Morrisville amends ordinance allowing legally concealed firearms in parks
Posted October 22, 2013 10:39 p.m. EDT
Updated October 23, 2013 6:22 a.m. EDT
Morrisville, N.C. — Morrisville town leaders unanimously voted Tuesday to amend a town ordinance to align with a new state law that allows properly concealed handguns on town playgrounds and greenways.
The statute, which went into effect Oct. 1, reduces local governments' ability to restrict handguns on playgrounds and greenways except during local-government sponsored events.
Mayor Jackie Holcombe had asked town staff to look at options to continue restricting firearms while staying within the law, but staff was unable to find a way to do so and had to comply with the law.
Before voting, town leaders heard from those for and against the change.
"What was previously a low-risk environment at a park of playground is now a high-risk environment," said Karen Haldeman.
Others, like William Smith, disagreed.
"By putting a 'guns prohibited' sign in our parks, we increase, rather than decrease, the prospect of murder in our parks."
Richard Stockman also was for changing the ordinance.
"I have a chance to defend myself and the people around me while we're waiting for the law enforcement to get there," he said.
Nancy Van Dijk also spoke against amending the ordinance.
"Permit holders are reasonable, responsible law-abiding citizens, but accidents happen," she said.
The state law does allow local governments to still restrict concealed handguns in athletic field areas during organized athletic events that are scheduled by the government.