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Thread: Carry in Polling Places?

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Carry in Polling Places?

    I've been scouring the NC General Statutes, and I can't seem to find a prohibition on OC or CC in Polling Places.

    Since Polling staffers are volunteers (NOT State or County employees), and since SOME poling places are not in and of themselves "prohibited places", I was wondering if it would be OK for me to OC when I vote this year.

    My polling place is the local Fire Department. I don't think this building is posted, and as far as I know, Washington, Beaufort Co, or Great Neck (where the FD is actually located) do not have firearms prohibitions on carrying in a Fire Department building. I don't know if the building is posted--I haven't stopped by to check...

    Maybe I'm missing something in the NCGS--if anyone knows of a prohibition on polling places (if they are not otherwise prohibited) please point me toward the statute.

    Thanks, and don't forget to vote--but first DO YOUR RESEARCH on all the candidates...
    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."
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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    SNIP
    Since Polling staffers are volunteers (NOT State or County employees),
    I've yet to find anything in NCGS barring OC from state facilities anyway, only barring CC.

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    Regular Member elixin77's Avatar
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    unfortunately, my polling place is a preschool. Don't think I can carry there
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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sultan62 View Post
    I've yet to find anything in NCGS barring OC from state facilities anyway, only barring CC.

    Then, under State Premption, how can they legally post DMV offices with "No Firearms" signs?
    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

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    Then, under State Premption, how can they legally post DMV offices with "No Firearms" signs?
    Just one more thing I have a problem with.

    I've raised this point in a few threads, but I still haven't seen a decent answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sultan62 View Post
    Just one more thing I have a problem with.

    I've raised this point in a few threads, but I still haven't seen a decent answer.
    Here. See caps.

    14‑277.2. Weapons at parades, etc., prohibited.
    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person participating in, affiliated with, or present as a spectator at any parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration upon any private health care facility OR UPON ANY PUBLIC PLACE OWNED OR UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE STATE OR ANY OF ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS TO WILLFULLY OR INTENTIONALLY POSSESS OR HAVE IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO ANY DANGEROUS WEAPON. VIOLATION of this subsection shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor. It shall be presumed that any rifle or gun carried on a rack in a pickup truck at a holiday parade or in a funeral procession does not violate the terms of this act.
    (b) For the purposes of this section the term "dangerous weapon" shall include those weapons specified in G.S. 14‑269, 14‑269.2, 14‑284.1, or 14‑288.8 or any other object capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death when used as a weapon.
    (c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a person exempted by the provisions of G.S. 14‑269(b) or to persons authorized by State or federal law to carry dangerous weapons in the performance of their duties or to any person who obtains a permit to carry a dangerous weapon at a parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration from the sheriff or police chief, whichever is appropriate, of the locality where such parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration is to take place.


    As far as polling places. Both of mine, early and regular, are city buildings and are posted.

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefjason View Post
    Here. See caps.

    14‑277.2. Weapons at parades, etc., prohibited.
    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person participating in, affiliated with, or present as a spectator at any parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration upon any private health care facility OR UPON ANY PUBLIC PLACE OWNED OR UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE STATE OR ANY OF ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS TO WILLFULLY OR INTENTIONALLY POSSESS OR HAVE IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO ANY DANGEROUS WEAPON. VIOLATION of this subsection shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor. It shall be presumed that any rifle or gun carried on a rack in a pickup truck at a holiday parade or in a funeral procession does not violate the terms of this act.
    (b) For the purposes of this section the term "dangerous weapon" shall include those weapons specified in G.S. 14‑269, 14‑269.2, 14‑284.1, or 14‑288.8 or any other object capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death when used as a weapon.
    (c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a person exempted by the provisions of G.S. 14‑269(b) or to persons authorized by State or federal law to carry dangerous weapons in the performance of their duties or to any person who obtains a permit to carry a dangerous weapon at a parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration from the sheriff or police chief, whichever is appropriate, of the locality where such parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration is to take place.


