UNC School of Government weighs in on State Fair Carry

The School of Government at UNC has a criminal law blog. The proprietor of that blog weighs in on Ag Commissioner Troxler’s unilateral ban on concealed carry at the NC State Fair.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler has stated that firearms, even those carried pursuant to a concealed carry permit, will be prohibited at the North Carolina State Fair, which opens next week. Grass Roots North Carolina, a gun-rights group, contends that the Commissioner’s policy is unlawful. In the post, I’ll explore the legal issue.

Read the whole thing.

He says he’s not certain which part of the law that Troxler thinks he’s going to use to ban handguns, so he’s going to look at three possible ones.

  1. The State Fair is not contained in the “Specified State Property” in GS 14-269.4 where Concealed Carry is banned. Troxler can’t use that to ban carry at the fair.
  2. GS 14-269.3 has a clear exception for CHP holders to carry at events where admission is charged. The “person in legal control” section cannot apply to the State Fair, because in order to post a “No Guns” sign “in accordance with GS 14-415.11(c)” the property must be private property. “For that reason, I tend to think that the Commissioner doesn’t have the authority to ban concealed carry at the State Fair.” 
  3. He thinks that there might be enough wiggle room in GS 14-415.23(a) that allows local governments to post bans on “buildings and appurtenant premises.” I think he’s wrong and that this statute does not apply at all because the State Department of Agriculture is very clearly not “A unit of local government” in any way. GS 14-412.23(a) says specifically that “boards” and “agencies” of the State may not adopt any ordinances, rules, or regulations concerning legally carrying a concealed handgun. The only exception to that rule is the previously mentioned “unit of local government,” which could not be stretched to include a department of the State government.

I’ve left him two comments. First telling him that according to the sign that Troxler displayed at his press conference, he’s relying on 14-269.3.

See for yourself.

He wrote it directly on the sign they plan on using on the State Fair front gate.

I’ve also pointed out that the State Department of Agriculture cannot be considered “a unit of local government.”

We’ll see what he says. But this doesn’t bode well for Troxler and his attempted gun ban.

3 responses to “UNC School of Government weighs in on State Fair Carry

  1. Hey, Sean, did you get that big file of legal documents I sent you on “alter ego”? Might have been too large to get through an email server. Would have arrived a couple of weeks ago, at this point.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

  2. I sure did. All 642 pages of it. It might take some time to work through it all.

  3. andrewbranca

    I expect so, just wanted to make sure it made it through. 🙂

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense