Greensboro Backs Down But Will Durham

Grass Roots North Carolina and Gunowners of America sent a demand letter to the cities of Greensboro and Durham on Tuesday. It demanded they rescind or change the determination the firearms-related businesses were not essential. They had until noon today to make the change or they would face court action.

Yesterday, Mayor Nancy Vaughan of Greensboro informed GRNC and GOA that she wrongly determined gun stores and ranges as “non-essential”. Now it remains to be seen if Mayor Steve Schewel of Durham will do likewise.

Picture courtesy of Carolina Peacemaker

On a related note, I got a response from Buncombe County yesterday for why they didn’t include gun stores and ranges in their list of essential businesses. Buncombe County felt that since state statute preempted them from closing them during periods of emergency that it would have been superfluous to have listed them as essential.

The release from GRNC on Vaughan’s retreat is below:

The mayor of Greensboro, North Carolina, has reversed herself and now agrees that gun stores within city limits can remain open, after being contacted by Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) and Gun Owners of America (GOA) and The Mayor had told the media that gun stores were not “essential” businesses, despite the fact that the city’s “stay-at-home” order stated otherwise.

This reversal comes after a Cease and Desist letter from GOA and GRNC urging Mayor Nancy Vaughan to correct her interpretation, or face legal action. Mayor Vaughan informed GOA and GRNC via email that she was incorrect in her interpretation.

While GOA and GRNC are thankful for the clarification, both organizations still look forward to seeing a public announcement by Mayor Vaughan to let the citizens of the Gate City know they can lawfully visit and purchase firearms and ammunition from gun stores during the “stay-at-home” order.

Likewise, Wake County, North Carolina has also reopened its gun stores after a similar letter sent by GRNC and GOA,  which also sent letters Guildford County and the city of Durham urging the localities to ensure gun stores remain open or face legal action.  

Elsewhere, when contacted by legal counsel for GRNC and GOA, the attorney for Orange County disavowed any statements previously made, saying its language would protect firearms businesses, and Buncombe County advises that although they did not specifically list firearm businesses as “essential,” the county will follow state guidelines which protect firearm businesses provided they follow social distancing requirements.

GRNC And GOA Put Durham And Greensboro On Notice

The mayors of Greensboro and Durham have deemed firearms dealers and gun ranges to be “non-essential” businesses. Under their respective proclamations, non-essential businesses must close.

In response, Grass Roots North Carolina and Gunowners of America have sent a joint letter to each mayor. They note the Federal recommendation that firearms related businesses should be critical infrastructure. The letters ask that the mayors reverse the non-essential designation before noon on April 2nd or risk lawsuits. They also point out that Wake County had received a similar letter and made the changes.

From the release which was sent out by email:

Building on our success in convincing Wake County to reopen firearm-related businesses by adding them its list of “essential services” to avoid litigation, as well as today’s court decision ordering Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker to resume issuing pistol purchase permits, GRNC and GOA today sent letters to the Durham Mayor Steve Schewel and Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughn, advising them of their non-compliance with federal recommendations for critical infrastructure by ordering firearm related businesses to close.

GRNC will continue to monitor North Carolina cities and counties for non-compliance with state and federal statutes and for violations of the US and North Carolina constitutions during the coronavirus emergency.

To see the City of Durham letter: 

https://www.grnc.org/documents/goa-grnc-city-of-durham-soe-letter.pdf

To see the City of Greensboro letter: 

https://www.grnc.org/documents/goa-grnc-greensboro-soe-letter.pdf

Three Of My Favorite Groups Unite To Take On Wake Sheriff

Wake County (NC) Sheriff Gerald Baker should be feeling a bit uneasy right about now. That’s because three of my favorite groups – Grass Roots North Carolina, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the Firearms Policy Coalition – have come together to file suit against Baker’s refusal to even take applications for the Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit.

For those that don’t know, in North Carolina, you need a pistol purchase permit to purchase a handgun regardless of whether it is from a dealer or a private individual unless you possess a NC Concealed Handgun Permit. As I’ve written about it many a time, the law was passed in 1919 in an unspoken but well understood effort to keep African-Americans, Populists, and union backers disarmed.

The suit has been filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The individual plaintiff is Kerry Stafford who decided a handgun was the proper firearm with which to defend herself and her family. After calling the Wake County sheriff’s department for an PPP application, she was refused.

The complaint alleges that Sheriff Baker has exceeded his discretion and has violated the Second and Fourteenth Amendments depriving Ms. Stafford and others of their constitutional rights under color of law. It asks that either an injunction be issued or that the requirement for a pistol purchase permit be waived until April 30th.

It is great to see these groups working together. For GRNC and SAF, it is a reprise of the joint efforts that led to the win in Bateman v. Perdue.