    As far as polling places. Both of mine, early and regular, are city buildings and are posted.
    It seems to me that you didn't capitalize everything that is necessary. I'm fairly certain that what you capitalized modifies "demonstration", as in

    It shall be unlawful for any person participating in, affiliated with, or present as a spectator at any parade, funeral procession, picket line, or DEMONSTRATION upon any private health care facility or UPON ANY PUBLIC PLACE OWNED OR UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE STATE OR ANY OF ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS TO WILLFULLY OR INTENTIONALLY POSSESS OR HAVE IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO ANY DANGEROUS WEAPON.

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    Regular Member elixin77's Avatar
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    I believe that law and section refers to demonstrations at either a health care center or state property, nothing else.

    Say some people decide to picket the.... court house (work with me). It would be illegal to carry a firearm at the demonstration, where it normally wouldn't be illegal to carry a firearm in front of the court house.
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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elixin77 View Post
    I believe that law and section refers to demonstrations at either a health care center or state property, nothing else.
    Exactly.

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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Actually, to clarify a little more (at least to my understanding), this statute prohibits doing any of the mentioned activities (funeral, demonstration, parade, etc.) ONLY on private health-care or state property. So funerals at a private graveyard, church graveyard, etc. are fair game to carry.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I don't think you're reading that right, Sultan...

    It prohibits anyone who is a participant or spectator at any of those events--funeral, parade, or demonstration on a health care facility or on a state-owned property from CARRYING a firearm.

    It doesn't prohibit having a funeral or parade at a health care facility or on state property, which is what I think you're saying...

    So since my polling place is a fire station--which is owned and operated by the local community--as long as this building isn't posted, I think it might actually be legal to carry there...

    I'll be making a trip to the firehouse sometime this week to check for signs. And I'll be calling the Election Board to see if they can quote any statutes that would prohibit carry at this particular polling place later this week as well...

    Perhaps a call to the AGs office is in order too. I haven't called them with a tricky question in about a month. I'm overdue...
    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."
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    Regular Member sultan62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    I don't think you're reading that right, Sultan...

    It prohibits anyone who is a participant or spectator at any of those events--funeral, parade, or demonstration on a health care facility or on a state-owned property from CARRYING a firearm.

    It doesn't prohibit having a funeral or parade at a health care facility or on state property, which is what I think you're saying...
    Rereading my post, how you interpreted it was EXACTLY what I said...not what I meant, though. I meant to carry a weapon at those events if they were on state/private health care premises.

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    Regular Member Ruger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    I've been scouring the NC General Statutes, and I can't seem to find a prohibition on OC or CC in Polling Places.

    Since Polling staffers are volunteers (NOT State or County employees), and since SOME poling places are not in and of themselves "prohibited places", I was wondering if it would be OK for me to OC when I vote this year.

    My polling place is the local Fire Department. I don't think this building is posted, and as far as I know, Washington, Beaufort Co, or Great Neck (where the FD is actually located) do not have firearms prohibitions on carrying in a Fire Department building. I don't know if the building is posted--I haven't stopped by to check...

    Maybe I'm missing something in the NCGS--if anyone knows of a prohibition on polling places (if they are not otherwise prohibited) please point me toward the statute.

    Thanks, and don't forget to vote--but first DO YOUR RESEARCH on all the candidates...
    Just yesterday I was wondering the same thing. The polling place I'm supposed to go to is a local church. They don't operate any kind of school there, so I figured I'd be in the clear to carry, barring any state laws I'm not aware of.
    Carry on!

  14. #14
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I ran key-word searches in the NCAG's "North Carolina Firearms Laws" booklet, for the following words:


    • polling
    • voting
    • fire house
    • fire department
    • fire station


    and got ZERO hits on each term...

