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Thread: "NC Open Carry Petition"

  1. #1
    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Clayton, NC

    "NC Open Carry Petition"

    As I was surfing the internet for OC-related info the other day, I came across something interesting: a petition to legalize OC in NC.

    As of this post, it has 70 signatures - I do not know how long it has been up. However, when I found it, I thought it might be useful information for the sponsor to know that OC is, in fact, legal. I came to these conclusions prior to reading the petition itself in depth, and after reading found one statement within the petition that is not simply misleading, but an outright lie.

    In fact, North Carolina is one of only SIX states in the entire United States that completely bans open carry of handguns in public.
    At the time I initially found this, I contacted the sponsor of the petition to inform him that OC is perfectly legal in NC. Below is the conversation that took place over the course of two days via email, unedited except that my email address and name has been removed, replaced with "sultan62".

    On Aug 2, 2010, at 3:30 PM, sultan62 wrote:

    You know Open Carry is already legal in NC, right? There is no law against it, which means it is legal. Here's a great pocket reference:

    On Tue, Aug 3, 2010 at 12:37 PM, jay conkin <> wrote:

    Thanks for the reply, in NC open carry is very grey in NC. If a law officer decides that your firearm constitutes a threat (note perception, not reality) they can detain you under the "going to the terror to the public" statute. Therefore although it is "legal" on paper the law does not give a guarantee that your gun will not be confiscated and you detained. If this is doubted, one only needs to ask an acquaintance of mine who open carried into a local grocery store, he is a law abiding citizen and was actually on his way home from a shooting class and did not want to leave his gun in his car. He picked up his items and was on his way to the front of the store where he was greeted by several sheriff deputies who basically treated him as a felon and had him put his hands in the air (at taser point mind you) turn around and lock his fingers behind his head. They then removed his pistol and placed him in handcuffs, and removed him from the store. They questioned him as to why he had a gun, and he told them which apparently was not sufficient for them, and they confiscated his gun and cited him for "going armed to the terror of the public". Now if that is open carry, I am glad I have a concealed permit...


    On Aug 3, 2010, at 3:57 PM, sultan62 wrote:

    Did you even look at the links? There is no 'perception' legally allowed. Check out if you want more information. What the police did concerning your friend was very much illegal and he should have filed a complaint, if not a lawsuit.

    Furthermore, are you suggesting that it be made legal on paper? As in a statute that says "Open Carry of a firearm is legal in North Carolina"? That would set a very dangerous precedent. Laws are not there to tell us what is legal; they are to tell us what is illegal.

    Have you ever open carried? I assure you, the vast majority of citizens and LEOs have no problem with it. Certainly, some do, though they have no right to do anything about it. If they do, they have broken the law and should be held accountable for it.

    On Tue, Aug 3, 2010 at 4:43 PM, jay conkin <> wrote:

    According to NC law, it is up to municipalities to dictate whether open carry is legal vs illegal. I would refer you to a discussion on THR (the high road) website concerning open carry in NC. There are other examples of case law to support the police to detain and confiscate firearms when charging one with "going armed to the terror of the public". It is the burden of the law to prove intent, but when you have unsympathetic judges and DA's on the issue of gun control, you can see where you can get into hot water when brandishing a firearm, even if it is holstered. In the link I have attached is the NC Supreme Court ruling concerning the "going armed" charge. It also could include knives, nun chucks, swords, even to something such as fingernail clippers if they so wanted. Most agree it is best to stay on the safe side in NC and not open carry as to not be harassed by local LE. As for a case, my acquaintance attempted a case that was thrown out of court, and the local PD was cleared of wrongdoing by the Sheriff Department IA investigation.


    From sultan62 to

    Yes, and Cary has a law against open carry. If you would bother to check any of the links I provided you, you would know this. They, and Durham County further regulate gun control beyond the state. You would also have seen the legal requirements for GAttTotP. Or, if you had checked the link I gave you, you would see that both legislation AND case law back up the strict requirements for GAttTotP.

    If, as you say "Most agree it is best to stay on the safe side in NC and not open carry" why do so many carry without significant problems?

    Also, if in your response you would actually address the questions I ask, I would appreciate it. I'll state them again since you clearly missed them before:

    1. Did you even look at the links I provided?

    2. Are you suggesting a law that explicitly states that open carry is legal? Additionally, do you not see the danger inherent in producing laws that tell us what we ARE allowed to do?

    3. Have you ever open carried?

    Also, you didn't provide a link in your email, so I was unable to check your references.

