Gun rights groups threatens Raleigh with lawsuit

  • Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013 6:51 p.m.

RALEIGH (AP) — A gun rights group is threatening to sue the city of Raleigh for not updating signs in city parks telling visitors that firearms aren’t allowed.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Grass Roots North Carolina sent a letter to the Raleigh City Council this week, requesting an update. Legislation passed in 2011 allows concealed-carry permit holders to bring guns to playgrounds, greenways and college campuses.

The letter to Raleigh from Grass Roots, dated Sunday, demands a response within five business days or the group will begin pursuing legal action. Grass Roots North Carolina president Paul Valone said he has yet to receive any reply.

In an email, Raleigh parks director Diane Sauer told the group it would be too expensive to replace all signs in the city’s 100-plus parks, especially since the rules could change again.

“Due to costs associated with and the potential of this coming up again, we are not going to replace all signs at once,” Sauer wrote to a Grass Roots member. “As signs are replaced (age or damage) or new signs are added, we will include updated information.”

Valone says he doesn’t buy that argument.

“I find that disingenuous,” he said. “It’s not too expensive - you don’t have to replace them or anything, just take them down.”

City Attorney Tom McCormick said he’s not familiar with the sign complaint, but he says the city won’t enforce any gun rules that were struck down by the state legislature.

John Odom, the lone Republican on the Raleigh City Council, said he’s supportive of gun rights but thinks state legislators should let the city set its own park rules.

“I don’t know whether or not changing the signs right away is of the utmost importance to me,” he said.

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