NRA-ILA On NC General Assembly Short Session

The NRA Institute for Legislative Affairs released a Legislative Alert this evening that summarized the wins – and losses – for gun rights in the “short session” of the North Carolina General Assembly. Their conclusion that this session fell short is on the mark given the bottling-up of HB 111 in the committee by the Republican leadership of the State Senate. The failure to pass HB 111 is one thing that cannot be blamed on the Democrats as the votes to pass this bill were there.

The North Carolina General Assembly adjourned on Tuesday, July 3, bringing an end to the “short session” of the 2011-2012 General Assembly. While the General Assembly made tremendous improvements for the pro-gun community during last year’s “long session”, the same cannot be said for their accomplishments in this year’s session. Raleigh did see passage of one pro-gun bill this year, however, another important piece of firearms legislation remained stalled in a Senate committee, which effectively killed that bill.

Unfortunately for gun owners, House Bill 111, which included language that would have removed the absolute prohibition on Right to Carry (RTC) permit holders carrying a concealed firearm into a restaurant licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption, remained stalled in the state Senate this year despite passing the state House of Representatives last session. As reported here, this bill passed in the Senate Judiciary II Committee in early June, but was never brought to the Senate floor for consideration. The committee did use HB 111 to address an issue relating to the section of last year’s House Bill 650 (reported on here) that imposed restrictions on prohibiting RTC permit holders from carrying firearms in parks under the control of local governments. Because some local governments have gone beyond what HB 650 allowed, HB 111 was amended to impose tighter restrictions on these localities. If it had been enacted, this bill would have, along with providing for Restaurant Carry, clarified that local governments are restricted from prohibiting lawfully carried concealed firearms in such places as greenways, designated biking or walking paths, certain open areas and fields, as well as other areas. With HB 111 not passing, an important opportunity to advance the rights of law-abiding gun owners was missed.

On a more positive note, this session the General Assembly passed and Governor Perdue signed into law House Bill 843, which recognized law-abiding citizens’ right to self-defense during a declared state of emergency. Specifically, H 843 states that the restrictions section of the North Carolina Emergency Management Act “does not authorize prohibitions or restrictions on lawfully possessed firearms or ammunition.” This means that, if there is a declared state of emergency due to natural disasters or other problems that create a state of disarray and unrest that requires emergency procedures to be implemented by a government entity, the rights of law-abiding gun owners will no longer be subject to possible suspension, as previous law allowed.

The win in Bateman forced the exclusion on restrictions on firearms in HB 843. While it was nice that it was put down on paper, I believe Judge Howard’s decision would have invalidated existing restrictions.

Restaurant Carry In NC Officially Dead

Those Republicans in the North Carolina State Senate who were afraid to bring HB 111 – the restaurant carry bill – to a vote have won the day. The Senate adjourned early Tuesday morning and the House followed at 3pm. With the adjournment any bills without final votes died and that included HB 111

Grass Roots North Carolina sent out the following email alert and reaction regarding restaurant carry yesterday:

NC General Assembly adjournment today makes it official: HB 111 is dead.

As Legislators from the NC General Assembly pack their bags and head home after a hard two months of work, the leadership in the Senate should go back to their districts and explain why they left gun owners out in the cold. It seems that the main resistance to this bill which would have allowed families to protect themselves while dining in public came from the Republican NC Senate Leadership.

Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger and Senate Rules Chair Tom Apodaca shuffled HB 111 off to various unrelated Committees until the clock ran out. Despite your calls and emails asking them to reconsider their actions, they thumbed their noses at the gun owners of North Carolina.

We Will Remember in November

Apparently once they took their seats of power, they no longer needed to listen to you. In November, we have a chance to send a message back to our leaders in the Senate. Our message is simple: We will Remember in November!

Support those candidates who have proven they will stand up and fight for your rights, and remember those that have shown they will duck and cover when the first sign of resistance appears. Remember to vote, and vote carefully.

The fight for passage of a bill that will allow families to protect themselves when they are in public will continue. New legislation will be introduced next year when the NC General Assembly comes back to work… and we will be there. We will not rest until North Carolina finally joins over 40 other states which already provide some sort of “Restaurant Carry” provisions . No more lies, no more dodging, it’s time to get this passed.

While Sen. Phil Berger does have a Democrat opposing him in the General Election in November, Sen. Tom Apodaca is unopposed. I have been studying their campaign finance reports and will have a post on that later.