    Lastly, I'm sorry about what happened to your friend. That doesn't change the fact that it was illegal. Was he convicted? I doubt it. We all know people who have been arrested on trumped up charges. (Such as a drano bomb being called a WMD)
    I probably was a little bit short with him. Frankly, I was frustrated.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Ruger's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Occupied Greensboro, North Carolina, United States
    Yeah... You might want to pick up a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People.
    Last edited by Ruger; 08-05-2010 at 08:48 AM.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Columbia, in the Peoples Republic of Murderland
    I just sent him an email, very politely detailing the case law regarding GAttTotP, which was essentially the same as similar posts I've made here. I also suggested that he study up on our legal system, versus Napoleonic Law, and explained why making laws that state what we CAN do is a VERY bad idea.

    And I also invited him to join OCDO...

    Here is the text of my email:

    I recently stumbled across your petition and was surprised...

    OC is perfectly legal in NC. I live in Beaufort County, and I OC EVERY DAY. I am a graduate student at ECU, and I OC in Greenville, Washington, New Bern, Whiteville, and all over that area all the time, and I've never had a single issue. I have family in Fayetteville and OC there frequently too, and never had an issue. I have OCd in Raleigh, all up and down I-95, and even in Nags Head, and at the Wright Brothers National Memorial park, with not so much as a double-take.

    The GAttTotP violation is NOT a "statute". There is NO place in the official statutes of North Carolina that defines this violation. It is a "common law" violation, based in case law, and is not specifically encoded in the official laws and statutes of the state. It is based on an English Common Law from the reign of Edward III. The primary case that outlines the requirements for this charge is "The State of NC vs. Robert S. Huntley". And according to case law precedent, there are THREE specific things you need to be doing to be guilty of GAttTotP:

    1) arm himself with any unusual and dangerous weapon,
    2) for the purpose of terrifying others,
    3) and go about on public highways in a manner to cause terror to others.

    In the world of the Courts, this is called a "crime of intention". You have to have the INTENT of causing terror, and set out to purposefully cause terror in people to be guilty of GAttTotP in NC. Walking around with a handgun properly secured in a holster on your hip DOES NOT meet the common law requirements of this violation, nor does it stand up to the case law precedents.

    A cop might charge you with GAttTotP, but any judge worth his robe will IMMEDIATELY throw it out if that is the ONLY thing you were doing. I've been searching the court records for over 2 years in NC, and I have YET to find a single instance where someone who was lawfully OCing that got charged with GAttTotP was actually convicted, and that is because--at least for the last 100 years--judges and DAs just dismiss this charge EVERY TIME, unless the person was doing other illegal or unlawful things, like robbing a store, or shouting threat to someone, or violating a restraining order.

    GAttTotP is an annoyance, and it needs to be stricken from the books. What we NEED to do is enact an official, codified "Brandishing" law like they have in VA, that is an actual Statutory Law, which includes wording that does away with the whole GAttTotP violation.

    Making a law that says OC is legal is a VERY bad idea. The American legal system is set up to start from a point where EVERYTHING is assumed to be legal, and then laws are enacted to tell us what is NOT legal or permitted. When you start passing laws telling people what they CAN do, you go down a VERY slippery slope toward what is called "Napoleonic Law", which is exactly the opposite of what we have in the US. Under Napoleonic Law, you start from a position where NOTHING is legal, and the government then passes laws telling you what you CAN do. And that system is MUCH more restrictive and prone to abuse.

    Here in the US, if there is no law prohibiting an activity, then it is, by default, LEGAL, and that's the way it SHOULD be in a free and open society.

    According to the "Huntley" ruling, and I quote:

    "But although a gun is an "unusual weapon," it is to be remembered that the carrying of a gun, per se, constitutes no offence. For any lawful purpose--either of business or amusement--the citizen is at perfect liberty to carry his gun. It is the wicked purpose, and the mischievous result, which essentially constitute the crime."

    OC is legal in NC. There may be a few random, isolated LEOs who like to throw this charge around as a threat, but it has not, and will not stick if you are actually charged while lawfully OCing if you are not doing anything else illegal or threatening.

    Activism is a GREAT idea, and I applaud your enthusiasm. But you really should study the history of NC firearms laws before you start petitions like this. Such a petition has the possibility to actually make things WORSE for us...

    There is a website called OpenCarry.Org, and I would HIGHLY suggest you go check it out. The NC part of that forum is full of VERY good information, and it will help you educate yourself as to your rights, as well as how to avoid running afoul of the law in NC. Check it out:

    Good luck in the future with your OC experiences. Stay safe, and keep your eyes and ears open and sharp! I hope to see you soon on OCDO.
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

  4. #4
    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Clayton, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruger View Post
    Yeah... You might want to pick up a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People.
    Sad thing is I already have it, and have read it.

    I tend to learn lessons the hard way.

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