North Carolina House of Representatives Moves to Boost Ability of Citizens’ to Protect Themselves in Public Parks, Greenways, and Restaurants

Contact State Senator Bob Rucho by E-Mail at and Tell Him to Support HB 111 in the Senate

Information from Grassroots North Carolina, The Raleigh News & Observer, with Legal Research by Brian K. Lutes

North Carolina House Bill 111, would expand the rights of individuals holding a permit to carry a concealed firearm to protect themselves and their families while patronizing a restaurant that serves alcohol.

The bill also clarifies on what part of public park property that firearms would be allowed. A law that went into effect in December 2011 already allows that, but it gave local governments the option of banning guns from playgrounds, athletic fields and facilities, and swimming pools.

Basically, this bill, if approved, would prohibit North Carolina Municipalities from denying the right of all citizens to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves as protected by Article 1, Section 30 of the Constitution of North Carolina and the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when they are using green-ways, biking or walking paths, and open areas of public parks.

These rights have recently been solidified by the U.S. Supreme Court in the cases of McDONALD v. CHICAGO (08-1521), 561 U. S. ____ (2010), Decided June 28, 2010 and DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER (No. 07-290), 554 U.S. ___; 128 S. Ct. 2783; 171 L. Ed. 2d 637; 2008 U.S. LEXIS 5268; 76 U.S.L.W. 4631; Decided June 26, 2008.

Rep. Mark Hilton, a Republican from Catawba County who has been the key sponsor of pro-second amendment bills, told a Senate Judiciary committee on Thursday that the N.C. State Restaurant Association and the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association do not oppose this version of the bill.

Under the legislation, restaurant owners would still be able to prohibit customers from bringing weapons, concealed or not, into their establishments, but they must post a conspicuous notice to that effect.

Hilton said there are about 250,000 permit-holders in the state and fewer than one percent of them have had their permits revoked. In other words, this is a law-abiding segment of the population, he said.

Josette Chmiel of Grassroots N.C., a gun-rights advocacy group, said the bill simply allows people to protect themselves and their families:

“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”.

A representative of the National Rifle Association also spoke in support of the bill.

The committee approved the bill, which now goes to the Senate Finance Committee.

To read the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the cases of McDonald v. Chicago and Heller v. The District of Columbia, copy and paste the following link into your web-browser:

To learn more about the right of citizens’ to keep and bear arms as protected by state constitutions, copy and paste the following link into your web-browser:

Published in: on June 8, 2012 at 11:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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