New regs for NC gun trainers would wrap them in red tape

North Carolina has been spared some of the worst post-Bruen abuses on the right to keep and bear arms thanks to the Republican majority in the state legislature, but the state’s Democratic Attorney General appears to be doing all he can to make it harder for folks to bear arms in self-defense.  As GrassRoots NC’s Paul Valone details on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, new regulations for firearm instructors promulgated by the Criminal Justice Standards Division, which is overseen by AG Josh Stein, would wrap gun trainers in red tape by requiring them to submit new paperwork to the state both before and after every concealed carry course they put on, as well as providing the state with a list of every individual who took part in the training.


As Valone notes, the state already has a record of every active concealed carry holder, so why does the Attorney General want or need to know who’s merely attended a concealed carry class? It’s an invasion of privacy, but the other reporting requirements could result in far fewer classes being offered to begin with.

In an open letter sent to Stein on Thursday, Valone outlines some of the many issues with the new regulations, starting with how they were put in place to begin with:

Recently, GRNC has received numerous complaints from concealed handgun instructors regarding rule changes sent by email to many (but reportedly not all) instructors on June 23, 2023. The most serious complaints are:

1. No public input was sought prior to drafting the proposed changes. Although the Criminal Justice Standards Division has scheduled an August 9 public meeting to discuss them, the June 23 message from Bob Overton says, “These changes will take effect on October 1, 2023. Below is a summary of the changes that are being made by the Commission…” implying that the changes described in the memo are immutable. Also, while G.S. 150B-21.1 authorizes “temporary” rules, and 150B-21.1A “emergency” rules, both are statutorily authorized only where “adherence to the notice and hearing requirements of G.S. 150B-21.2 would be contrary to the public interest,” in addition to other conditions. It is difficult to understand how public input on purely administrative matters related to the timing and reporting of CHP courses could be considered “contrary to the public interest.”

2. The requirement that instructors submit a “Pre-Delivery Report” thirty (30) days prior to a class is an onerous restriction which will make it significantly harder for lawful citizens who want concealed handgun permits to obtain the necessary training.

3. The proposed “Post-Delivery Report” to be sent by instructors presents yet another burden, particularly for instructors who do not conduct training as their primary livelihood.

4. The requirement that instructors keep a “roster” of students, including full legal name and “contact information” represents an invasion of privacy for students who take the course but do not, for whatever reason, choose to apply for a concealed handgun permit. Given that the state maintains a database of concealed handgun applicants, the requirement is also redundant.

Because the North Carolina Department of Justice Criminal Justice Standards Division and its director, Jeffrey Smythe, fall under your direction, GRNC considers you responsible for these egregious changes.

As I’m sure you are aware, GRNC opposes any measure which makes it more difficult for lawful North Carolinians to protect themselves and their families. In particular, implementation of the “Pre-Delivery Report” requirement will make it significantly more difficult to obtain the training for a concealed handgun permit, almost certainly suppressing applications and rendering citizens vulnerable to violent crime.

In the absence of sound evidence that changes to instructor protocols are needed, GRNC will regard additional restrictions as abuse of a regulatory agency to harass lawful gun owners, much as the Biden administration is misusing rulemaking and oversight authority via the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.


I’m hoping to attend the August 9th meeting in Raleigh in person since it’s less than a three hour drive for me, and I would encourage any other interested gun owner or firearms instructor to show up as well to demand some answers. What’s the ostensible reason for subjecting instructors to this bureaucratic nonsense? Why does the state need to know 30 days ahead of time how many people are going to take part in a concealed carry course, and why should anyone who participates have that information relayed and documented to the state? What does the state plan on doing with that information? This sounds like nothing more than a backdoor gun registration scheme, especially in light of the repeal of North Carolina’s pistol purchase permit law earlier this year.

As Valone maintains, these regulations will have a chilling effect on the number of concealed carry courses that are offered, and many part-time instructors may decide its simply not worth the hassle anymore, while those that do continue to provide training could be forced to deny entry to anyone who wants to attend less than 30 days out. This sounds like it could easily result in a de facto 30-day waiting period for firearms instruction; a rather bizarre stance for the state or any of its political officers to take if the goal is to ensure that gun owners have access to training and education.


Be sure to check out the entire conversation with Paul Valone in the video window below, which also features an update on GRNC’s ongoing litigation against Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden and his slow-walking approvals for concealed carry applications. A federal judge in North Carolina recently heard oral arguments in GRNC’s request for an injunction against the sheriff’s practice of requesting mental health records from the VA for all applicants, (even those that have never served in the military) and waiting to process applications until the VA responds; a process that is keeping applicants in limbo for more than a year in some cases. Valone has some new details on the lawsuit’s progress, and even if you’re not a North Carolina resident its worth your time and attention.

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