WRAL.com at the State Fair

Pro-gun group to challenge state fair gun ban

Posted September 30, 2014

— Deep-fried anything may be allowed at the N.C. State Fair, but guns are not, and now a pro-gun group plans to sue the state to allow those with concealed-carry permits to bring their weapons onto the state fairgrounds.

The long-standing ban was reiterated Tuesday by state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, one day after Grass Roots North Carolina representatives said they met with him about the issue.

“We are not concerned about a law-abiding citizen coming onto the fairgrounds and doing intentional harm,” Troxler said. “But we are concerned about accidental discharge. You don't want to take a chance on this happening if you can avoid it, and thus, our decision.”

The dispute centers on House Bill 937, which outlines the state’s firearms law. Changes to the measure were made in 2013, passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory.

The law, in part, reads:

It shall be unlawful for any person to possess, or carry, whether openly or concealed, any deadly weapon, not used solely for instructional or officially sanctioned ceremonial purposes in the State Capitol Building, the Executive Mansion, the Western Residence of the Governor, or on the grounds of any of these buildings, and in any building housing any court of the General Court of Justice.

GRNC says the measure doesn’t exclude the state fairgrounds, meaning legal gun possession should be allowed at the state fair.

But the measure also reads:

This subsection shall not be construed to permit a person to carry a concealed handgun on any premises where the person in legal possession or control of the premises has posted a conspicuous notice prohibiting the carrying of a concealed handgun on the premises.

GRNC believes the above passage only applies to private property owners. They point out that the state fairgrounds is public property.

"We just want to carry as the law permits us to carry so that we can protect our loved ones in the case that a criminal chooses to not follow the law and cause a problem and threaten the safety of our families," said Josette Chmiel with Grass Roots NC. "We all want to be safe. Don't take away our right to be safe."

Troxler said the measure has gray areas and intends to uphold the ban until a judge or lawmakers say otherwise.

Metal detectors will be at each entrance, and those with guns will be asked to leave their firearms in their cars, Troxler said.


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  • scvmcdoc Oct 3, 2014

    FEHANLINE, another issue that the Founding Fathers never had to consider at the time was the rampant crime and disregard for human life that we have today. The gun control left cry about those of us who choose to carry in the event we need to protect ourselves yet you encounter us every day and we have yet to shoot you, harm you in any way, and as I have said before, you don't even know who we are because we follow the law and carry our weapons in a discrete and concealed manner.
    Hope to be seeing you out and about this weekend. I'm the person at all of those establishments that you say you won't go to but you will that is armed, and you'll never know it.

  • fehanline Oct 3, 2014

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    Agreed. If the madman had a gun, many more would have died, possibly even the "hero" with their own gun

  • fehanline Oct 3, 2014

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    Sad thing is scvmdoc, the Founding Fathers may not have seen such heavy firepower. Heck, they didn't even see fit to keep slavery out

    However, if you feel that you want to carry your single shot, muzzle loaded musket, by all means do

    Our Constitution has been modified before. Like all Amendments, none are 100%. Can you yell "Fire" in a crowded theater? No. Are your 4th Amendment rights 100%? No, there are limits to them as well

    That you feel the need to carry a weapon when you go out, perhaps you just need to stay at home. I don't trust people who need guns that much

  • scvmcdoc Oct 2, 2014

    I just love the fact that the 2nd Amendment has been in place for well over 200 years and people who immigrate here within the say 40 years complain about our laws and insist that we change them.

  • sabsco Oct 2, 2014

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    Even luckier that the madman didn't have a gun.

  • disgusted2010 Oct 2, 2014

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    The odds of your needing to take my tax money and give it to people who refuse to support themselves as entitlements are small also, but people like you demand it and the government does it.

  • disgusted2010 Oct 2, 2014

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    There is a difference between those shot in Fayetteville and INNOCENT bystanders.

  • disgusted2010 Oct 2, 2014

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    I wish you would stop putting my family at risk by imposing your liberal, insane, out of touch with reality beliefs on those that don't want them.

  • scvmcdoc Oct 2, 2014

    Well, to all those businesses that let the "locked, loaded and scared" into their establishments, you can forget about my business until you act to stop it.......FEHANLINE

    Sure, so you're telling me you are not going to the grocery store? Every grocery chain in NC allows concealed carry. You're not going to Walmart anymore, no more Starbucks????? Be real, you will continue to go to places that allow conceal carry. Stop making silly threats.

  • scvmcdoc Oct 2, 2014


    WRAL usually has a few a week. Fayetteville had 3 innocent bystanders shot just last week.

    Each of the case you cite are cases of criminal activity and gang violence. In none of these cases or the cases in Fayetteville was the bystander shot by a legal conceal carry permit holder.