Free To Defend
Like many Americans, I increasingly feel vulnerable to random attacks of violence. The most recent attack on members of congress practicing baseball in Virginia underscores the need for every law-abiding citizen to have the ability to defend themselves.
These lawmakers were fortunate that armed security were on hand to protect Congressman Scalise because of his leadership position in Congress. But if capitol police hadn’t been there, this attack could have been a massacre.
Because the average American doesn’t have an armed security detail following them everywhere they go, the next best option is to carry a personal firearm for self-protection.
More Americans than ever are doing just that.
Currently in North Carolina, law-abiding gun owners can either carry a handgun openly without a permit, or carry a concealed handgun with a permit.
I support a measure under consideration in the state legislature that would expand those options. House Bill 746 would allow law-abiding gun owners to carry a concealed firearm without a government permit.
This bill simply recognizes that it’s often more convenient to carry discretely by placing the gun in a purse or under a jacket.
Sometimes the weather turns cold and a person puts a jacket on, and if they are openly carrying their firearm, that simply putting on a coat would make them a criminal. This makes no sense. No one should be criminalized for every day acts like that.
Twelve other states have adopted similar legislation, most recently New Hampshire and North Dakota.
In those states that have had the law long enough to gather good FBI crime data, we know that the number of murders with handguns actually went down.
Clearly, allowing law-abiding citizens to carry a handgun in the manner that is most convenient for them does not turn our communities into the “wild, wild, West.”
A record number of Americans carry a firearm for personal protection because we know that law enforcement cannot always be there to protect us.
As Americans take more responsibility for their self-protection, we need common-sense laws that recognize it’s often more convenient to carry discretely.
In the proposed legislation, HB 746, North Carolina’s current concealed handgun permitting laws would remain intact for those who wish to obtain a permit for out-of-state reciprocity or other purposes.
Many of us in North Carolina want to be able to protect ourselves. We don’t want to be victims of random acts of violence.
I respectfully ask our lawmakers to think of us – your constituents and law-abiding citizens who don’t have the benefit of armed security – when you vote on HB 746.
The right to defend ourselves should not be limited to a privileged few.