From the Lincoln Times News: Our View— Concealed carry changes should pass

I made a promise to always defend the Second Amendment liberties of Lincoln County citizens, and I'm proud to have voted for House Bill 746, which further protects those liberties. I was glad to see more support for the bill locally this week. From the Lincoln Times News:

A bill in the North Carolina legislature that would loosen concealed carry laws in the state has the outspoken support of one of Lincoln County’s legislators. It deserves the support of both state Rep. Jason Saine, who voted in favor of the bill when it was in the House, and state Sen. David Curtis, who was noncommittal when asked about the proposal by a Times-News reporter and said he was unfamiliar with the bill. Gun rights are a fundamental part of the fabric of American life, and are a key part of our democracy, that have to be defended. The legislature has a responsibility to conform state law to the Constitution, even when the federal government abdicates that responsibility. That Curtis is unfamiliar with the issue, at least publicly, is disturbing.

House Bill 746, with four Republicans as its primary sponsors, passed the House with six Republican defections and no Democrat votes earlier in June. The bill, which was referred to the Senate and has been in committee since June 12, would allow law-abiding North Carolinians to carry a concealed weapon in places where openly carried guns are already allowed.

The bill is (nearly) in keeping with the intention of the Founders when they wrote the Second Amendment. There’s no text in the Constitution about the right to “keep and bear arms,” so long as you take a class and have a permit. Gun ownership is a right that “shall not be infringed.”

Constitutional issues aside, concealed carry is often a better option than open carry for those who want to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Seeing a gun in public makes some people uncomfortable. For the sake of courtesy, allowing a person to conceal a weapon, if for no other reason than to avoid provoking a negative reaction in those around them, is a sensible compromise.

The bill would remove the requirement that those who want to carry a concealed weapon take an eight-hour class to become familiar with handguns, never mind that those who carry a gun openly aren’t required to take any sort of gun safety class. It’s up to each gun owner to be familiar with how to handle weapons safely, and to ensure that they don’t fall into the wrong hands. A person lacking that basic level of responsibility shouldn’t own a gun, but it’s not up to the government to impose that kind of requirement when it’s not in keeping with the Constitution.

State Senate Republicans should vote on the bill soon, and undo this problematic aspect of state law.

I will continue to support and defend the Second Amendment.

Stephen WileyComment