• 54°

Board members move to liberalize concealed carry laws

The first steps toward liberalizing Rowan County’s concealed carry laws were taken Tuesday by a handful of planning board subcommittee members in a small room at the county office building.

Although members agreed to expand the range of environments in which a person with a concealed carry permit could bring a firearm, the changes to the county ordinances will not be effective until the subcommittee’s recommendations go through the full planning board and then Rowan County commissioners.

The effort ultimately is geared toward aligning the concealed carry laws of the county with those that became state law in October.

The crux of the debate focused on permitting people to carry concealed firearms in county-owned buildings and parks, except where there are school-related activities taking place.

“(Last time the subcommittee met), the consensus was to allow (the concealed carry of firearms) throughout all parks and county-owned buildings. If you have a concealed carry permit issued by the state, you’re good to go anywhere here in any building or recreational park owned or operated by the county,” said Ed Muire, the county’s planning director. “We looked around at our surrounding counties, and with the exception of Cabarrus County, none of the others have done anything yet.”

Window stickers and other conspicuous signage prohibiting concealed carry will disappear if the recommendations pass the planning board and commissioners.

Members engaged in a lengthy discussion as to whether signs specifically allowing the concealed carry of a firearm for people with permits should replace signs prohibiting concealed carry of firearms in county buildings.

“People with concealed carry (permits) should know what is allowed under various sections of the law. If there is a sign up there that prohibits some things, it’s going to raise some questions,” said Larry Wright, chairman of the planning board’s subcommittee. “What we’re basically doing is looking at what can we allow the citizens of the county to do.”

Employees carry out the decisions of the commissioners so far as rules and regulations, Wright said.

“I’m sure there is going to be some employee some place who doesn’t like what we’re doing,” Wright said. “We have to look at 138,000 citizens and give them the freedom the state allows.”

Subcommittee members scrapped the idea of notices or signage on county buildings completely, but did ask county staff to look at having parks and recreation erect signs at parks notifying the public concealed firearms were not allowed in the areas of the property schools were using.

The park essentially transforms into education property if a school-related event is taking place, and a person carrying a concealed handgun could be charged if in the vicinity.

The parks currently have signs prohibiting the carry of concealed firearms, which state law dictates is legal now.

“I’m assuming these ‘no handguns in park’ signs are going to come down, because if they don’t come down, some poor person who doesn’t know the law is going to call the police because (somebody) just showed up with a handgun under his belt. We don’t need that,” said Joe Coladarci, one of the planning board’s subcommittee members. “They need to be removed.”

Subcommittee members will present their recommendations to the full planning board on Mar. 24, after which a plan will be put in front of commissioners for a vote.

Comments

Comments closed.

Nation/World

The queen says goodbye to Philip, continues her reign alone

Nation/World

Worldwide COVID-19 death toll tops a staggering 3 million

Nation/World

US, China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency

Nation/World

Sikh community calls for gun reforms after FedEx shooting

High School

North Rowan romps into second round of football playoffs

Nation/World

FBI had interviewed former FedEx employee who killed eight

Crime

Gastonia man sentenced for crash into restaurant that killed his daughter, daughter-in-law

Nation/World

Some call for charges after video of police shooting 13-year-old in Chicago

Business

State unemployment rate falls to 5.2% in March

Coronavirus

NASCAR approach to virus vaccine varies greatly

News

Judge rejects Cherokee challenge against new casino in Kings Mountain

Elections

Jackson tops NC Senate fundraising; Walker coffers also full

Local

Kiwanis Pancake Festival serves thousands of flapjacks for charity

Coronavirus

Rowan remains in state’s middle, yellow tier for COVID-19 community spread

Crime

Blotter: Man faces sexual exploitation charge for images on Instagram

News

Defendant convicted in attempted murder case on the run after fleeing from trial

Business

Downtown Gateway Building to be renamed for late Paul Fisher

Coronavirus

Rowan County COVID-19 data for April 15

Local

Rep. Warren’s bill would prohibit parking in electric vehicle charging stations

Local

Historic Preservation Commission approves Integro Technologies expansion, Paint the Pavement project

Education

Faith Academy, RSS will negotiate over what goes, stays in elementary school

Crime

Teacher killed in Alamance County shootout with Mexican drug cartel

Coronavirus

Bill would give more tax breaks on COVID-19 loans

Nation/World

No response as divers knock on capsized ship’s hull