They issued a joint release which I have copied below:

GRNC, SAF, FPC File Federal Lawsuit Against Wake County, NC Sheriff Over Constitutional Violations

RALEIGH, NC (March 27, 2020) ­— Today, attorneys for an individual Wake County, North Carolina resident, Grass Roots North Carolina, Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and Firearms Policy Coalition filed a federal lawsuit challenging Wake County Sheriff Gerald M. Baker’s recent actions infringing on Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights he announced as a response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. A copy of the lawsuit can be found at:

https://www.grnc.org/documents/Complaint-Wake-County-Filed.pdf

This latest case tracks a 2011 federal court victory in Bateman v. Perdue, also led by plaintiffs Second Amendment Foundation and Grass Roots North Carolina, which successfully challenged North Carolina statutes restricting firearms during states of emergency.

“Although Sheriff Gerald Baker claims his refusal to accept applications for pistol purchase permits and concealed handgun permits doesn’t infringe on individual rights, nothing could be further from the truth,” said GRNC president Paul Valone. “During this emergency, as always, GRNC intends to ensure that lawful North Carolinians have the means to protect themselves and their families.”

“Sheriff Baker is implementing by fiat what the Supreme Court struck down in Heller – a ban on a citizen’s right to purchase a handgun for the defense of hearth and home. This action cannot be allowed to stand,” said GRNC Director of Legal Affairs Ed Green.

“Times of emergency is when you need the ability to obtain the means of self-defense the most. Suspending that right is not acceptable. That is why this lawsuit is so important,” commented SAF founder and Executive Vice President, Alan Gottlieb.

“Sheriff Baker’s unconstitutional actions have and will deprive law-abiding, peaceable individuals the opportunity to obtain handguns, the ‘quintessential self-defense weapon’ according to the U.S. Supreme Court, in a time where the arms are most needed,” explained attorney and FPC Director of Legal Strategy, Adam Kraut. “Sheriff Baker’s actions to stop processing and issuing required  Pistol Purchase Permits violate fundamental human rights. We are proud to join GRNC and SAF in this fight to defend the rights of North Carolinians.”

Individual arms applicants/purchasers and retailers affected by ‘stay-home’ or shutdown orders can report potential civil rights violations to FPC’s COVID-19 Issue Hotline at www.FPChotline.org

Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Ed Green, Raymond M. DiGuiseppe, and Adam Kraut.

Grass Roots North Carolina (www.grnc.org) is North Carolina’s most effective gun rights organization. GRNC was founded in 1994 as an independent, all-volunteer 501(c)(4) not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving constitutional freedoms. The organization’s projects are primarily devoted to defending the individual right to keep and bear arms.

Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing, and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom.

GRNC Alert On Sheriff Baker’s Illegal Actions

Grass Roots North Carolina issued an alert this evening asking people to contact the Wake County Sheriff’s Department concerning the suspension of accepting applications.

From what I understand, GRNC is also considering legal action in light of this violation of state law.

From GRNC:

Sheriff Baker: No Guns for You
Surprise, surprise, surprise. Sheriff Baker is at it again. On Tuesday, March 24th, Baker announced that the Wake County Sheriffs Office will no longer be accepting applications for Pistol Purchase Permits or Concealed Handgun Permits. Under the guise of public safety, he is stripping away the one constitutional right that allows the men and women of North Carolina to keep themselves and their families safe.

Nothing under the NC Emergency Management Act gives the sheriff additional powers to restrict pistol purchase permits or concealed handgun permits during a declared state of emergency. The statute is quite clear that he has 14 days to issue or deny purchase permits, and nothing allows him to deny permits because he feels his office is too inundated with applications.

While some sheriffs have said they don’t want the public health risk of taking fingerprints for new CHPs, nothing should restrict applications for CHP renewals or PPPs.

GRNC will be calling for the repeal of the full Pistol Purchase Permit statute, as this lays bare the real reason sheriffs have lobbied to keep this leftover Jim Crow era law on the books. It gives them the power to arbitrarily deny firearms to citizens.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


Email Sheriff Baker at and let him know that his actions are putting lives at risk
: http://services.wakegov.com/SheriffMainContactForm/index.html


Call his office and repeat this message, we cannot let up: 919-856-6900


PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO GRNC
: Help us fight gun control while we promote Second Amendment principles. Please CLICK HERE to contribute. Bear in mind that GRNC is an all-volunteer organization, so you can be sure your donations are put to the best possible use. Any amount helps, and any amount is appreciated.

CONTACT INFO
 
http://services.wakegov.com/SheriffMainContactForm/index.html


919-856-6900

 
DELIVER THIS MESSAGE


Suggested Subject: “Permit Suspension”  

 
Dear : Sheriff Gerald M. Baker

 
Your actions on March 24th are a direct violation of your oath of office, and are not outlined in the NC Emergency Management Act. By law, you must approve or deny permits within 14 days. I call on you to immediately restore services to Wake county for pistol purchase and concealed handgun permits.
 
