NC Gun Owners Push Republican Lawmakers to Pass Constitutional Carry

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Today is the opening day of the legislative session in North Carolina, and 2A group Grassroots NC has one major priority for the GOP supermajority in both chambers: pass Constitutional Carry. 


Grassroots NC head Paul Valone was in Raleigh today alongside a crowd of fellow Second Amendment activists to deliver a petition to Senate President Phil Berger to advance Constitutional Carry legislation, which passed the House last year. Under North Carolina's two-year session, if the bill fails to become law this year the process starts all over again, but Berger has been unreceptive to making more changes after the legislature repealed the state's permit-to-purchase law in 2023. 

Last year, Berger told Raleigh’s News & Observer that after disposing of the pistol purchase permitting issue, he didn’t know if there was “any need for us to delve into additional issues dealing with guns and people’s Second Amendment rights.”

The bill allowing constitutional concealed carry was removed from the calendar before a floor vote and returned to committee.

More than 6,000 people have signed a petition urging lawmakers to give “prompt consideration” to House Bill 189 the “Freedom to Carry NC Act.” The legislation as written would allow citizens who are at least 18 years old to carry concealed handguns in the state of North Carolina without a permit, after completing an approved firearms safety and training course.

A copy of the online petition reminds legislative leaders that “Second Amendment voters were in large part responsible for wins in the 2022 elections which gave Republicans the supermajorities needed to override a veto by Governor Roy Cooper.”

GRNC notes that 29 states have passed some form of constitutional concealed carry. They are hopeful North Carolina becomes the 30th state.


On paper, anyway, the votes are there. Republicans have a veto-proof majority in both the House and Senate, so even if Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper were to veto the bill (which would almost certainly be the case), if the GOP caucus sticks together they can override his rejection. I suspect that the bill's sponsors might even be able to get a couple of Democrats on board as well, but all that depends on Berger and Senate leadership agreeing to move the bill in an election year. 

Berger might prefer to keep the status quo in place until after the election, but there's no guarantee that Republicans will be able to keep that veto-proof majority intact, and there's a good chance that Cooper will be replaced by Attorney General Josh Stein, who's running for governor against Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson. Is there a chance that the political landscape will be more favorable next year? Sure, but there's also a distinct possibility that passing Constitutional Carry over the objections of the governor will be impossible. It makes more sense to run the bill now, at least from a Second Amendment-supporting perspective. 

Constitutional Carry is already the law of the land in more than half the country, so it's not like North Carolina would be setting off into uncharted territory if it recognizes that our rights don't generally take a permission slip from the government before we can exercise them. Berger should give North Carolina gun owners a great reason to vote for Republican candidates this fall, and "look what we did this session" is a much better pitch than "wait until next year".


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