    I'll be calling the Election Commission and AG's office later this afternoon for an official ruling, and I'll be stopping by the Fire Station that is my polling place this afternoon when I return home from work, to check if it's posted.

    Stay tuned...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 10-04-2010 at 10:58 AM.
    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

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I've got calls into the Beaufort County Election Board and the NCAG regarding this issue. Still awaiting a return call from both...

    However, the Beaufort County Sheriff's office DID return my call today....

    First they tried to tell e it would be prohibited under § 14‑277.2, specifically due to THIS wording:

    § 14‑277.2. Weapons at parades, etc., prohibited.
    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person participating in, affiliated with, or present as a spectator at any parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration upon any private health care facility or upon any public place owned or under the control of the State or any of its political subdivisions to willfully or intentionally possess or have immediate access to any dangerous weapon. Violation of this subsection shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor. It shall be presumed that any rifle or gun carried on a rack in a pickup truck at a holiday parade or in a funeral procession does not violate the terms of this act.
    When I pointed it out to the Deputy that § 14‑277.2 was regarding the specific instances of parades, funerals, demonstrations, etc, and NOT a general prohibition against carry, he then said it would be prohibited under § 14‑269.4:

    § 14‑269.4. Weapons on State property and in courthouses.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to possess, or carry, whether openly or concealed, any deadly weapon, not used solely for instructional or officially sanctioned ceremonial purposes in the State Capitol Building, the Executive Mansion, the Western Residence of the Governor, or on the grounds of any of these buildings, and in any building housing any court of the General Court of Justice. If a court is housed in a building containing nonpublic uses in addition to the court, then this prohibition shall apply only to that portion of the building used for court purposes while the building is being used for court purposes.

    This section shall not apply to:

    (1) Repealed by S.L. 1997‑238, s. 3, effective June 27, 1997,

    (1a) A person exempted by the provisions of G.S. 14‑269(b),

    (2) through (4) Repealed by S.L. 1997‑238, s. 3, effective June 27, 1997,

    (4a) Any person in a building housing a court of the General Court of Justice in possession of a weapon for evidentiary purposes, to deliver it to a law‑enforcement agency, or for purposes of registration,

    (4b) Any district court judge or superior court judge who carries or possesses a concealed handgun in a building housing a court of the General Court of Justice if the judge is in the building to discharge his or her official duties and the judge has a concealed handgun permit issued in accordance with Article 54B of this Chapter or considered valid under G.S. 14‑415.24,

    (4c) Firearms in a courthouse, carried by detention officers employed by and authorized by the sheriff to carry firearms,

    (4d) Any magistrate who carries or possesses a concealed handgun in any portion of a building housing a court of the General Court of Justice other than a courtroom itself unless the magistrate is presiding in that courtroom, if the magistrate (i) is in the building to discharge the magistrate's official duties, (ii) has a concealed handgun permit issued in accordance with Article 54B of this Chapter or considered valid under G.S. 14‑415.24, (iii) has successfully completed a one‑time weapons retention training substantially similar to that provided to certified law enforcement officers in North Carolina, and (iv) secures the weapon in a locked compartment when the weapon is not on the magistrate's person,

    (5) State‑owned rest areas, rest stops along the highways, and State‑owned hunting and fishing reservations.

    Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. (1981, c. 646; 1987, c. 820, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 166; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1997‑238, s. 3; 2007‑412, s. 1; 2007‑474, s. 1; 2009‑513, s. 1.)
    This document (also available in PDF and RTF formats) is not an official document.
    Please read the caveats on the main NC Statutes page for more information.
    using the logic that a polling place, regardless of what it was at other times, was under the control of the State while it was a polling place.

    When I brought up the fact that:
    A) 14‑269.4 is not a general prohibition against carry on ALL state property, but rather in the specific properties listed in the statute, and
    B) the County Election Boards had jurisdiction over elections (not the State), he said that the Sheriff's office would stand by their interpretation that carry in a polling place was a chargeable offense, and I could let the courts sort it out if I decided to carry in a polling place that was on County Property.