Respectfully,

Imagine If SAF And GRNC Hadn’t Won Bateman

Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC) today declared a state of emergency that covers all of North Carolina. It was declared in response to the spread of COVID-19 or the coronavirus. As of Monday, there have been seven confirmed cases of it with six of those in Wake County and the seventh in Chatham County. For non-North Carolinians, that is Raleigh and the Pittsboro/Siler City areas.

From NC Office of Emergency Management

Excerpts from Gov. Cooper’s press release:

Governor Roy Cooper took the next step in the state’s coronavirus COVID-19 preparedness plan today and issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency. The declaration activates the Emergency Operations Center to help agencies coordinate from one location and makes it easier to purchase needed medical supplies, protect consumers from price gouging, and increase county health departments’ access to state funds…

Key provisions in the order are similar to those enacted in a natural disaster. The order will help with the cost burdens and supplies that may be difficult for providers and public health to access due to increased demand. It also increases the state public health department’s role in supporting local health departments, which have been tasked with monitoring quarantines, tracing exposure and administering testing.

Executive Order No. 116 in its entirety is found here.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane back to January 2010 when there was a heavy snow storm in the Piedmont of North Carolina. The City of King and Stokes County were particularly hard hit. In response, Gov. Beverly Perdue and both locales declared states of emergency. This automatically triggered then NC General Statute § 14-288.7(a) which provided, in part,:

“it is unlawful for any person to transport or possess off his own premises any dangerous weapon or substance in any area: (1) In which a declared state of emergency exists; or (2) Within the immediate vicinity of which a riot is occurring.”

The City of King went further and invoked their powers under NC General Statute § 14-288.12(b). This “forbade the sale or purchase of firearms and ammunition, as well as the possession of firearms and ammunition off an individual’s premises.” It also banned the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Thus, any time a state of emergency covering all of North Carolina or any time a city or county declared a state of emergency, § 14-288.7(a) kicked in and you could not carry a firearm outside your own home. There were no exceptions made for those of us who hold a Concealed Handgun Permit.

Fast forward a few months to June and the US Supreme Court handled down a monumental Second Amendment ruling. That was, of course, McDonald v. Chicago which applied the Second Amendment as an individual right to the states under the 14th Amendment. That was on the morning of June 28, 2010.

By the close of business on June 28th, the Second Amendment Foundation and Grass Roots North Carolina with attorney Alan Gura had filed suit against the State of North Carolina, the City of King, and Stokes County for violating the Second and 14th Amendments. The case, Bateman v. Perdue, using the newly won application of the Second Amendment to the states in McDonald, directly challenged NC’s emergency powers gun bans.

To make a long story short, US District Court Judge Malcom J. Howard, using strict scrutiny found that the emergency powers gun ban did violate the Second Amendment in March 2012.

The problem here is that the emergency declaration statutes, are not narrowly tailored to serve the government’s interest in public safety. They do not target dangerous individuals or dangerous conduct. Nor do they seek to impose reasonable time, place and manner restrictions by, for example, imposing a curfew to allow the exercise of Second Amendment rights during circumscribed times. Rather, the statutes here excessively intrude upon plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights by effectively banning them (and the public at large) from engaging in conduct that is at the very core of the Second Amendment at a time when the need for self-defense may be at its very greatest. See Heller, 128 S. Ct. at 2799 (” [A] mericans understood the ‘right of self-preservation’ as permitting a citizen to ‘repe[l] force by force’ when ‘the intervention of society in his behalf, may be too late to prevent an injury. ‘ ” (quoting 1 Blackstone’s Commentaries 145-146, n.42 (1803) ) (second alteration in original)) . Consequently, the emergency declaration laws are invalid as applied to plaintiffs.

Session Law 2012-12 was signed by Gov. Beverly Perdue (D-NC) on June 11, 2012 and became effective on October 1, 2012. This codified the ruling by Judge Howard and repealed NC General Statutes § 14-288.7 and § 14-288.12 through § 14-288.17.

Thanks to Alan Gura, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Grass Roots North Carolina just because seven people have COVID-19 and the governor has declared a state of emergency you can no longer be disarmed. We owe them and the individual plaintiffs a debt of gratitude.

Perhaps The Locals Do Know Best

We often complain about national groups coming in and telling the locals how they should be doing it. This is usually in the context of a group like Mike Bloomberg’s Everytown, Moms Demand Action, or Giffords. However, sometimes it is our own side in the battle for gun rights that is doing this.

Such is the case in Alabama where the NRA is supporting a move to consolidate the list of pistol permit holders, that state’s nomenclature for a concealed carry permit, into a statewide database. The bills in question are HB39 and SB47. The bills provide for the permits to be standardized and issued statewide. They also provide for a lifetime carry permit.

This move is getting a mixed reaction as reported by CBS 42.

Bama Carry and the Alabama Gun Rights Network don’t always agree on the best strategies for advancing gun rights in the Heart of Dixie.

However, when I reached out to friends who are affiliated with those organizations, the response I got was virtually identical. They are opposed to the bills in their current form as they create a database of gun owners which has the potential to be abused.

