Haywood County Commissioners Blink

Last week I did a post advising readers in Haywood County that the commissioners were considering three new gun ordinances ranging from prohibition of firearms in all county buildings to an ordinance regulating shooting ranges. I’m pleased to say that thanks to the efforts of Grass Roots North Carolina and others there was a very large turnout at the County Commission meeting last Monday. Not one person who spoke did so in favor of these ordinances.

As I heard unofficially on Friday, the Haywood County commissioners have tabled these proposals. Now, as the alert below from GRNC makes clear, they have officially tabled them for the time being.

The new proposed outdoor shooting range ordinance would have exempted police ranges from the restrictions of the ordinance. While a private shooting range would have had to have a 300 foot property line buffer, no such buffer was required of police ranges. This is probably because they would have failed to meet that standard.

My friend Tim Glance of Old Grouch Military Surplus pointed out another interesting wrinkle. The range that the Waynesville PD uses for training and qualification is not owned by the town. It is owned by a private association of police officers. By the standards of the county’s ordinance, it would not have been in compliance though it would have been grandfathered in.

I salute those who could attend the meeting, those like Paul Valone that spoke, and those that wrote in to the commissioners. During this election year, your voices were heard. We need to keep up the pressure on the commissioners to scrap these ordinances.

The alert from GRNC is below:


What started as a proposed ordinance to ban ALL open and conceal carry
has resulted in some potential backpedalling by Haywood County’s commissioners.
week’s county commission
meeting to discuss this proposed ordinance was a HUGE victory for gun
owners like yourselves. Not only did nearly 400 gun rights activists
pack the
meeting and let themselves be heard, but the county has now announced
“The Haywood County Board of Commissioners will not take any action at their regularly scheduled meeting of
Monday, April 4, 2016 on the proposed ordinances for Carrying of Concealed Weapons and Displaying of Firearms …”


Scorched by hundreds of angry voter contacts, the Haywood
County manager last week attempted to justify the commission’s actions
an attempt to bring the county’s 1995 ban on concealed carry in parks
into compliance with changes in the law. In reality, the commission
attempted to manipulate statutory definitions to continue gun bands
which are no longer legal.
In addition to banning open carry and
concealed carry in all county buildings, their proposed changes would
Allen’s Creek Park as a “recreational facility” and ban guns throughout
the park in violation of recent changes which GRNC made that
more narrowly define recreational facility to only athletic fields
during scheduled events, swimming pools, and gymnasiums.
GRNC president Paul Valone was the first
to address the commission.
In addition to noting that their parks
restrictions were illegal and would result in a lawsuit which they could
win, he pointed out that just because they had had restrictions since
1995 in other county facilities didn’t mean they should continue those
County is slow to learn what twelve other North Carolina counties
have discovered: that reducing restriction on the lawful concealed carry
of firearms helps save lives and keep citizens safe. Despite what the
naysayers would have us believe (more on them in a minute), county
governments like that in Haywood County are being put on notice that
citizens will not tolerate being disarmed for their so-called


The next meeting of the Haywood County
Commissioners is tomorrow (Monday) evening, and we strongly encourage
our members
to remain vocal about their opposition to this proposed ordinance. These
politicians need to be told, in no uncertain terms, that enacting these
sorts of restrictive ordinances (especially ones that may put them in
violation of state law) will have consequences at the polls and in
the courts.


And speaking of the naysayers
… we thought you should also know that the astroturf group 
North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (a wholly owned subsidiary of
Michael Bloomberg)
audacity to plagiarize GRNC’s March 26 alert and calling for its members
to attend the meeting. The evidence of this group’s ineptitude was
when asked by one of the speakers addressing the commission for a show
of hands of all who supported the proposed gun ban, none of the
attendees at
last week’s meeting identified themselves as a member of this shady
organization. We know that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,
but this
simply proves that astroturf will
never equate to real grass roots support.


    Urge them to scrap
    the gun-ban ordinance altogether. Below, find a copy/paste email list,
    and under ‘Deliver This Message,’ you’ll find a copy/paste email message

    Contact list: markswanger@bellsouth.net; kirk@jwklaw.net; lkensley@bellsouth.net; sorrells@cbvnol.com; billupton@bellsouth.net


  • Let North Carolinians Against Gun Violence know that plagiarism is
    stooping to a new low, even for them. We suggest leaving them a polite note on their Facebook page encouraging
    to come up with their own material for alerts to their “supporters.”
    Something short and sweet like “Hey gun grabbers, can you please
    stop plagiarizing Grass Roots North Carolina when you send alerts to
    your “supporters?”


Suggested Subject: “Scrap the Gun Ban in Haywood

Dear Commissioners:
I have recently been informed of the gun ban that is being considered by the Haywood County
Commission, and I am writing to urge you to scrap bans on open and concealed carry on county property entirely.

the nearly 400 gun supporters in attendance at last week’s meeting
made abundantly clear, a patchwork of “gun-free” zones serve only to
make accidental criminals out of otherwise peaceful, law-abiding
citizens, while doing nothing to ensure anyone’s safety. A vote to close
all county facilities to the lawful carry of handguns will only convey
a disrespect for civil rights as they relate to the Second Amendment,
and will ultimately endanger both the citizens and employees of Haywood

may be unaware of the new trend that is currently
sweeping our state. In recent months, county after county, after
recognizing the fallacy of “gun free” zones, has moved in the direction
more gun-freedom rather than less: Alamance, Ashe, Cabarrus, Cherokee,
Craven, Forsyth, Lenoir, Pitt, Person, Rowan, Union, and Wilkes
ounties, and the list continues to lengthen. This is a positive trend,
and I would strongly recommend that Haywood County consider this course,
than a sure-to-be fruitless and disrespectful gun ban.

will continue to monitor this issue through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.