Category Archives: NC Politics

Durham Wants New Gun Laws, Won’t Enforce the Ones it Already Has

Surprising absolutely no one, a report entitled “Felons with Firearms in Durham County” shows that out of 363 arrests for “felon in possession” in the last three years, 53% of were dropped.

The report also indicates people sent to prison from Durham for possession as a firearm as their most serious crime have declined steeply. From 2016 to 2018, there was a 54 percent decrease in prison entries for that charge (from 35 to 16), while North Carolina saw an 11 percent increase.

I have my problems with the idea of a permanent ban on gun possession for those who have completed their sentence, but it certainly puts into perspective the recent attacks on lawful gun ownership while Durham, one of the most violent cities in this state, doesn’t seem to care about actual lawbreaking.

“I think it raises questions as to what happens when someone is arrested on that charge,” said report author Jim Stuit, gang reduction strategy manager for Durham County.

Ya think?

There are some reasons that these charges get dropped.

“A defendant may be charged with armed robbery and with possession of a firearm by a felon,” [professor of public law and government at the UNC School of Government and director of the North Carolina Judicial College] Welty wrote. “If the defendant agrees to plead guilty to the robbery, the State might agree to dismiss the gun charge. There’s nothing nefarious or inappropriate about that.”

Daniel Meier, a Durham defense attorney, said to really know if a dismissal is meaningful, “you need to know what, if anything, wasn’t dismissed.”

But this seems to me to be a red herring. If you’ve got the guy on a big charge, what’s the harm on adding the “felon in possession” charge? Failing to do so sends the message that as long as you’re willing to commit bigger crimes, no one will care that you do it with a firearm.

“At least at first blush, it makes it seem like we are not taking firearms seriously,” Meier said. “I think that is one of the big issues. Before you start focusing on new gun laws and everything else, enforce the ones we have.”

City Manager Tom Bonfield was surprised by the number of dismissals.
”It does seem to me to send a signal that the possession of a firearm by a felon is not that big of deal,” he said. “There is not really consequences.”

I’d like to get my hands on the actual report, but it doesn’t seem to be available online. The story certainly didn’t link to it, and a Google search doesn’t reveal it.

Warren, in comments, provides a link to the report itself.

How Many Concealed Handgun Permits are there in North Carolina?

About two weeks ago I sent an FOIA request to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. I asked them to give me the total number of active Concealed Handgun Permits in North Carolina as of January 1 of each year from the start of Shall Issue in December of 1995 until January 1 of this year. Here’s what they gave me.

YearTotal Active CHPs

Or to put that in graphical form

Bear in mind that NC does NOT issue non-resident CHPs. These are all NC residents applying for CHPs in their home counties.

When I moved back to NC in 2010 there were 177K CHPs and now there are 654K. That’s a meteoric rise. Let’s see if we can push it over 1 million. If everyone who had a CHP encouraged one other person to get one, we’d make 1 million by next year.

When I tell you that Bloomie bought a state gun grabber group, you should trust me

It’s a well known fact that gun grabber groups basically share the same membership even if the leaders appear to be different people. Well even that’s changing. I told you all nearly a year ago that Becky Ceartas, the new “Executive Director” for the local gun grabber group North Carolinians Against Gun Violence is a Bloomberg drone.  I quoted their own announcement for support.

Becky came to this issue after the Sandy Hook Tragedy. She cares deeply about it as a mom and has since become the Advocacy Lead statewide for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. She looks forward to the two groups collaborating on many projects.

Well after spending this entire legislative session working hand in glove, they’ve finally come out and admitted that they are all basically the same group.

NCGV is Bloomberg

Their “partner organization.”

Bloomberg doesn’t have “partners.” Bloomberg has paid operatives. He owns Mayors Against Illegal Guns. He owns Everytown for Gun Safety. He owns Moms Demand Action. He owns the Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

And now we know for certain that he owns “North Carolinians” Against Gun Violence.

Henceforth they will be called “North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, a wholly owned subsidiary of Michael Bloomberg, Inc.”

A REAL pre-emption law introduced in North Carolina

I’ve been saying we need a real preemption law in North Carolina. We need a law that punishes localities who ignore the law. Well today Senator Jeff Tarte has introduced exactly that.


