Raleigh City Council Votes To Oppose Concealed Carry In Restaurants And Parks

The Raleigh City Council voted on Tuesday to oppose HB 111 which would allow concealed carry in restaurants and eating establishments as well in city and county parks. The bill has already passed the North Carolina House and is now before the State Senate.

City Council Opposes Concealed Handgun Bill
The Raleigh City Council on April 19 voted 7-0 to approve a resolution opposing provisions of a concealed handgun bill before the North Carolina General Assembly.

The proposed legislation would allow people with concealed permits to carry their handguns into public parks and restaurants that serve alcohol. The bill has been approved by the House and is now in the Senate.

Based upon the agenda item for the April 19th City Council Meeting, It appears that they are more concerned about firearms in parks than in restaurants. This resolution was placed upon the Consent Agenda which meant that it was consider “routine” and not worthy of extended discussion.

Handgun Resolution
On March 30, 2011, House Bill 111 “Handgun Permit Valid in Parks and Restaurants(Short title),” passed on the third reading and was delivered on 4/4/2011 to the Senate where after passing the first reading was referred to and currently rests with the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate. This act seeks to allow citizens with concealed handgun permits to protect themselves and family in restaurants and to additionally carry handguns in parks. The bill limits local government ability to restrict carrying a concealed handgun by ordinance to government buildings, their peripheral premises and recreational facilities. Within the bill, “recreational facilities” are defined as playgrounds, athletic fields, swimming pools and athletic facilities.

The Parks and Recreation Department in discussion with and supported by the Raleigh Police Department considers the scope of the “recreation facilities” definition encompassed in HB 111 to be too narrow and limiting to the City of Raleigh’s interest in preserving order in its parks and greenway systems. Many of the “recreational facilities” identified are not stand-alone amenities; rather, they are co-located with other spaces within a park creating a challenge for law enforcement as well as confusion for citizens.

Recommendation:
Approve the resolution prepared by the City Attorney seeking greater authority for the City of Raleigh to broaden the “recreational facilities” definition within HB 111 to “parks and greenways.” Such a change will enhance the level of comfort for citizens using the City park system as well as simplify the enforcement of the law.

Allowing the City of Raleigh or any municipality to determine the scope of a state-level law and the definitions within them undermines the state’s preemption statutes regarding firearms. The very reason state preemption exists is to ensure consistency from one jurisdiction to another.

If you live in Raleigh, do business in Raleigh, or travel to Raleigh on a regular basis, you might want to make this point to the City Council. You can reach the individual members as well as the Mayor at the email addresses below.

City Council Members

•Mayor: Charles Meeker | email: charles.meeker@raleighnc.gov
•District A: Nancy McFarlane | email: nancy.mcfarlane@raleighnc.gov
•District B: John Odom | email: john.odom@raleighnc.gov
•District C: Eugene Weeks | email: eugene.weeks@raleighnc.gov
•District D: Thomas Crowder | email: thomas.crowder@raleighnc.gov
•District E: Bonner Gaylord | email: bonner.gaylord@raleighnc.gov
•At-Large: Mary-Ann Baldwin (Mayor Pro Tempore) | email: mary-ann.baldwin@raleighnc.gov
•At-Large: Russ Stephenson | email: russ.stephenson@raleighnc.gov
Email the entire City Council at citycouncilors@raleighnc.gov

H/T NRA-ILA


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