State House tells Congress to support Second Amendment

Posted July 17, 2013

Handgun generic, firearm

— The state House used 30 minutes Wednesday morning to debate and pass a resolution that takes the federal government to task for pursuing legislation that imposes restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. 

"Whereas, the President and Vice President of the United States, as well as members of Congress, have proposed adopting laws, regulations, or actions that would have the effect of infringing on the right of Americans to keep and bear arms," the resolution reads in part

The resolution has little force of law and merely expresses the sense of the House on the matter. It will be printed and sent to North Carolina's members of Congress. There is another measure expanding the number of places those with concealed handgun rights can carry firearms under consideration by the General Assembly, but that bill is in a House-Senate conference committee. 

This measure, say its sponsors and supporters, is merely meant to make the point to federal officials that people in North Carolina favor gun rights.

Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus, pointed to the fact that the Bill of Rights was passed just after the Revolutionary War, when Americans had to fight off British rule.

"There might be a time when the people might have to fight for their freedom again against the government," Pittman said.

In a second set of remarks, he said, "Gun control laws only protect criminals and/or tyrants."

The resolution passed 73-35. Typically, resolutions pass unanimously, but some members said they could not back this particular measure.

"I think the word 'whereas' should have factual statements behind it," Rep. Marcus Brandon, D-Guilford said, adding that this resolution contained opinions.

"I think it's a lot of paranoia," he said. 

Rep. Michael Speciale, R-Craven, the resolution's primary sponsor, said the document merely expresses the sense of the House that the constitution should be upheld.

Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland, asked Speciale if there were specific federal laws about which he was concerned.

"Any gun laws coming from the federal government are infringement," Speciale replied, adding that gun laws should be left to the states.

Glazier objected to that notion.

"There's nothing in the Second Amendment nor any of the cases that suggest that's the case," he said. "There are certainly huge numbers of firearms laws on the books at the federal level that protect a lot of people."

Rep. Ted Davis, R-New Hanover, a former assistant U.S. attorney, said he understood many of the objections coming from opponents of the resolution. In particular, he said, it is unclear whether the state is asking that existing federal laws be repealed.

"I prosecuted people for violating federal gun laws," he said, asking if sponsors might change language in the resolution to say that people's rights to "lawfully" keep and bear arms wouldn't be infringed. 

The measure wasn't amended.


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  • adamsindependent Jul 18, 2013

    beachmama, do women have different rights than men?

  • beachmama Jul 17, 2013

    These gentlemen care about gun rights but don't give a hoot about women's rights, just more of the same

  • Come On_Seriously Jul 17, 2013

    How about finish doing your real job and stop with the time-wasting, taxpayer funded frivolities. Does this resolution actually DO anything other than waste time and money? No.

    Legislators should be paid a salary -not per day. Maybe they'd actually get some work done in a reasonable amount of time instead of hosting 'Thankful' receptions in the rotunda, sending out useless conservative resolutions and designating state symbols. They didn't even start working on the budget until AFTER their session was supposed to END because they were too busy pushing their social agenda.

    If they were in the business community they are so desperate to please, they would be A- fired immediately for failing to fulfill their contract in the designated time period, or B- be on the hook for all expenses past the end of the set legislative session. Instead, they expect us to keep on paying them, even though they claim the state is broke.

  • AliceBToklas Jul 17, 2013

    I could not be more proud of the GA.

  • junkmail5 Jul 17, 2013

    All hype and no substance. More waste of taxpayer dollars.- jackjones2nc

    Yup. If they actually care about gun rights then get HB937 through the conference committee and signed into law.

    Don't waste your time, or my money, passing non-binding 'statements' like this nonsense.

  • Krimson Jul 17, 2013

    >>>"I think the word 'whereas' should have factual statements behind it," Rep. Marcus Brandon, D-Guilford said, adding that this resolution contained opinions.

  • jackjones2nc Jul 17, 2013

    All hype and no substance. More waste of taxpayer dollars. More costly grandstanding by ALEC-owned Republicans executing a national agenda, rather than representing the majority of NC citizens.

  • kermit60 Jul 17, 2013

    "lawfully" keep and bear arms wouldn't be infringed? The problem with this is they would just change the law as we have seen this administration do many times. Or they would just ignore it and we have seen that plenty also.