The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.  G.S. 14‑409.40 reads as rewritten:

“§ 14‑409.40.  Statewide uniformity of local regulation.

(a)        It is declared by the General Assembly that the regulation of firearms is properly an issue of general, statewide concern, and that the entire field of regulation of firearms is preempted from regulation by local governments except as provided by this section.

(a1)      The General Assembly further declares that the lawful design, marketing, manufacture, distribution, sale, or transfer of firearms or ammunition to the public is not an unreasonably dangerous activity and does not constitute a nuisance per se and furthermore, that it is the unlawful use of firearms and ammunition, rather than their lawful design, marketing, manufacture, distribution, sale, or transfer that is the proximate cause of injuries arising from their unlawful use. This subsection applies only to causes of action brought under subsection (g) of this section.

(a2)      It is further the intent of this section to deter and prevent the violation of this section and the violation of rights protected under the Constitution and laws of this State related to firearms, ammunition, or components thereof, by the abuse of official authority that occurs when enactments are passed in violation of State law or under color of local or State authority.

(b)        Unless otherwise permitted by statute, no county or municipality, by ordinance, resolution, or other enactment, shall regulate in any manner the possession, ownership, storage, transfer, sale, purchase, licensing, taxation, manufacture, transportation, or registration of firearms, firearms ammunition, components of firearms, dealers in firearms, or dealers in handgun components or parts.

(c)        Notwithstanding subsection (b) of this section, a county or municipality, by zoning or other ordinance, may regulate or prohibit the sale of firearms at a location only if there is a lawful, general, similar regulation or prohibition of commercial activities at that location. Nothing in this subsection shall restrict the right of a county or municipality to adopt a general zoning plan that prohibits any commercial activity within a fixed distance of a school or other educational institution except with a special use permit issued for a commercial activity found not to pose a danger to the health, safety, or general welfare of persons attending the school or educational institution within the fixed distance.

(d)        No county or municipality, by zoning or other ordinance, shall regulate in any manner firearms shows with regulations more stringent than those applying to shows of other types of items.

(e)        A county or municipality may regulate the transport, carrying, or possession of firearms by employees of the local unit of government in the course of their employment with that local unit of government.

(f)         Nothing contained in this section prohibits municipalities or counties from application of their authority under G.S. 153A‑129, 160A‑189, 14‑269, 14‑269.2, 14‑269.3, 14‑269.4, 14‑277.2, 14‑415.11, 14‑415.23, including prohibiting the possession of firearms in public‑owned buildings, on the grounds or parking areas of those buildings, or in public parks or recreation areas, except nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a person from storing a firearm within a motor vehicle while the vehicle is on these grounds or areas. Nothing contained in this section prohibits municipalities or counties from exercising powers provided by law in states of emergency declared under Article 1A of Chapter 166A of the General Statutes.

(g)        The authority to bring suit and the right to recover against any firearms or ammunition marketer, manufacturer, distributor, dealer, seller, or trade association by or on behalf of any governmental unit, created by or pursuant to an act of the General Assembly or the Constitution, or any department, agency, or authority thereof, for damages, abatement, injunctive relief, or any other remedy resulting from or relating to the lawful design, marketing, manufacture, distribution, sale, or transfer of firearms or ammunition to the public is reserved exclusively to the State. Any action brought by the State pursuant to this section shall be brought by the Attorney General on behalf of the State. This section shall not prohibit a political subdivision or local governmental unit from bringing an action against a firearms or ammunition marketer, manufacturer, distributor, dealer, seller, or trade association for breach of contract or warranty for defect of materials or workmanship as to firearms or ammunition purchased by the political subdivision or local governmental unit.

(h)        A county or municipality that violates the General Assembly’s exclusive authority to regulate firearms and ammunition as declared in subsection (a) of this section, by enacting or causing to be enforced any ordinance, rule, or regulation impinging upon the State’s exclusive authority shall be liable as provided by this subsection.

