The ability to carry concealed in a restaurant or eating establishment in North Carolina had its first anniversary this past week. The anniversary brings with it a measure of disappointment for the naysayers and gun prohibitionists. Blood didn’t run in the streets and there weren’t boozy shoot-outs on a regular basis. In fact, according to research by Grass Roots North Carolina, there wasn’t even one shooting involving a concealed carry holder in a restaurant serving alcohol.
House Bill 937, which became effective on October 1, 2013, dramatically expanded North Carolina’s concealed handgun law into restaurants where alcohol is sold and consumed, assemblies of people for which admission is charged, parades and funerals, further into state and municipal parks, and even to a limited extent into educational properties.
‘Guns and alcohol don’t mix’?
As always when we expand concealed handgun laws, opponents and media naysayers predicted shootings in bars, guns stolen from vehicles at schools, and various other sorts of mayhem using platitudes like “guns and alcohol don’t mix.”
GRNC explained endlessly that concealed handgun permit-holders, by virtue of background checks and training, had proven themselves sane, sober and law-abiding since 1995, with a rate of permit revocation on the order of three tens of a single percent. We explained that permit-holders in restaurants would still be prohibited from imbibing alcohol.
But the dire predictions persisted. Editorials ridiculed legislators. UNC president Tom Ross sent UNC police chiefs to testify against the bill, claiming it would hamper their ability to protect students. Gun control activists pushed restaurants to post against concealed carry.
So what has happened?
It has now been one year since HB 937 became effective. So what has happened? Nothing. GRNC monitors clipping services for gun-related incidents. Just like Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee and other states which adopted restaurant carry, however, we have been unable to find a single instance of a concealed handgun permit-holder misusing a gun in a restaurant or educational property.
So when will the media naysayers apologize? Will the media acknowledge the anniversary and the absolute lack of negative impact?
NC State Fair: The latest battleground
In the latest battle, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says he will post the North Carolina State Fair against concealed carry even though statutes adopted in HB 937 now prohibit him from doing so. He apparently believes that even despite passing concealed carry in 1995; Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground and expanded concealed carry into parks and elsewhere in 2011; and HB 937 in 2013 – all without the mayhem predicted by opponents – somehow, the state fair must be a different and more dangerous place than all the others.
So GRNC asks both Troxler and the media, “Where’s the mayhem?”
It is against this background that GRNC is taking NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler (R-NC) to task for trying to continue the ban on carry at the North Carolina State Fair. HB 937 which permits restaurant carry also permitted carry at assemblies where an admission is charged such as the State Fair. GRNC is threatening legal action to make Ag Commissioner Troxler and the State Fair to abide by the law.
Sean Sorrentino of An NC Gun Blog attended Troxler’s press conference and questioned him about the decision to post the State Fair. Troxler replied that it was long-standing policy to post against carry and he’d leave it to the lawyers about the interpretation of the new law.
Paul Valone, President of GRNC, has met with Troxler last Monday. As Valone says, Troxler is not known as a liberal or anti-gun but that still doesn’t make him right. GRNC will be going to court seeking a temporary restraining order before the fair opens in about a week.