Today was the day that Garner finally voted on their new ordinance in the wake of House Bill 650. The Town, to their credit, didn’t try to overstep their authority, but I still think they were wrong. I spoke in opposition to the bill.
In the end, the Council voted 5 to Zero to adopt the new ordinance banning concealed carry on recreational facilities defined as playgrounds, athletic fields, and athletic facilities. We don’t have a pool in Garner, but they would have banned concealed carry there.
The news media was there, both video and print. Hopefully I will be able to get a copy of the video of my statement.
Here is my prepared statement to the Council.
Mr. Mayor, Madam Mayor Pro-Tem, and Councilmen,
I am Sean Sorrentino, and I live in the Weston Trace subdivision here in Garner. I rise today in opposition to this new and useless ordinance proposed.
First, a technical objection.
(Here I displayed the proposed park sign)
You can see that this is the proposed sign for the entrance to Town of Garner Parks. The word “Open” is used as an adverb, not an adjective, and should be “Openly.”
This sign says that “Other Weapons” are unlawful. Because of poor wording, it leaves Lawful Concealed Carry with a permit as an unstated exception to the list of banned weapons. This exception needs to be stated explicitly. Grass Roots North Carolina has stated that if this sign is posted, they will file suit and have it removed. I will be happy to put you in touch with their lawyer who will suggest a better way to phrase the sign.
Secondly, I have a more philosophical objection to the proposed ordinance. This ordinance will not solve any problem we have and it will create future problems.
In order to discover who this ordinance affects, we must first ask ourselves a question. Who carries a firearm? There are three basic categories of people who carry firearms. Firstly, the police, who are not affected by this ordinance. Secondly there are people like me, the 228,072 licensed Concealed Handgun Permit holders in the state. We are affected by this ordinance. And lastly, we have the criminals, who carry their firearms without benefit of a Sheriff issued Concealed Handgun Permit.
Carrying a firearm without a Concealed Handgun Permit is a Class 2 Misdemeanor for the first offense, and a Class I Felony for the second and subsequent offenses. Since the criminals have already decided to risk State charges for illegal carrying of a firearm, why would you expect them to care about your “No Guns Allowed” signs? Clearly, this ordinance does not affect the criminals.
You keep asking to hear a “Compelling” argument. I can’t understand what could possibly be more compelling than this argument. The law abiding citizens, carrying under their Sheriff issued NC Concealed Handgun Permit will follow the law, and the criminals will not. This ordinance will empower the criminals by disarming their victims. By forcibly disarming the victims, you will be taking the side of the criminals.
Let’s talk about victims and criminals. I would like to introduce you to Anna McCall.
She and her three year old son were minding their own business, playing in a park in Charlotte in April of this year. They were suddenly confronted by this man
This is Jerry Steve White. For reasons known only to him, he grabbed the child and tried to kidnap him. Luckily for the son, the mother was able to tackle the kidnapper and wrestle her child away from him.
Because this happened in a park, she was prohibited by law from carrying a firearm. She was required, by law!, to try to save her child’s life by attacking a grown man all by herself. Is there anyone in this room who would have faulted Anna had she pulled out a gun and shot the kidnapper dead? I certainly wouldn’t have, but the law didn’t allow that.
A few days after the incident, Jerry Steve White was arrested. It was his 103rd arrest in Mecklenburg County. By continuing this ban on firearms in places where children play, you are taking the side of future Jerry Steve Whites against the next Anna McCall.
Let’s talk about section 18-1, the discharge of a firearm ordinance.
Last time I was here, the Chief of Police told us that if the Town didn’t have this ordinance, he couldn’t charge anyone who fired a gun in town. Perhaps the Chief is unaware of the County Ordinances that apply to the discharge of a firearm.
In Wake County, it is unlawful to discharge a firearm
· on a public street or highway,
· Within 100 yards of a dwelling,
· within 100 yards of a public building,
· within 100 yards of livestock,
· or in such a way as to allow the projectile to leave the property from which it is fired from.
Honestly, I think that covers just about everything unsafe that could happen. The bit about “Public Building” includes public property, like playgrounds and parks.
Section 18-1 is useless, repetitive, and overly complicated. I suggest that instead of writing one more law, let’s just make sure that our police officers are properly trained on the laws that already apply.
In summary, I think that this entire ordinance is useless, duplicates laws that already exist, and privileges criminals at the expense of the law abiding. I urge you to vote against this proposal and restore common sense to our laws.
Let me leave you with one final thought. My North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit authorizes me to carry a concealed handgun in all of these States.
But you want to ban me from carrying one here.
The Sheriff trusts me. The governors, Attorneys General, and people of these states trust me.
Why don’t you?
For those “Walking Dead” fans here, let me put my entire argument in graphical form.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Do you RSS? Don’t know what an RSS Feed is?
Save time and read all the latest blog news first.