(1)        If a county or municipality violates this section, the court shall declare the improper ordinance, rule, or regulation invalid and shall issue a permanent injunction against the local government prohibiting it from enforcing the ordinance, rule, or regulation. It is no defense that in enacting the ordinance, rule, or regulation, the local government was acting in good faith or upon advice of counsel.

(2)        If the court determines that a violation was knowing and willful, the court shall assess a civil fine of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) against the elected or appointed local government official or head of any other governmental entity under whose jurisdiction the violation occurred.

(3)        Except as required by applicable law, public funds shall not be used to defend or reimburse the unlawful conduct of any person found to have knowingly and willfully violated this section.

(4)        A knowing and willful violation of this section by a person acting in an official capacity for any county or municipality enacting or causing to be enforced an ordinance, rule, or regulation prohibited under subsection (a) of this section or otherwise under color of law shall be cause for termination of employment or contract or for removal from office by the Governor.

(5)        A person or an organization whose membership is adversely affected by any ordinance, rule, or regulation promulgated or caused to be enforced in violation of this section may file suit against any county or municipality in any court of this State having jurisdiction over any defendant to the suit for declaratory and injunctive relief and for actual damages, as limited herein, caused by the violation. A court shall award the prevailing plaintiff in any such suit all of the following:

a.         Reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs in accordance with the laws of this State, including a contingency fee multiplier as authorized by law.

b.         The actual damages incurred, but not more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).

c.         Punitive damages in the amount of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) and not more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per violation.

d.         Interest on the sums awarded pursuant to this subsection shall accrue at the legal rate from the date on which the suit was filed.

SECTION 2.  This act becomes effective December 1, 2015, and applies to violations occurring on or after that date.

As always, plain text is what the law already says, and underline is what is being added. Astute readers may recognize this law as being suspiciously similar to the Florida preemption law.

The practical effect of this law is that any locality that violates the NC Preemption law stands to lose a great deal of money.

I intend to use this law, if it passes, as a stick to beat Raleigh, NC into taking down every single one of their unlawful anti-gun signs.

Free armed, uniformed police escorts to be provided at the @NCStateFair

I attended the NC State Fair’s pre-fair “Safety Press Conference.” The was considerable discussion of last year’s “incident” with the Vortex ride hurting riders, but I was there to discuss the NC State Fair’s anti-gun policy.

Commissioner Troxler has unilaterally decided that legal Concealed Handgun Permit holders are barred from carrying their legal concealed handguns in the State Fair. He cited the possibility of “accidental discharge,” and “losing your gun” along with making noises about how crowded the State Fair is. He went so far as to defend his policy in court, leading to a refusal of a judge to grant a restraining order against the anti-gun policy.

A judge ruled Monday that concealed handguns will not be allowed at the North Carolina State Fair, a decision that disappointed gun-rights advocates who asked for the ban to be overturned.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says he made the decision based on what he says is a vague 2013 law prohibiting people from carrying guns at events where admission is charged.

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

Troxler says the policy has nothing to do with being against guns or the Second Amendment but that it is about concerns of accidental discharge.

“I believe that the mix of kids, guns, rides and large crowds is a bad idea,” he said.

My concern was never with having to defend myself inside the gates of the Fairgrounds. There are lots of cops about, none more than a few seconds away from you. My concern was always with the long walk back to my car with my wife. I am sure that many other CHP holders have similar concerns and are not too pleased with the Commissioner preventing them from protecting their family.

Luckily, WRAL was there to capture the exchange. My part starts at about 45:15 UPDATE: The video has been edited. I’m now at 37:40.

If, like Commissioner Troxler, you can’t hear my question, what I said was

Mr. Troxler, by actively fighting licensed concealed carry at the State Fair, and by loudly declaring to everyone that no one may carry so much as a can of pepper spray into the fair, haven’t you basically announced to every criminal in North Carolina that if they want easy targets all they need to do is lurk in the parking lots and wait for the people to come to them?

Troxler handed the question off to his Chief of Police, Joel Keith. Chief Keith said that there will be uniformed patrols of the parking lots, so I asked,

And if a person feels unsafe, and wishes to have an escort, will you send an escort with them, anybody who asks?

There you have the Department of Agriculture’s Chief of Police, Joel Keith promising not only uniformed police patrols in the parking lots, but armed escorts for anyone who asks for one.

