Bill aims to end requirement for concealed-carry permits in the - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Bill aims to end requirement for concealed-carry permits in the state

The Constitutional Carry Act is a bill making its way through the General Assembly that would make it lawful to carry a gun in North Carolina without a concealed-carry permit. (Source: Raycom Media) The Constitutional Carry Act is a bill making its way through the General Assembly that would make it lawful to carry a gun in North Carolina without a concealed-carry permit. (Source: Raycom Media)
CASTLE HAYNE, NC (WECT) -

The Constitutional Carry Act is a bill making its way through the General Assembly that would make it lawful to carry a gun in North Carolina without a concealed-carry permit.

Concealed-carry instructors in southeastern North Carolina have a variety of opinions on the bill.

Matt Rhodes, a concealed-carry instructor, teaches his course in Castle Hayne. "If you are going to own a gun, you are going to have a big responsibility," said Rhodes.

He tries to make sure his students are responsible with their guns by requiring hours of training before they can be certified for a permit. "It's nothing to think that it's just a cakewalk, you have to put the work in," added Rhodes.

If House Bill 69 passes, his class won't be a requirement before carrying a concealed handgun. "If they don't require a course, how do you know what you can and can't do?" asked Rhodes. "I just think it's a bad idea."

The bill would save gun owners around $200 in application and course fees but Rhodes said it's not worth it. "That {training} still needs to be in there and not for my benefit as a small businessman and someone who teaches this course, but it's just smart."

Rhodes says its common sense to keep training in place but admits some people want no part of his course. "I'll hear 'I was raised around guns, I was raised around guns,' said Rhodes. "Well I was raised around water and I don't know how to drive a boat, so that's the problem you have to have some formal training to be safe."

Sheriff Ed McMahon with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office said he is "pro-guns" but also added training is a cornerstone to keeping his streets safe.

"If you can randomly just get a gun, carry it concealed, that adds a lot of possible dangers and problems," said Sheriff McMahon.

Grass Roots North Carolina, an organization that supports House Bill 69 responded to our request for comment with a statement. The entire statement from President Paul Valone is below:

First, it is important to remember that HB 69 will change absolutely nothing except for the need to get a concealed handgun permit. People who are prohibited from getting permits now -- by virtue of criminal backgrounds, DUIs, etc. -- will still be prohibited under HB 69. All of the places where concealed carry is prohibited -- courtrooms, governmental buildings, posted properties, etc. -- will still be off limits.

HB 69 merely removes the need for lawful citizens to undergo a burdensome application process which costs several hundred dollars and can take over six months to complete -- a process which discriminates against people with lesser means. Although our opposition invariably predicts mayhem whenever we have expanded carry, in each case they have been wrong. they will be wrong this time as well. In fact, we defy anyone to demonstrate problems in any of the eleven other states which have already adopted constitutional carry.

The earliest this bill would be implemented is December 1st, 2017.

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