The other component of HB 111 besides restaurant carry was a clarification of definitions regarding concealed carry in parks. That, too, died when HB 111 was shunted from committee to committee. As a result, counties and municipalities are left without the needed guidance on what they can or can’t do regarding carry in parks. As a result, you have cities like Winston-Salem including greenways as prohibited areas for concealed carry as they have declared them “athletic facilities”. Absent the clarification from the General Assembly, it will be left up to the courts to decide.

Restaurant Carry Still Delayed In NC

While the North Carolina State Senate ponders (and ponders) HB 111 – the restaurant carry bill – another restaurant was robbed. Grass Roots North Carolina just sent out another alert about it last night.

They choose to block important legislation while restaurant patrons and employees
continue to be victimized

News released on Friday, June 15, 2012 reports that several local and surrounding Fayetteville area restaurants have been hit in a string of robberies in the past 30 days. On Friday, surveillance video was released showing the suspects clearly wielding handguns during the most recent robbery at a Fayetteville Hardee’s Restaurant on June 1st.

Had this crime happened while you were having dinner with your family at your favorite restaurant, would state law have prevented you from legally protecting yourself and your family?

While criminals continue to ignore laws and endanger the lives of citizens in restaurants around the state in crimes conducted regularly, Senator Phil Berger and the Senate Republican leadership have intentionally blocked HB 111 for no other reason except cowardice. They have decided that Democrats might just say bad things about them during the upcoming election cycle if the bill is passed. Instead of honoring their promises to law-abiding gun owners who helped put them in power, they have decided that they are too busy to deal with the bill on the Senate floor in the form of a vote.

Enough is enough!

Accept no more attempts to dodge the issue by the Republican leadership in the Senate. They’ve passed the budget, they’ve worked hard in the current session and have announced that there is finally an official state “Livermush Festival”, and now they have run out of excuses. Now is the time for the Senate Republican leadership to lead as they have promised.

We do not have the luxury of waiting for politicians to decide our fate. We do not have the time to be brushed aside, hoping that HB 111 will be taken to the Senate floor for a vote at a later time. Republican leaders must know that they have run out of places to hide and must bring HB 111 out of the Finance Committee where it is being held hostage. This Bill must go to a full Senate floor vote NOW!


* CALL PRESIDENT PRO TEM PHIL BERGER (919.733.5708) & RULES CHAIR TOM APODACA (919.733.5745): Tell them to send HB 111 to the Senate floor IMMEDIATELY!
* EMAIL ALL SENATE REPUBLICANS using the copy-and-paste email list and message below to deliver either the pre-written message or your own.
* CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR, whom you can find by going to:
* (Note: You will need your 9-digit zip, which can be found on your driver’s license.)
* HELP GRNC DEFEND GUN RIGHTS: We are now reaching over 60,000 gun owners with every alert (like this one). This costs $500 per alert – serious money. Please join or contribute by going to:!

CONTACT INFO,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


Suggested Subject: “More restaurant robberies: Will it take another death for Republicans to act?”

Dear Senate Republican:

Each passing day brings us news of yet another robbery or vicious killing in one or more of North Carolina’s restaurants. While law-abiding, responsible gun owners are severely handicapped by state law in terms of protecting themselves, criminals continue to victimize patrons and employees of restaurants around the state at will.

You have promised me that you would support reasonable and common sense legislation that is designed to enhance my safety, and that of my family. HB 111 would do just that. Yet, you have chosen to delay the bill intentionally by sending it to the Senate Finance Committee where there is a good chance that it will die.

I urge you to reconsider this tactic and take HB 111 out of the Finance Committee and bring it to an immediate full vote on the Senate floor so it can then be moved closer to passage. Doing so will greatly enhance my ability to protect the lives of my family as well as my own.

I will be closely following your actions concerning HB 111 through the efforts of Grass Roots North Carolina, as well as keeping notes for the upcoming elections in November.


UPDATE: The Winston-Salem Journal is reporting that two men robbed a Sonic drive-in yesterday evening in Winston-Salem. The time to pass HB 111 is now.

UPDATE II: The State Senate Finance Committee is meeting today. The agenda lists a number of bills for consideration. However, HB 111 is not one of them.

NRA-ILA Weighs In On HB 111

The NRA-ILA released this yesterday along with a call for members to call their State Senator and push for passage.