My friend Beth Alcazar, the Alabama representative of the DC Project and a board member of Bama Carry, had this to say to me in a Facebook message. I’m quoting her with her permission.

At the heart of this matter (and why we are hesitant to get on board) is the fact that law abiding gun owners will be on a registry, with all information being shared, statewide, and this info. could end up on a driver license. This, of course, could cause problems traveling across state lines. What if someone is stopped or pulled over and now questioned or harassed (or searched) because of this identification? And what happens if a government body must be created to oversee this database? Currently, our permit info. is only in the hands of our sheriffs. A lifetime permit could open that up… from just local to state.

Additionally, the NRA doesn’t appear to be listening to Alabamians or to our state’s largest gun rights group, and they continue to push legislation that has potential problems or unintended consequences.

And therein lies the problem. When it is a matter of state and local politics, local activists should be listened to. That there seems to be a disconnect between local gun right rights groups and the NRA on an issue of local concern is not good. The NRA should either defer to the local groups or work to find a compromise that satisfies all gun rights groups involved.

We in North Carolina had much the same problem in 2011 concerning gun bans outside the home during periods of declared emergencies. Grass Roots North Carolina along with local plaintiffs and the Second Amendment Foundation brought Bateman v. Perdue. The NRA-ILA representative in North Carolina was pushing for a quick legislative fix that would have mooted the case. The problem with a quick legislative fix was that it could have been changed on the whim of the next General Assembly. GRNC, SAF, and local activists had to push legislators to let the court case run its path. In the end the General Assembly did that and we won a decision in Bateman declaring the gun ban unconstitutional.

I wrote back then (June 2011) that “there are some in the NRA’s hierarchy who believe the NRA has to be the be-all and end-all of all things Second Amendment.” I noted that the NRA does some things really well and others not so well. I said the NRA should concentrate on training, the legislative arena, and other areas where a mass organization can do well. I didn’t think they were nearly as good at Second Amendment litigation as SAF.

I would now modify my statement from 2011 to say that the NRA does lobbying at the national level well and should work closer with state and local groups on state level lobbying if they want to be effective. Moreover, by state and local groups I don’t mean it has to be the NRA state affiliate as the experience of non-affiliates VCDL and GRNC has shown. Whether the NRA and their state ILA representatives are wise enough to recognize this is still open to debate.

Early Voting Has Started In North Carolina

Early voting started last Thursday in North Carolina and will continue through Saturday, February 29th. This is for the March primary for both Democrats and Republicans.

The State Board of Elections has published a county-by-county list of the times and locations where you may do one-stop voting. It is found here. The smallest counties have at least one location and the larger counties have usually 10-20 locations.

The Complementary Spouse and I went today.

Grass Roots North Carolina has compiled their evaluations of all Federal level and state legislative candidates. It is on a zero to four star rating. The evaluations are based both upon voting records (if any) and responses to a survey sent to each and every candidate other than those running for President. If a candidate blows off or ignores the survey, they receive a zero if they have no other record. I’m always amazed at the number of Republicans who profess to be “pro-gun” who stupidly blow off this survey.

Here are their evaluations:

Republican Candidates By Office Sought

Democrat Candidates By Office Sought

All Candidates By Office Sought

All Candidates By Name

GRNC-Political Victory Fund is separate from GRNC. It does make recommendations on candidates over and above the evaluations.

These recommendations are not made for every race. They are only made when a clearly pro-gun candidate stands out or when it is strategic to prevent an anti-gun candidate from winning.

US PRESIDENT (R)

Realizing that no candidate who reaches the level of POTUS will be perfect Donald Trump has refused to allow Republicans to consider the two gun control bills passed by the Democrat-controlled US House. Although the BATFE during the Trump administration did enact the bump stock ban, it also reversed the Obama-era directive to report Social Security recipients with designated benefit payees as prohibited persons under NICS as well as restrictive interpretations the BATFE rendered on AR-type pistols. In the 2020 primary elections, GRNC-PVF recommends incumbent President DONALD TRUMP (GRNC ***).

US SENATE (R)

This race is disappointing. Incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis has been marginal since serving as Speaker of the NC House and currently holds a GRNC 2-star (**) evaluation. A potentially viable contender resigned from the race. The two remaining challengers. Larry Holmquist and Sharon Hudson, each returned GRNC’s candidate survey with scores of 100 and 97, respectively. However, each has a history of running losing primary challenges, suggesting they are not serious contenders. Bearing mind that Tillis has the best chance of beating likely Democrat challenger Cal Cunningham in the November General Election, and that GRNC-PVF will likely be forced to recommend Tillis in the General, in this primary, GRNC-PVF has no recommendation.

US HOUSE

District 1 (R): Michele Nix and Sandy Smith both returned perfect 100 surveys, earning GRNC 4-star (****) evaluations. GRNC-PVF has no recommendation in this race.

