Local News

Troxler pledges State Fair will be 'safest place'

Posted October 13, 2014

NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler

— North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler pledged Monday to make this year’s State Fair “the safest place you will ever be.”

Troxler said security will be top-notch, with 200 law enforcement officers each day at the fair, which starts Thursday.

He also remained intractable on his ban on concealed handguns at the fair. The gun-rights group Grass Roots North Carolina has asked for a temporary restraining order to keep Troxler from enforcing the ban, saying Troxler doesn’t have the authority to enforce such a ban.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Monday afternoon, and Troxler said fair organizers are waiting for the judge’s decision.

“A weapons ban is just one way to minimize risk and maintain a family-friendly environment,” he said.

Last year, five people were hurt at the fair when a ride called The Vortex starting moving as people were getting off. A criminal investigation found that a safety mechanism designed to keep the ride from moving had been disabled. The owners of the ride face more than $100,000 in fines from two government agencies, as well as a $150 million lawsuit from four who were hurt.

Troxler said the incident still weighs heavily on his mind. He said there was nothing worse than getting the call about the Vortex and learning about the criminal aspects to the case.

But he praised the response time of emergency personnel, saying it underscored the safety of the fair.

“I hope the ghost of The Vortex is gone forever,” he said.


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  • Fun Oct 14, 2014

    Ever....is pretty powerful words

  • didisaythat Oct 14, 2014

    All the people scared of guns, better not walk by the turkey shoot. I go every year and last year my son shot with me. Enjoy it and hope it gives money for a good cause. Although I believe in CCW and encourage any law abiding, reasonable person to do so, I do not think it is necessary to carry at the fair. The police presence is very good. I should know a little, I am an officer and have worked the fair. I would agree with the person that said the problem is not inside, but going to and from the parking lots. That is where I want my gun. I am not paranoid, but realistic. I am not on an ego trip with a gun and I am not scared. I want to be prepared if the need is there to protect my family or strangers.

  • Djofraleigh Anderson Oct 14, 2014
    user avatar

    The midway rides and contact with animals have hurt and killed people over the years, but I don't recall one licensed holder of a gun hurting anyone, but that is the overriding issue created by Troxler, who should not have brought up the issue of legal carry. This issue is about his personal opinions and prejudices and abusing his power.

    In the name of public health, how about Troxler making the fair serve only foods approved by the first lady?

    Why doesn't he get AmTrak ordered to run at 5mph by the front of the fairgrounds where so many are crossing?

    Metal detectors at the gates, but nothing along the fences were items are handed over.

    A million people go to the fair and leave safely. Still, the place is not really safe.

    Does the state require background checks on all workers/exhibitors on the fairgrounds? NO. Why not?

    Over the years, a few are killed or sickened, true, and you don't want your young children running loose in the midway day or night.

  • Life-goes-on. Oct 14, 2014

    How amazing that people will threaten to stay home if law abiding citizens (voters) are allowed to carry a pocket pistol to protect themselves and loved ones but those same people are just fine attending an event where there are likely to be many criminals carrying illegal weapons intent on breaking the law. Why even bother to write laws if a judge can just feel that it doesn't need to be followed? I always understood that it was the judges function to uphold the law..

  • iknowjack Oct 14, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Yes, worrying about being caught up in a rare tragedy is indeed paranoid. More people are struck by lightning and eaten by sharks.

  • Lightfoot3 Oct 14, 2014

    "Recalling that horrible theater shooting in Colorado a couple of years ago, can you imagine the bloodshed if there had been several legal carriers in there" - sinenomine

    There probably would have been less injured or killed. No need to "imagine", do some research and you'll see plenty of cases of concealed carry (and otherwise armed) citizens STOPPING the criminals with no innocent bystanders being hit. The cops however....

    "You can't carry a loaded gun in to a gun show? Why? Where is all the hollering about that?" - Earth Brooks

    Probably because of all the gun handling going on, especially by novices, but there are those that do "holler". And I think some shows DO allow carrying.

    "Complete fantasy" - A cold, hard dose of Hans

    Complete reality and precedence. Google is your friend, given you seem to avoid the news.

  • Ralph Mechanic Oct 14, 2014
    user avatar

    How has banning worked in the past.... Crimals do not care about bans!!!! How many shootings have been at the fair while the ban was effect? a few I can recall. How could that be? There was a Ban!!! We finaly got the law changed and now that Has been trumped by man that thinks his is above the new laws. And a judge that did not think it was Prudent... No leagle bassis behind that? other than his judgement over state law.

  • Don Buckman Oct 14, 2014
    user avatar

    What about the parking lots? The many dirt and wooded parking lots are dark. Will they be patrolling the lots? Will there be metal detectors in the parking lots? Whom will protect me or my family as I travel too and from the fair, since this illegal action is keeping me from carrying my State permitted concealed firearm? I suppose I could use my car are a defensive weapons, at least until they ban cars at the fair.

  • Justin Case Oct 14, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Fear much? I recently acquired my CCH permit and know several others that have it. Not one of them would even consider drawing their weapon, must less firing it, unless there was an immediate and direct personal threat. Your fear clouds your thinking. I'm not aware of any reports of a 'rambo' type response from any legally carrying citizen in the USA. Are you?

    Concealed carry is not about being part of an altercation, especially when a threat is not directed at them. It's about the thin, thin possibility of needing to defend yourself in a location where crime has a tendency to crop up. I don't plan to carry to the fair even if allowed. And if I did, I certainly wouldn't draw or fire a weapon unless a directly threatened. I wonder if you would like me to defend you should you be threatened with immediate, deadly force in my immediate vicinity? I'm not obligated to, but I wonder if you'd want me to?

  • Earth Brooks Oct 14, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Don't forget gun shows. You can't carry a loaded gun in to a gun show? Why? Where is all the hollering about that?