House Bill 111, legislation which would provide for restaurant carry, is currently awaiting action in the state Senate Finance Committee. HB 111 passed in the Senate Judiciary II Committee on June 6 by a voice vote.

HB 111 would allow law-abiding gun owners who have a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) to carry a concealed firearm into most restaurants that serve alcohol for on-premises consumption, as long as no alcohol is consumed by the individual carrying the firearm. Currently, 44 states allow for the lawful carrying of concealed firearms into restaurants where alcohol is served. Passage and enactment of this bill is critical to ensure North Carolina’s place among the vast majority of the states in trusting law-abiding permit holders to exercise their rights responsibly in these places.

In addition, HB 111 amends state law enacted last year in House Bill 650 (previously reported on here) that imposed restrictions on prohibiting CHP holders from carrying firearms in parks under the control of local governments. Because some municipalities have gone beyond what HB 650 allowed, HB 111 was amended to impose tighter restrictions on local governments. If enacted, this bill would restrict localities from prohibiting lawfully carried concealed firearms in such places as greenways, designated biking or walking paths, certain open areas and fields, as well as other areas.

The head of the Senate Finance Committee, Buck Newton, stated in a radio interview yesterday that it would only take about 15 minutes of their time to get it out of committee. I strongly suggest that they take that 15 minutes and get this done.

Media In NC Starting To Notice Pressure On GOP About HB 111

Grass Roots North Carolina’s pressure on the GOP regarding HB 111 has caught the eye of the media.

The Associated Press’ Allen Reed sent out a 4-paragraph report on this issue. He notes, correctly, that the perception is that the Republican leadership is shunting the issue to the side and claiming they just don’t have the time. It appears to be have been picked up by a number of papers.

The Winston-Salem Journal goes further on the issue quoting Paul Valone of GRNC and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger on the issue.

“Do we have to wait until more die, Sen. Berger?” wrote Valone. “Will your legacy be that Republicans turned their backs on slain restaurant workers due to fear of bad press? I urge you to pull HB 111 from the Finance Committee and send it to the floor for an immediate vote.”

Berger, R-Rockingham, said he personally supports the bill, but that senate leaders are taking “a careful approach to it.”

“Whether we will be able to finalize the bill during the short session or whether it’s a long session issue we’ll pick up,” Berger said. “The issue is not going to die.”

Berger said the Senate would review the gun bill if there’s time left over after passing the budget.

“It’s not a question in my mind of if, it’s a question of when,” Berger said. “I think we’ll see it, but we’re working on a number of things, and that is one of them.”

If, as Sean points out, they have time to recognize not one but two livermush festivals, they have time to deal with this. Livermush is North Carolina’s answer to scrapple. If they don’t take the time, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of them suffer the same fate as former House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman who blocked the Castle Doctrine.

GRNC Ratchets Up The Pressure Over Restaurant Carry

Grass Roots North Carolina is ratcheting up the pressure on the Republican leaders of the North Carolina State Senate to keep their promise to bring HB 111 – the restaurant carry bill – to the floor of the Senate. They are accusing Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and Rules Committee Chair Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson) of referring HB 111 to the Senate Finance Committee in an effort to kill it.

Expectant mother and Flying Biscuit Café manager Danielle Watson was recently slashed to death at the restaurant she managed by an ex-con just released from prison. On the day she was to be married, she was instead buried. On the same weekend, also in Charlotte, restaurant worker Ed Rosen was murdered during a robbery by two thugs who remain at large. Elsewhere, eastern North Carolina has suffered a series of armed restaurant robberies, including two in which employees were herded into freezers where they could easily have been slaughtered.


Current law disarms not only restaurant patrons, but also restaurant workers. Except for the “owner or lessee” of the establishment, patrons and workers alike are prohibited from carrying concealed firearms for self-protection at any restaurant which serves alcohol, regardless of the fact that concealed handgun permit-holders are already prohibited from imbibing. Fortunately, HB 111 could give victims means to protect themselves and their families; it could give women going to or from restaurants means to defend against rape and murder.


Although the bill passed the House last year and passed the Senate Judiciary II Committee last week, Republican Senate President Pro Tem PHIL BERGER and Rules Chair TOM APODACA sent HB 111 to the Finance Committee to die. You see, if it doesn’t get a floor vote in the Senate and a concurrence vote in the House by the time the legislature adjourns – likely next week – HB 111, like Danielle Watson, will be D.O.A.