District 2 (D): In contrast to our usual practice, in this race GRNC-PVF recommends OLLIE ONEAL NELSON (GRNC survey: 55%, 0-star) not because he is particularly pro-gun, but because opponent Deborah K. Ross (voting record: 21%, GRNC 0-star), the likely winner in this district, has a long history of opposing gun rights while in the NC House. Gun owners who are registered Democrats should be working to keep Ross out of Congress.

District 4 (D): Here too Democrat-registered gun voters should work to unseat incumbent David Price (voting record: 0%, GRNC 0-star), who is arguably one of the most anti-gun members of the US House, by voting for challenger DANIEL ULYSSES LOCKWOOD (survey: 60%, GRNC *).

District 4 (R): Nasir A. Shaikh returned a perfect 100% survey, earning a GRNC 4-star (****) evaluation. Challengers Steve A. (Von) Loor, Debesh Sarkar, and Robert Thomas refused to return GRNC’s survey, earning GRNC’s lowest 0-star (0) evaluation. GRNC-PVF recommends NASIR SHAIKH.

District 6 (R): Conservative activist Lee Haywood answered GRNC’s survey with a 95%, earning a GRNC 4-star (****) evaluation, while opponent Laura Pichardo scored only 73% earning a 2-star (**) evaluation. GRNC-PVF recommends LEE HAYWOOD.

District 10 (R): Congressman Patrick McHenry has been a friend of gun owners ever since his service in the NC House, including his effort to ensure passage of a clean concealed handgun reciprocity bill. Therefore, we are deeply concerned that Rep. McHenry recently dropped a vote, reducing his GRNC evaluation to 3 stars (***). Owing to his long history of service to gun owners, GRNC-PVF continues to recommend PATRICK MCHENRY, but notes that with a primary featuring pro-gun Ralf Waters (survey: 90%, GRNC ****), Congressman McHenry needs to focus on avoiding the inherently corrupting influences of incumbency.

District 11 (R): Sadly, pro-gun incumbent Mark Meadows chose not to run again, leaving open this Republican-leaning seat. Fully 12 Republicans are seating the seat, the race for which will likely end with a runoff. Although several candidates returned GRNC surveys and earned 4-star (****) evaluations, including Steven Fekete, Jr., Wayne King, Vance Patterson, Jim Davis, and Dillon Gentry, the standout Second Amendment supporter seems to be Lynda Bennett (100% survey, GRNC ****), a Meadows staffer who has been endorsed by Meadows himself as well as other conservative activists in the district. Malicious rumors spread about Bennett that she was a “never Trumper” have been proven false. GRNC-PVF recommends LYNDA BENNETT.

STATE RACES

NC GOVERNOR (R):

Two questions stand out in this race: Which candidate is the strongest proponent of the Second Amendment, and which is most likely to unseat anti-gun incumbent Democrat Governor Roy Cooper. In both cases, the answer is Dan Forest. To be fair, opponent Holly Grange earned a GRNC 4-star (****) evaluation by a 100% pro-gun voting record. But Forest has demonstrated that he will go above and beyond for gun voters, including his unbidden attendance of a GRNC rally while he was Lt. Governor. With a 100% survey submitted each election year, Dan Forest has earned GRNC’s highest 4-star evaluation (****). GRNC-PVF recommends DAN FOREST for Governor.

NC LT. GOVERNOR (R):

Another race with a plethora of candidates, including no fewer than six who, by virtue of surveys and/or voting records, earned GRNC 4-star (****) evaluations. Four star contenders include: Greg Gebhardt, Mark Robinson, Andy Wells, Deborah Cochran, Scott Stone, and Renee Ellmers. However, only one candidate stands out in supporting the Second Amendment: Mark Robinson went viral with the video of his articulate, impassioned plea to Greensboro City Council members not to infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. He has continued to be a vocal advocate for gun rights, including running for a NRA board of directors seat. With a perfect 100% GRNC survey, earning GRNC’s highest 4-star evaluation (****), GRNC-PVF recommends MARK ROBINSON.

NC ATTORNEY GENERAL (R):

Incumbent anti-gun Democrat Attorney General Josh Stein (GRNC 0-star) needs to be removed. Republican contenders include: Sam Hayes (97% survey, GRNC ****), Jim O’Neill (92% survey, ****), and Christine Mumma (survey: NR, 0-star). We didn’t support O’Neill in 2016, but hoped to after he returned the GRNC survey this year. But that was before O’Neill, as Forsyth County District Attorney, stood at a press conference to support Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough when Kimbrough announced his intention to end Forsyth County’s contract with ICE. Any attorney general candidate who opposes enforcement of immigration laws is unlikely to be sincere in claiming support for gun rights. GRNC-PVF recommends SAM HAYES.

NC COUNCIL OF STATE RACES:

Given that Insurance Commissioner, Treasurer, and similar races bear no direct impact on gun rights, GRNC-PVF elected not to make recommendations in those races. However, we did issue surveys into the races and GRNC evaluations for the candidates can be found at: XXXXX

NC SENATE

District 06 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends Bob Williams (GRNC survey 95%, ****) over Michael Lazzara (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).