So there you have it. Chief Keith, backed up by the Wake County Sheriff, Donnie Harrison, will provide you an armed police escort back to your vehicle. After they’ve made it illegal to defend yourself, I think it’s the least they can do.

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.

NCGunBlog and Triangle Tactical Podcast go to a press conference

I’d like to say that “hilarity ensued,” but it didn’t. Here’s the video shot by Luke of Triangle Tactical Podcast.

I question the Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler at about the 7:30 minute mark.

Lots of press were in attendence and I did an on camera interview with WRAL and talked with the reporter for the News and Observer. The current WRAL video doesn’t have my interview, but here’s the article.

Deep-fried anything may be allowed at the N.C. State Fair, but guns are not, and now a pro-gun group plans to sue the state to allow those with concealed-carry permits to bring their weapons onto the state fairgrounds.

I gave the reporter some good red meat, so I hope she’ll update the video for the 11 o’clock hour and include my interview.

Here’s the N&O

The state’s most recent gun law may allow concealed firearms at this year’s N.C. State Fair, where they have been forbidden for decades.

Here’s WNCN

North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said Tuesday that he plans to continue a ban on weapons at the North Carolina State Fair this year.

And here’s ABC11

A pro-gun group says it will sue over a decision by North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler to continue a ban on conceal/carry weapons at the NC State Fair.

Keep in mind that these stories get updated over time, so let me know if you see anything interesting in them. If I suddenly appear in the WRAL story, let me know.

GRNC to Ag Commissioner: Do NOT post anti-gun signs at NC State Fair!

Last year we North Carolinian gun owners noticed something strange. The NC State Fair was posted against carrying firearms and the police set up metal detectors to keep guns out. The problem is that the law they were using to justify the gun ban had been amended under H937. Guns were only ever banned at the State Fair because they charged admission, which legally made it an “assembly,” and a Class 1 misdemeanor to possess a firearm. GRNC promised not to let this slide this year.

GRNC sent out this alert just a few minutes ago. 


At the request of North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler, GRNC representatives today met with the commissioner and his legal counsel after his police chief for the state fairgrounds, Joel Keith, began telling people the North Carolina State Fair would be posted against all firearms, including lawful concealed carry.AlthoughTroxler is not particularly anti-gun, he seems unwilling to take responsibility for doing the right thing, saying instead that as a member of the executive branch, he cannot interpret statutes and must follow the interpretations given to him (more on that shortly).Consequently, the commissioner and GRNC were unable toachieve a satisfactory resolution of the problem. GRNC is now preparing a filing for a temporary restraining order, through its sister non-profit, Rights Watch International, to prevent the fair, which starts in just over two weeks, from being posted.ORIGINS OF THE PROBLEM
Before passage of House Bill 937, which became effective on October 1, 2013, guns were prohibited at “assemblies of people for which admission is charged.” Since that section of NCGS 14-269.3 was changed to permit carry by those with concealed handgun permits, however, only private property owners hosting such assemblies may prohibit concealed carry. The state fairgrounds, of course, are not private property.

Although NCGS 14-269.3 specifically opens carry to permit-holders, Troxler claims “vague” language in the statutes enables the state to post under NCGS 14-269(a2), which says the state’s general prohibition on concealed weapons, “does not apply to a person who has a concealed handgun permit issued in accordance with Article 54B of this Chapter, has a concealed handgun permit considered valid under G.S. 14-415.24, or is exempt from obtaining a permit pursuant to G.S. 14-415.25, provided the weapon is a handgun, is in a closed compartment or container within the person’s locked vehicle, and the vehicle is in a parking area that is owned or leased by State government.”


    1. The section above merely enables permit-holders to keep guns in closed compartments of locked motor vehicles in state properties where guns are prohibited. It does not create a prohibition in itself.
    1. In fact, NCGS 14-269.4 lists the specific state properties – such as the State Capitol, Governor’s Executive Mansion” and courthouses – where guns are prohibited. That section does not include the state fairgrounds.
  1. Even in the exceedingly unlikely event a court agreed that Troxler is allowed to post the fair, nothing requires him to do so. In short, his rationalization that he is just following what he has to do is false. Troxler is choosing to prohibit lawful concealed handgun permit-holders from protecting their families not only at the fair, but also in the parking lots outside the fair.

