Planning Board to continue to discuss aligning county’s gun laws with state

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Members of a Rowan County Planning Board subcommittee will continue to evaluate aligning the county’s concealed carry laws with those approved by state legislators.

Once subcommittee members finalize their work, they will present to the entire planning board, which will then go before the Rowan County Board of Commissioners for approval and implementation.

Rowan County commissioners asked the planning board to review all ordinances related to allowing guns on county property or in county buildings and their compliance with state statutes.

Current laws allow individuals with valid concealed carry permits access to all parks, but prohibit them from courthouse facilities.

As a member of the planning board as well as a committee chairman, Larry Wright said he is confident the effort will succeed and concealed carry laws will be passed that comply with those of the state.

“This year, the state liberalized the gun laws and so the county said ‘Our gun laws are more restrictive than the state laws are,’” Wright said. “The county (commissioners) asked, ‘What can we do to make the county laws dovetail with what the state laws allow.’”

A person with a concealed carry permit cannot carry a firearm in the J. Newton Cohen, Sr. Rowan County Administration Building, Wright said.

“You can’t carry on most of the county property. You can’t carry where you pay your taxes or in the library,” Wright said.

Planning board subcommittee members are going to discuss the issue at their next meeting with the hope of getting the entire proposal before the planning board prior to going to the commissioners.

“One of the questions I have is if the state changed laws on weapons other than guns, like knives and swords or bayonets,” Wright said. “If they did, I think we need to make our county laws as permissible as the state allows.”

Wright said he is confident not only the planning board will pass what the subcommittee presents, but the commissioners will as well.

“The way you will know is that they probably won’t announce anything — but maybe a couple months later, you will come in and there won’t be a sign (prohibiting guns) down there and you can be armed,” Wright said. “It will be all county property, and if it is not — that is something we will discuss at our next meeting.”