District 07 (R): Opponents Jim Perry and Billy Strickland both returned GRNC surveys with 100% scores, with both earning four stars (****). GRNC-PVF has no recommendation in this race.

District 11 (R): Patrick Harris and Dennis Nielsen both returned GRNC surveys, scoring 98% and 97% respectively and earning four stars (****). However, Lisa Stone Barnes scored 100% on GRNC’s survey and sponsored pro-gun legislation while serving in the NC House, earning a GRNC 4-star evaluation (****). [Note: An early version of GRNC candidate evaluations erroneously listed Barnes as having three stars.] GRNC-PVF recommends LISA STONE BARNES.

District 18 (R): Scott McKaig and Larry E. Norman both returned surveys with 100% scores, each earning four stars (****). GRNC-PVF has no recommendation in this race.

District 29 (R): Steve Jarvis and incumbent Eddie Gallimore have both returned GRNC surveys (with 98% and 97%, respectively), and both have sponsored pro-gun legislation in the past (Gallimore in the NC Senate, Jarvis in the NC House). However, Gallimore is the more devoted Second Amendment supporter, while Jarvis is being supported by “RINO” elements in the party. GRNC-PVF recommends EDDIE GALLIMORE.

District 42 (R): For this open seat, Mark Hollow (voting record 100%, survey 99%, GRNC ****) is a better choice than Dean Proctor (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star). Proctor not only refused to return GRNC’s survey, but also reportedly donated $1000 to anti-gun Gov. Roy Cooper and other anti-gun Democrats. Although Republican Party “insiders” (read that “swamp dwellers”) are endorsing Proctor, Mark Hollow, with his pro-gun voting record and history of sponsoring pro-gun bills while in the NC House, makes for the better choice. GRNC-PVF recommends MARK HOLLOW.

District 50 (R): With a 100% pro-gun voting record history of sponsoring pro-gun legislation while in the NC House, plus his 95% survey, Kevin Corbin (GRNC ****) is a far better choice than opponent Sarah Conway (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star). GRNC-PVF recommends KEVIN CORBIN.

NC HOUSE

District 3 (R): For this open seat previously occupied by Michael Speciale, the standout is Jim Kohr. A pastor who reportedly has “concealed carry permitted” signs on his church, Kohr scored 92% on GRNC candidate survey, earning a 4-star evaluation (****). Opponent Eric Queen scored 98% on GRNC’s survey (****), while opponents Guy Smith and Steve Tyson failed to return the survey, earning GRNC’s lowest 0-star evaluation (0). GRNC-PVF recommends JIM KOHR.

District 6 (R): In this race, both candidates scored well on GRNC’s candidate survey, incumbent Bobby Hanig with 99% (GRNC ****) and Rob Rollason with 100% (****). However, as an incumbent, Hanig has sponsored numerous pro-gun bills, clearly demonstrating support for the Second Amendment. GRNC-PVF recommends BOBBY HANIG.

District 12 (D): GRNC-PVF recommends LENTON CREDELLE BROWN (GRNC survey: 100%, ****) over Deonko Brewer (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star) and Virginia Cox-Daugherty (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).

District 14 (R): Incumbent George Cleveland is one of the few long term stalwart Second Amendment defenders of the NC House, with a 100% voting record and repeated 100% survey score, more than earning a GRNC 4-star evaluation (****). GRNC-PVF recommends GEORGE CLEVELAND over challenger Cindy Edwards (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).

District 15 (R): Incumbent Phillip Shepard has a 94% pro-gun voting record, 96% survey and history of sponsoring pro-gun legislation, earning a GRNC 4-star evaluation (****). Challenger Mark Price returned an 81% survey (GRNC ***). GRNC-PVF recommends PHILLIP SHEPARD.

District 19 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends challenger DAVID PERRY (GRNC survey: 99%, GRNC ****) over opponent Charlie Miller (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).

District 20 (R): Incumbent Ted Davis Jr. has been a thorn in the side of gun rights supporters, with a recent gun rights voting record of only 60% and a GRNC evaluation of only 1-star (*). GRNC-PVF recommends JUSTIN LANASA (GRNC survey: 88%, ***).

District 25 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends JOHN CHECK (GRNC survey: 97%, ****) over Steve Matthews (GRNC survey 89%, ***).

District 26 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends incumbent DONNA MCDOWELL WHITE (100% pro-gun voting record, 88% survey, history of sponsoring pro-gun legislation) over challenger Justin Tate (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).

District 36 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends GIL PAGAN (GRNC survey 89%, GRNC ***) over Kim Coley (GRNC survey 76%, **)

District 37 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends ERIN PARE (GRNC survey 100%, ****) over Jeff Moore (GRNC survey: 100%, ****) and Anna Powell (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).