In a March GRNC meeting with Berger staffers GRANT BROOKS and SKYLAR ADAMS, Berger’s staff promised they would NOT re-refer HB 111 to another committee after it passed in the judiciary committee – that they would not kill the bill by “running the clock,” a legislative tactic by which politicians kill bills without going on record.

So why is Sen. Berger reneging on his pledge? Because, as Tom Apodaca reportedly admitted, Republicans are afraid that Democrats will come after them using misleading ads about “guns in bars.” Translated…

While restaurant workers like Danielle Watson are dying, Republican leaders are hiding under their desks, afraid to act because they might get bad press!


GRNC has tried to negotiate, and gun owners have exercised admirable restraint. But now the gloves have to come off: If YOU don’t act immediately, restaurant carry will die.

You can find the action items of the Alert here. It includes a request to call the offices of Berger and Apodaca, to send an email to all the Republican senators, and a Twitter engine to send out Tweets pushing the bill.

Even if you do not live in North Carolina, you can help by using the Twitter engine and by sending the email. You can rewrite the email to emphasize that you won’t spend your tourist dollars – which is a big business in this state – in a place which doesn’t allow you to protect yourself while eating.

Twitter Push For HB 111 – You Can Help!

Sean Sorrentino of An NC Gun blog has set up a quick and easy way to send Tweets to both the NC Senate Republicans and NC Senate Democrats. All you have to do is click on it, put in your Twitter log-in, and it will post a Tweet to them.

We really need to pass this and everyone can help regardless of whether you live in the Tar Heel State or not. If you have a Twitter account, you are good to go.

Sean’s post with the link is here. Now let’s go flood their Twitter feeds!

Restaurant Carry In NC Now In Finance Committee

HB 111, the North Carolina restaurant carry bill, now resides in the State Senate’s Finance Committee. Grass Roots North Carolina has just sent out an alert asking people to push their State Senator to move this bill.

HB 111 now resides in the Senate finance committee…
Time is getting short, and if this critical bill doesn’t move soon there is a chance it will die in committee. We have worked too hard for too long to allow this to happen.

Please send the reminder – or one of your own – shown below to your Senator. This is ESPECIALLY important if your Senator is on the Senate Finance Committee. Let them know that you want them to use their power to get Restaurant Carry (HB 111) to the Senate floor for passage.

Immediate Action Required

Email YOUR Senator.
Tell them to do what they can to move HB 111 to the Senate floor for a vote.
Find your State Senator’s email address using the NCGA web tool here:

Deliver This Message

Suggested Subject: Act Now to Move Restaurant Carry

Dear Senator:

Forty-four other states already have some form of restaurant carry. It is past time for North Carolina to join this group. Restaurants see more than their share of violent crime, and law-abiding citizens have a right to protect themselves and their families everywhere within our state.

As my Senator I respectfully ask that you do all in your power to move HB 111 to the Senate floor for a vote.

I will be following progress through Grass Roots North Carolina alerts.


A Concerned North Carolina Voter

The issue is starting to attract the attention of the local news media. WLOS Asheville had a story on it yesterday with the obligatory comment from a woman who didn’t think you should carry a firearm and drink. Of course, the bill does not allow you to carry concealed and drink anything stronger than sweet tea but facts such as this never trouble the local media.

GRNC On Restaurant Carry In North Carolina

As I said in my update on HB 111, Sean Sorrentino at An NC Gun blog has done a great job going over the details of the committee substitute to HB 111 which deals with, among other things, concealed carry in restaurants and eating establishments.

Grass Roots North Carolina has more on the bill as well as some info from the hearing yesterday. From their email alert:

HB 111 is unanimously approved, but moved to another committee…

There were a few modifications made, some good, some not so good, but if enacted our main goal of concealed carry in restaurants that serve alcohol will be achieved!

Additional restrictions to and penalties for weapons possession by felons have been added, along with clarification of park areas wherein carry is permitted.

The modified park language will improve statewide uniformity that has been cynically attacked by several municipalities following enactment of last year’s HB 650.

Improvements include carry specifically allowed on bike paths and walking trails. Disappointing exclusion of carry within certain restroom/dressing/storage facilities has now been added.