As we’ve seen time and again, gun-free zones are dangerous places for law-abiding citizens. No family should be rendered entirely helpless should an event occur such as what happened at theWisconsin State Fair in 2011. Dozens of teenagers and young adults attacked peaceful fairgoers as they left the fair. Eleven people were injured and thirty-one arrests were made. Criminals are always empowered when they know that their intended victims are disarmed. Posting against law-abiding gun owners is equivalent to a wink and a nod to the criminals who would prey on the now-defenseless families. Not an acceptable plan, Commissioner Troxler.

Expect the usual suspects to wail and gnash their teeth, but the reality is that there are now no laws against CHP holders carrying handguns at the State Fair, which starts in two weeks. The funny part is that according to my reading of the law, there’s no requirement that the CHP holders conceal their handguns. If you have a CHP, you can Open Carry the State Fair.

GRNC told Commissioner Troxler that he didn’t have a leg to stand on. They told him that if he forced the issue it would be played out loudly and publicly. Now he’s about to find out.

Click this link and send some email to Commissioner Troxler to let him know you want him to follow the law. Also make sure to give him a phone call tomorrow. Politicians and bureaucrats like phone calls, right?

Kay Hagan, “The Gun Grabber’s Choice”

Today both Moms Demand Illegal Mayors for Everytown, a wholly owned subsidiary of Michael Bloomberg, Inc. as well as Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly’s gun grab group “Americans for Responsible Solutions” have endorsed Kay Hagan for Senator. Both are praising her as their choice to push gun control in the US Senate.

Here’s what “Everytown for Gun Safety” says

Kay Hagan EGS

And here’s a screenshot of an email I received from “Americans for Responsible Solutions.”

Kay Hagan ARS

Kay Hagan tried to make herself look pro gun with her do-nothing “Sportsmen’s Bill,” but even the anti-gunners saw through that cynical ploy. They’ve chosen her as their best bet to push gun control on us.

Pro Rights Progress marches on

Lee County, North Carolina, centered around Sanford, NC, has voted 4-3 to remove all anti-gun/anti-concealed carry laws. This is the first of two required votes.

Lee County Commissioners voted 4-3 to pass a resolution repealing a gun ordinance banning licensed concealed carry holders from bringing concealed weapons into public buildings.

The resolution must pass a second reading, scheduled for Oct. 6, before the ordinance will be repealed.

This is good news. The proposed new resolution will not only allow ordinary citizens to carry concealed in all county buildings, it will permit county employees to carry concealed as well.

There were two department heads that spoke out about it and what’s interesting is how the Department of Social Services – Child Protective Services manager told people about her unsupported fears and projected her opinion on the people who worked for her,

“Having guns in the building either being brought in by clients or brought in by employees increases exponentially the chances of something happening,” Shearer said. “People don’t want to work in a place where such incidents could happen.”

The Director of the County Health Department actually asked his employees.

Terrell Jones, Lee County Health Department director, said allowing concealed carry in public buildings has been on his mind since he first started working here.

He recalled witnessing a fight in the hallway at work and law enforcement was called, but said if someone had pulled out a weapon, many people could have been hurt before law enforcement would have arrived.

“We could have had nine people go down before someone got there,” Jones said.

Jones said he has heard about instances of people already bringing concealed weapons into the health department illegally.

“They’re being carried by non-law abiding citizens,” he said.

Jones said concealed carry permit holders are law abiding citizens who go through background and mental health checks to get these permits so that they are able to protect themselves, protect others and create a deterrent for criminal activity.

“A concealed carry is confusing to [criminals]. They don’t know whether their prey is going to be vulnerable or not,” he said.

Jones said on a poll of the health department, 12 are for repealing the gun ordinance, six were against it and one person was unsure.

Face it, gun grabbers. When 2/3rds of the County Health Department says “The bad people are already bringing guns in, we should be able to carry as well,” you’ve lost.

The next vote will be on October 6th.