Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC 11) made news when he announced after the Tucson shootings that he had a Concealed Handgun Permit (NC’s version of CCW) and planned to carry concealed at public events.
According to WRAL – Raleigh, Shuler will now be joined by freshman Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC 2) who defeated incumbent Bob “Who Are You” Etheridge in November. Ellmers obtained her CHP after taking the required training back in February 2010. She never hid the fact that she had a CHP during her campaign and even spoke of it with regard to belief in Second Amendment rights.
“We have to protect ourselves. We know that. That is something we have always been cognizant of,” Ellmers said. “There have been times in the past I have carried my weapon, and I will probably continue to do so. Some days I might have it. Some days I might not.”…“I feel safe with it, and I think we should all be able to defend ourselves as we need to,” Ellmers said.
WRAL also reported that in addition to Shuler and Ellmers, Rep. Sue Myrick “told The Charlotte Observer that she’s a good shot and likely would carry a gun when she felt the need to do so.”
While I am glad that Representatives Shuler, Ellmers, and Myrick plan to take their protection into their own hands, North Carolina may be problematic. As Sean point out in his blog, NC law forbids carrying concealed at certain public events.
§ 14‑277.2. Weapons at parades, etc., prohibited.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person participating in, affiliated with, or present as a spectator at any parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration upon any private health care facility or upon any public place owned or under the control of the State or any of its political subdivisions to willfully or intentionally possess or have immediate access to any dangerous weapon. Violation of this subsection shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor. It shall be presumed that any rifle or gun carried on a rack in a pickup truck at a holiday parade or in a funeral procession does not violate the terms of this act.
(b) For the purposes of this section the term “dangerous weapon” shall include those weapons specified in G.S. 14‑269, 14‑269.2, 14‑284.1, or 14‑288.8 or any other object capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death when used as a weapon.
(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a person exempted by the provisions of G.S. 14‑269(b) or to persons authorized by State or federal law to carry dangerous weapons in the performance of their duties or to any person who obtains a permit to carry a dangerous weapon at a parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration from the sheriff or police chief, whichever is appropriate, of the locality where such parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration is to take place.
Subsection C does provide for obtaining a permit to carry a dangerous weapon at those events. Frankly, after Tucson, I don’t see any sheriff or police chief turning down a permit for a sitting Congressman who plans to carry concealed.