus County, introduced House Bill 1311 in the North Carolina House of Representatives Tuesday that would allow sheriffs to issue a temporary concealed weapon permit to anyone they believe is in an emergency situation that may constitute a safety risk.

"The best defense is a prepared offense, and I believe this will allow victims of domestic violence to have that offense," Johnson said.

The permit, which would be for a period of no longer than 90 days, would only be issued to people who submit proof of a protective order as evidence of an emergency situation.

Since May 1, there have been six domestic violence homicides in the Triangle area. Most recently, police say Michael Massenburg chased his wife Dujuana Massenburg through a residential neighborhood, and then beat her to death with his bare hands. Dujuana Massenburg had two restraining orders against her husband.

Tanisha Bagley also had a protective order against her husband when he was arrested for sexually assaulting her. Now, she has a permit to carry a concealed gun.

"Anything can happen, and so for my peace of mind -- yes, I have one in the house," Bagley said.

Not everyone agrees the bill is a good idea, including anti-domestic violence advocates who fear a gun could be turned on the victim or the victim's children.

"We're most concerned about the safety of the victims, and I'm not convinced that putting a handgun into the middle of a volatile situation is going to increase their safety," said Adam Hartzell of Interact, a non-profit organization that provides safety and support to victims of domestic violence.


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