If voted into law, restaurant carry becomes effective Jan 1, 2013.

GRNC Volunteers Attend Judiciary II Meeting

A newer member of GRNC’s Assembly watch-dog team, Josette Chmiel gave important testimony in favor of HB 111. Her testimony was so compelling it has been quoted in the News & Observer’s coverage of the meeting. Josette’s powerful words flipped the votes of at least two Senators who, just prior to the meeting, had pledged opposition. As a result, the bill was unanimously passed. Here is brief excerpt of Josette’s testimony:

“Not everyone who frequents a bar or restaurant drinks. I regularly enjoy going out with friends to restaurants that serve alcohol. When I leave that restaurant & walk to the parking garage, I automatically become a potential victim. Look at me. I am your wife, your daughter, your fiancé. And I can be a victim of a crime and not be able to defend myself because I was not permitted to carry in the restaurant. Every time I leave a bar or restaurant, I put myself at risk.”

If you meet Josette, thank her for a job well done!

Turfed to another committee?

Although in our grasp, victory remains uncertain. For reasons we are not yet sure of, HB 111 was routed to yet another committee rather than immediately to the Senate floor where we are confident we have the votes to pass it.

We will have more information about the reasons for this routing and their implications soon. Additional pressure may need to be applied to move this bill the floor for the vote IT DESERVES!

Restaurant Carry Bill Has Committee Hearing On Thursday

The North Carolina State Senate’s Judiciary II Committee will hold hearings tomorrow on HB 111 which would allow concealed carry in restaurants and eating establishments. The bill would not let the person carrying concealed consume alcohol. HB 111 passed the State House over a year ago on March 30, 2011.

10:00 AM 1124 LB
HB 451 DWLR Penalties Increased/Vehicle Seizures
HB 199 Req. DV Victim/List Prior Action Against Def
HB 235 Bonnie’s Law
HB 111 Handgun Permit Valid in Parks & Restaurants

HB 199 will be a PCS re: copper theft
HB 235 will have a PCS re:
HB 111 will have a PCS

Grass Roots North Carolina is asking NC residents to contact their State Senator to urge passage. You can find your Senator here if you don’t already know his or her name.

I am a bit concerned about the notation of a proposed committee substitute (PCS). No text is posted on the General Assembly’s website. Given the recent attempt to hijack a bill about mechanics lien and bond law changes so as to negate the Bateman win, I think a close eye must be kept on this legislation.

UPDATE: Grass Roots North Carolina just sent out an e-mail alert on this bill noting that after if it passes Judiciary II it will then go not to the floor of the Senate but to the Finance Committee.

Republicans Trying to Kill Restaurant Carry?

Plans to send HB 111 to Finance Committee rather than floor.
Could it be that the Republicans who purport to serve you in the NC Senate are more concerned about polls than about your safety in restaurants? It would appear so, in fact so much so that they appear to be playing word games about the fate of HB 111.

Here is the story… A short time ago, folks from the office of Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger promised GRNC President Paul Valone that HB 111 would get a hearing in the Senate Judiciary II Committee. This would seem to indicate that it would next be headed to the Senate floor for a vote. BUT HOLD ON… NOT SO FAST! It appears they wish to play both sides of the board. Rather than planning to pass it out to the floor, GRNC has learned that Senate J-II Committee plans to pass it on to the Finance Committee. Now the first reaction among GRNC staff is that Finance would simply be a place where they might be sending HB 111 to die.


Fearing the worst, we have been on the phone with staffers who are now assuring us that this move is being made to keep it alive because all other non-financial committee hearings are about to be shut down for the session. We certainly hope this to be the case. We also feel very strongly that you should contact them and impart your most fervent desire that this is the case. In short tell them that you want HB 111 sent to the Senate Floor for a vote.

Immediate Action Required

Contact the Senate Judiciary II Committee

Cut-and-paste email list of members to contact:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


Deliver This Message

Dear Senator:

I will make this short and sweet. I want you to keep the promises you made to Grass Roots North Carolina on HB 111, Restaurant Carry. Send HB 111 to the floor of the Senate and then pass it into law.

I will be watching this matter closely through Grass Roots North Carolina’s alerts.


A Concerned Voter

UPDATE: Sean at An NC Gun Blog has a very good review of the substitute language in HB 111. The bill has been passed out of the Senate Judiciary II committee and will now go before the Finance Committee.