Local News

Wake sheriff: Responsible gun owners shouldn't worry

Posted January 22, 2013
Updated January 26, 2013

— Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison has a message for law-abiding citizens who are concerned that his deputies are going to take their guns away: It's not going to happen.

"People are assuming what's going to happen down the road," Harrison said Tuesday, "but I do not see anybody losing their weapons that are legally law-abiding citizens."

The comments come as a nationwide debate over gun violence continues to intensify in the wake of last month's mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which 27 people, including 20 children, were killed before the gunman took his own life.

Last week, President Barack Obama unveiled several recommendations to curb gun violence, including a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Although nothing in the president's proposals calls for taking guns away from gun owners, Harrison says he has repeatedly been told by concerned citizens to keep the "feds" out of North Carolina.

Harrison says he thinks gun owners are over-reacting to proposals that have little chance of passing Congress. He says he does believe there will be some changes to gun laws, changes he will enforce, but nothing that will prompt him to go door-to-door collecting guns.

"Are there going to be some changes? I feel like there are, because a lot of people want to see changes on both sides," he said. "I think some of the things that come out of this will be good, but I think there are a lot of people getting overly concerned about something that isn't going to happen."

Sheriffs across the state are also weighing in on the matter.

In Lee County, for example, Sheriff Tracy Carter echoed similar comments on his blog.

"Sometimes, all a man has is his word, so here's mine," he wrote on Friday. "I, Sheriff Tracy L. Carter, will never by use of force or any other means confiscate any firearms possessed by law-abiding citizens of Lee County."

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison Sheriff: Responsible gun owners shouldn't worry

Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders took to Facebook to reassure gun owners.

"As your sheriff, I took an oath to uphold the United States Constitution and the North Carolina State Constitution, meaning, as sheriff, I will stand by the Second Amendment that our forefathers made certain was a part of our Constitution," he wrote.

But Harrison says it's a misconception that everyone has a right to own a weapon.

"Felons and people with mental issues don't need weapons and don't have rights to own those weapons," he said. "You've got to have something there to protect the public from people who have violated the law."

"Regardless of which side people are on, my job is to serve and protect," he added. "That means that the ones who don't need the guns shouldn't have the guns, and we want to make sure we take those guns, but the law-abiding citizens don't have anything to worry about."


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • xandevalinour Jan 24, 2013

    @the yoda not sure where you got your information about the school being gun free but its not. http://www.lonestar.edu/weapons-premises.htm

  • virginiagoldenleaf Jan 24, 2013

    To all the sheriffs of NC and to the NC Sheriff's Association; Have you all forgotten what the oath of office that you swore to uphold said? To uphold the US Constitution and the NC Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic?

    So now tell me, if you are enforcing a law that is against the US Constitution or the NC Constitution, are you a "Domestic Enemy of the US & NC Constitution"? Yes you are, it doesnt matter if you have a badge or not, for if you obey and enforce a law that goes against the constitution of the state and government, you are an enemy of the people.

    Please bear in mind that the second amendment says: " A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

    It is a simple question, will you uphold the NC and US constitution or are you an enemy of the people of NC and against the people of NC?

  • Lightfoot3 Jan 24, 2013

    “The CSA found that out in 1865.” - Grand Union

    What did the UK find out in 1776?

    “They had little effect on overall murder rates because guns never were a factor in them to start with.” – Grand Union

    So why do you keep comparing the United States of America to the UK, if it’s not apples to apples? Why not compare our great country to some other country that had a high gun murder rate, that banned guns, and then saw a large drop?

    “Take guns out of the US equation the rate in the US will fall to close to UK rates.” – Grand Union

    That’s your guess and conjecture because of your irrational fear of guns. Why not use a real world case to prove your point rather than the UK, which doesn’t support your point at all?

  • Lightfoot3 Jan 24, 2013

    “Your continued use of the UK... which had a much lower rate BEFORE they banned guns, and the rate went up AFTER banning them, proves the OPPOSITE of your point, it's weird you keep bringing it up.” – junkmail5

    What?!!! No wonder he ignored my question about what the UK rate was BEFORE the gun bans. I hate deception and hypocrisy!

  • Lightfoot3 Jan 24, 2013

    “There is no unconstitutional leap to add other weapons that were not even available in the 1790s.” – Grand Union

    But at some point it does become unconstitutional because the only weapons left are ineffective at personal protection and securing a free state. Your draconian approach to eliminate all handguns, rifles that fire more than one shot, and shotguns that fire more than two shots will cost many lives. Granted, you may save some lives, but precedence has shown (despite your irrational refusal to acknowledge it) that thousands have saved themselves, family members, and others by firing more than ONE shot. One of the latest (which I’m sure you also ignore) was that mother and child hiding in the attic in Georgia. The intruder had worked his way to her with a crowbar before he was finally repelled with SIX shots (5 hits). Under your proposal, she and her child would likely be dead.

  • junkmail5 Jan 24, 2013

    yeah and the UK is such a terrible place to live- Grand Union

    well, the food is awful, and the weather is too... and they have to put warning labels on sale of silverware lest someone under 18 buy it and go on a crime rampage.... soon I expect they'll require everyone to wear a helmet when going outside... there's a reason they call it the nanny state...

    But the scenery is quite lovely.

  • junkmail5 Jan 24, 2013

    There is no unconstitutional leap to add other weapons that were not even available in the 1790s.- Grand Union

    Of course there is. Just as there is one to add television and radio to the first amendment, even though they didn't exist in 1790 either.

    You have no need for such a rifle. period.- Grand Union

    Need is irrelevant. I have a _right_ to one.

    And for good reason.

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 24, 2013

    "Its not your or his job to "understand" the Constitution." - Grand Union

    Clearly the best and most revealing statement made so far. Thank you pointing out where the banners are heading us for.

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 24, 2013

    "You have no need for such a rifle. period. You want one but thats not the same thing." Grand Union

    This is stated by someone that states below that all firearms should be banned. Paints a clear picture that the banners want to start with certain mean looking firearms but won't stop until everything is banned and only criminals have them with law abiding people having no way to protect them selves and families from assailants welding anything, firearm or not.

  • Grand Union Jan 24, 2013

    "Why are folks worried? Because things always start out small. Case Study- take the UK for example, look where they are today, and look where it all started. Bit by bit, piece by piece, little by little. It all starts out benign and eventually snow-balls to total control."

    yeah and the UK is such a terrible place to live....oh the horror of having 1/4 the murder rate.....
    8000 Americans die every year because of a hobby and you call that freedom. How free do you think the parents feel who buried their children last year?