District 43 (R): Diane Wheatley scored 100% on GRNC’s survey (GRNC ****) while Clarence W. Goins, Jr. scored 91% on GRNC’s survey (****). With no clear indicators on Second Amendment support, GRNC-PVF has no recommendation in this race.

District 52 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends incumbent JAMIE BOLES (voting record 94%, survey 95%, GRNC ****) over challenger Bob Temme (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).

District 59 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends incumbent JON HARDISTER (98% pro-gun voting record, history of sponsoring pro-gun legislation, GRNC ****) over challenger Allen Chappell (GRNC survey: 89%, ***).

District 60 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends RYAN A. BLANKENSHIP (GRNC survey: 96%, ****) over Frank Ragsdale (survey: 84%, ***).

District 66 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends BEN MOSS (GRNC survey: 95%, GRNC ****) over Joey Davis (survey: 88%, ***).

District 80 (R): This is an important race for gun rights supporters. Anti-gun Republican (yes, you read that right) Sam Watford, who GRNC defeated in his Senate bid in 2018, is back. This time he is running for his old House seat against pro-gun Roger Younts, who was briefly appointed to the NC House. Watford is being backed by RINOs in the Republican Party, and has openly expressed contempt for gun voters. In this race, GRNC-PVF recommends ROGER YOUNTS (GRNC survey 100%, GRNC ****) over Haley Sink (96%, ****) and Sam Watford (voting record: 60%, survey 71%, *). Bring friends to the polls and make sure to defeat Sam Watford.

District 82 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends PARISH MOFFITT (GRNC survey: 100%, ****) over Kristin Baker (survey: NR, 0-star) and William G. Hamby, Jr. (survey: NR, 0-star).

District 83 (R): GRNC-PVF recommends incumbent LARRY PITTMAN (voting record 95%, survey 93%, GRNC ****) over challenger Jay White (survey: 100%, ****). Pittman is a true gun rights leader, regularly sponsoring pro-gun legislation and amendments, and sticking his neck out for gun owners. Pittman’s opponent might have been smart enough to submit GRNC’s survey, but he is still the “swamp-dwellers’” tool in their attempt to drive out a truly pro-Second Amendment candidate who has a history of bucking leadership to support you. VOTE PITTMAN for NC House.

District 117 (R): This open seat could be a pro-gun pickup, since anti-gun Republican Chuck McGrady chose not to run again. GRNC-PVF recommends TIM MOFFITT (96% pro-gun voting record, 96% survey, GRNC ****) over Dennis Justice (survey: 96%, ****). Moffit previously served in the NC House, where he not only voted pro-gun, but also sponsored pro-gun legislation.

District 119 (R): Mike Clampitt held this seat previously before losing to anti-gun Democrat Joe Sam Queen in 2018. GRNC-PVF recommends MIKE CLAMPITT (pro-gun voting record: 100%, GRNC survey: 100%, GRNC ****) over Ron Mau (GRNC survey: NR, 0-star).

“We Purchased This (Public) Sidewalk Space For Our Event” – Bloomberg Staffer

Sidewalk Space.

State legislature.

Your votes.

The headline quote came from a Bloomberg staffer to Grass Roots North Carolina volunteers who were protesting Michael Bloomberg’s appearance in Greensboro yesterday. The staffer went on to claim that they were trespassing (!) on a public sidewalk.

Courtesy of Chris Oates

If you work for an egomaniacal billionaire running for President, of course you think all his money makes you entitled to whatever you want.

Courtesy of Andy Stevens

With regard to his appearance in Greensboro, Bloomberg mentioned he had opened a number of offices in North Carolina including one there.

Early in his speech, Bloomberg got the city’s name wrong: “We have eight offices, including one here in Gainsboro,” he said, prompting a murmur among the crowd correcting his gaffe. He later correctly used Greensboro when referring to the city.

That was something worthy of a Joe Biden.

He also stated, “I know how to deal with New York bullies.” He was referring to President Trump but when you consider his actions and those of his staff you would think he was talking about himself.

The Greensboro News Record did make note of the Grass Roots North Carolina volunteers protesting Bloomberg’s appearance. The story also included a short video comment from Andy Stevens.

Andrew J. Stevens, director of legislative affairs for Grass Roots North Carolina and the protesters’ spokesman, said Bloomberg is trying to buy his way into the Democratic presidential primary. Grass Roots North Carolina is a nonprofit that primarily focuses on the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

“He’s trying to spend $60 million of his money to turn state legislatures blue like he turned the state of Virginia blue, taking gun rights and turning them into gun crimes,” said Stevens, who lives in King in Stokes County. “North Carolina will not be allowed to be bought by Michael Bloomberg’s money.”

Courtesy of Andy Stevens

Andy Stevens reports that the Greensboro Police Department was very accommodating to GRNC and the police commended GRNC for their behavior. When asked about why no one just walked around the Bloomberg staffer, he said the picture itself was worth it.

