NC Gun Owners Demand Constitutional Carry. Will Republicans Listen?

Townhall Media

On Wednesday, we covered Grassroots NC's initial push for passing Constitutional Carry in North Carolina this year, and we're following up with Grassroots NC president Paul Valone on today's Bearing Arms Cam & Co. 


Valone says he's gratified there was a crowd of gun owners on hand on Wednesday as the 2A group delivered about 7,000 petitions from gun owners across the state urging State Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger. And Valone noted that Berger's comments to reporters on Wednesday were far different than what he said last year, when he stated that he didn't know if there was a "need for us to delve into additional issues dealing with guns and people’s Second Amendment rights" after the legislature repealed the state's pistol purchase permit law. 

Valone said that 29 other states have enacted some form of similar legislation, and that Republicans should move the bill this session “while they have a supermajority, because these things are never ensured.”

“All we’re asking of Republican leadership in this case is to bring us up to the standards of other states,” Valone told reporters outside Berger’s office. “Republicans want the gun vote in November, we’re telling them they better remember to dance with the one what brung you.”

After Wednesday’s opening session, Berger told reporters that a concealed carry permit repeal bill is “something that’s worth talking about” in his caucus and he would see if there’s appetite to take it up, but he also said it’s important to determine if it’s the “right policy for us to adopt at this time.”


If not now, when? Next year? What happens if Republicans lose their supermajority status and Democrat Josh Stein becomes the state's next governor? Constitutional Carry would be off the table. 

Over at HotAir, my colleague David Strom has a deep dive on some new state-level polling, including North Carolina, and it looks pretty good for Donald Trump, who leads Joe Biden by ten points in the state. In fact, Trump has led Biden in every survey of North Carolina voters this year, but that doesn't automatically translate to a Republican victory in other races. In 2016 Trump won North Carolina over Hillary Clinton by about 3 points, but Democrat Roy Cooper was elected governor in a squeaker; defeating Republican Pat McCrory by a little more than 10,000 votes statewide. Cooper won re-election in 2020 51-47 over Republican Dan Forest, even though Trump once again carried the state. 

Valone tells Bearing Arms that Republican leadership is concerned that passing Constitutional Carry would hurt GOP candidates in "marginal" districts in an election year, but I'd argue that failing to take full advantage of the veto-proof majority is more likely to hurt Republicans in swing districts. The presidential election features two candidates that are disliked and mistrusted by huge swathes of the electorate, and getting the base to turn out is going to be critically important for both Republican and Democrat candidates from the top of the ticket on down. Delivering on Constitutional Carry makes a much better pitch than "Vote for us and we might take it up next year", and if Berger and his fellow Republicans are hoping to energize the base they should be pointing to substantive achievements instead of talking up the possibilities if they're returned to office. 


Now that Berger has said he's willing to talk to the caucus about moving Constitutional Carry, Valone says Grassroots NC will be encouraging gun owners to contact every Republican in the House and Senate and urge them to get to work on HB 189, which is currently bottled up in the House Rules Committee. There's a way for North Carolina to become the 30th Constitutional Carry state before lawmakers adjourn. The question is whether or not Republican lawmakers have the will to get it done.  

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