The Forsyth County (NC) Commissioners voted 4 to 2 to allow concealed carry in all areas of county parks in the county. Unlike the City of Winston-Salem which is located within Forsyth County, the commissioners seem to have listened to their constituents.
The approved ordinance not only allows concealed carry in all parks, recreational facilities, trails, greenways, etc., but also adds a provision for keeping one’s gun locked in a vehicle in ANY county property – meaning county properties beyond parks.
The only exceptions to allowing concealed carry in parks are Tanglewood (where alcohol may be sold and consumed) and Triad, which is partially controlled by less-enlightened Guilford County.
Kudos to commissioners Debra Conrad, Richard V. Linville and Gloria D. Whisenhunt for their favorable votes. Particular thanks are extended to commissioner Bill Whiteheart who worked with pro-carry advocates in drafting this excellent ordinance.
Negative votes were cast by Walter Marshall and Everette Witherspoon.
Not content with crossing only the Second Amendment, Marshall seemed also to go after the Fourth by suggesting law-enforcement should be posted in parks to determine if concealed carriers are “good intentioned”. Invoking the now tired contention of permittees “losing it,” Witherspoon expressed concern about basketball games getting heated and violent. David R. Plyler previously spoke against park carry, but did not attend the meeting to vote.
Gun-owners are cautioned that this ordinance must now pass a second reading before it is enacted. The pressure needs to continue until final passage!
And from news reports in the Winston-Salem Journal:
Several people in the audience spoke in favor of the concealed-carry ordinance. No one spoke against it.
Brian Reese, who lives in Kernersville, said it upset him that some feel that “no matter how good you are, no matter how law-abiding you are, we do not trust you to carry a concealed weapon.”
The ordinance would allow people with the proper permit to carry concealed handguns in parks. People also would be able keep concealed handguns in their cars parked in county parking areas, as long as the guns were securely locked away.