Bloomberg had a one on one interview with the Winston-Salem Journal Sentinel earlier in the day and made this claim:

I think most people want recognition and respect. Even the protesters, I always walk up to the protesters. Excuse me. I heard you. I’m Mike Bloomberg, we don’t necessarily have to agree with each other but I respect you and I respect your right to express yourself.

Umm, really.

From the pictures I saw he avoided all the volunteers from GRNC and slipped in the side door.

A recent poll by High Point University puts Bloomberg in 3rd place in North Carolina. Given he has spent $300 million so far on his campaign and his TV ads are incessant, you’d think he’d be further ahead. It is also reported that Bloomberg is hiring so many staffers and political consultants that state and local candidates nationwide are having a hard time hiring qualified staff.

I think even North Carolina Democrats are smart enough to know that Bloomberg is trying to buy their votes and they, for the most part, aren’t buying it. selling them.

Bloomberg’s Folks Just Can’t Make Up Their Mind

Michael Bloomberg’s appearance in Greensboro tomorrow was originally slated to be at his campaign headquarters at 300 S. Elm St.

Then it got changed to the Community Theatre of Greensboro at 520 S. Elm St.

As of this afternoon, the location for Bloomberg to bestow his oratory upon the citizens of the Gate City has been changed – again. It is now the Cadillac Service Garage at 304 East Market Street.

From the Cadillac Service Garage website

I know the Cadillac Service Garage is a wedding and event venue. However, for the 9th richest person in America to hold a campaign event at something that has “Cadillac” in its name, shows a degree of tone deafness that is hard to comprehend. I know Cadillac has lost a bit of its allure but it is still fairly synonymous with wealthy.

As to why the venue keeps changing, perhaps they have become aware that a warm North Carolina welcome is planned for Mini Mike by Grass Roots North Carolina and they are trying to confuse those planning to attend the protest.

As if!

So if you plan to “welcome” Mini Mike to the Gate City, remember it is at 304 East Market Street.

Also, his 7:30am Winston-Salem location has been changed from Campus Gas to Footnote Coffee & Cocktails at 634 W. 4th St, Ste 120 for those who can’t make the Greensboro “welcome”.

Let’s Give Him A Warm North Carolina Welcome (Updated)

Guess who is coming to town on Thursday?

If you said anyone other than Mike Bloomberg you would be wrong.

Bloomberg is planning campaign stops in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Raleigh in conjunction with the start of early voting in the North Carolina primary.

In Winston-Salem, he will be at Campus Gas, 1231 Polo Rd from 7:00am–8:30am. He continues on to his campaign HQ at 300 S. Elm Street in Greensboro and will be there at 9:30am. Doors open to the public at 9am. Finally, he will be in Raleigh at Union Station ( 510 W Martin St) from 11:45am until 1:15pm.

Volunteers from Grass Roots North Carolina plan to give him a warm North Carolina welcome when he arrives at his Greensboro downtown HQ. This is the main event! Try to be there by 9am.

A good turn out will get good press coverage. Please be there around 9am. Our friends in Virginia welcomed his bus in Arlington and greatly outnumbered Bloomberg’s supporters. It sure would be nice to see that happen here in the Tar Heel State.

If you can’t be in Greensboro or you need to get to work earlier, a few people plan to welcome his arrival in Winston-Salem at 7am. I’d suggest being there around 6:30am at Campus Gas.

Bloomberg’s money has bought him a lot of things. It bought him many houses, a well-armed security team, and most recently a compliant legislature in Virginia. It has also bought him silence when it comes to comments he made in a 2015 appearance at the Aspen Institute. He requested video not be made available and the Aspen Institute complied.

However, things have a way of leaking out.

“Ninety-five percent of your murders, murderers and murder victims, fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops,” Bloomberg said. “They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city. And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of people that are getting killed.”

“So one of the unintended consequences is people say, ‘Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Yes, that’s true. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is,” he continued.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/throw-them-up-against-the-wall-leaked-recording-of-bloomberg-defending-stop-and-frisk-resurfaces

This was a continuation of comments he made in defense of “stop and frisk” back in 2013. You can hear part of his comments to WOR-NY below where he says too many whites are being stopped and not enough minorities.

I am reading an excellent book right now on the rise of white supremacy in North Carolina in the post-Civil War days. The book, Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy, details how disarmament of blacks was one goal of the white supremacists. It started with the Black Codes, began again after Reconstruction ended, and continued on into the 20th Century. Armed freedmen and black Union veterans stood up to the Klan which allowed blacks to vote up through the end of the century. It made Wilmington a successful mixed-race community with many black office holders up until the coup of 1898.

Bloomberg’s comments would have found hearty agreement from former Confederate Colonel Roger Moore who headed the KKK in Wilmington and later from the Democrat architect of white supremacy Sen. Furnifold Simmons. The state’s pistol purchase permit is a remnant of laws put in place by the white supremacists. That we still have it is due in part to ad campaigns funded by Bloomberg and his Everytown organization against discarding the system.

So when Mike comes to town, let’s give him the warm North Carolina welcome he so richly deserves.