    Unfortunately, Beaufort County doesn't seem to have their County Ordinances published anywhere online, so this one is going to require a trip to the Library or the County Courthouse to look up the paper copy, to see if the County has a general prohibition against carry on County property or in county Buildings. I know that Pitt County does, but my polling place is in Beaufort Co....

    To his credit, though, he DID try to justify their position by saying that the statutes were vague and hazy, and left a lot open to interpretation in this specific instance.

    So I won't be carrying when I vote. I have neither the time or the money to take one for the team on this...

    Maybe someone with deeper pockets would like to challenge this one...

    It should be interesting to see how many statutes the AG tried to dance through on this one...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 10-04-2010 at 06:16 PM.
    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."
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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruger View Post
    Just yesterday I was wondering the same thing. The polling place I'm supposed to go to is a local church. They don't operate any kind of school there, so I figured I'd be in the clear to carry, barring any state laws I'm not aware of.

    Ruger,

    Guilford County Codes may prohibit carry in a polling place even if it's in a church, because a polling place is temporarily under the "legal possession or control" of the County during the voting times.

    http://library1.municode.com/default...ction=whatsnew

    Sec. 11-5. Weapons on county property.
    (a) The following definitions apply to this section:
    (1) County property.--Any public building, public office, or grounds or parking lots of such buildings or offices in the legal possession or control of Guilford County or any department or agency of Guilford County, particularly including but not limited to the Guilford County Area Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Authority; the Guilford County Department of Social Services; and the Guilford County Department of Public Health.

    (2) Weapon.--Any gun, rifle, pistol, revolver, shotgun, handgun, or other firearm of any kind, any sword, machete, switchblade knife, or other deadly weapon of like kind.
    (b) It shall be unlawful for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any weapon on county property. The County Manager is authorized and instructed to post appropriate conspicuous signage on county property, in accordance with law.

    (c) This section shall not apply to:
    (1) A weapon used solely for (1) county-sanctioned ceremonial purposes, or (2) used solely in a county-approved program conducted under the supervision of a person who has been approved by county authority, or (3) possessed solely for personal protection by a person and securely locked in a vehicle in a parking lot in the possession or control of Guilford County;
    (2) Officers and enlisted personnel of the armed forces of the United States when in discharge of their official duties as such and acting under orders requiring them to carry arms;
    (3) Civil officers of the United States when acting in the discharge of their official duties;
    (4) Officers and soldiers of the national guard when called into actual service;
    (5) Sworn law-enforcement officers.
    (Ord. of 12-14-95)
    Last edited by Dreamer; 10-04-2010 at 06:15 PM.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by sultan62 View Post
    It seems to me that you didn't capitalize everything that is necessary. I'm fairly certain that what you capitalized modifies "demonstration", as in
    It was the closest thing I could find. Since NC specializes in vague gun laws, as Dreamer is stating, it's not something I would be willing to argue either way with too much certainty. The main question seems to be, and no one here can answer it, does the "or" where I started refer back to "demonstration" or start a new restriction that applies to all public places. Thinking about that now, the flaw in "all public places" would be that it would make carrying a firearm in public illegal. And we know that's not the case. What was I saying? There's nothing like clarity.

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    Am I the only one that get's tired of poring over statutes and case law and making calls for clarification on things like this just to make an educated guess on whether or not I'm putting myself at risk for arrest?
    "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain

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    Regular Member elixin77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smith45acp View Post
    Am I the only one that get's tired of poring over statutes and case law and making calls for clarification on things like this just to make an educated guess on whether or not I'm putting myself at risk for arrest?
    No your not.

    It seems all we can do is quote the same 3 or 4 statutes, and no one knows. I even called the AG with the carrying in an ABC store, and even they couldn't give me a solid answer (but they did raise my confidence in carrying in an ABC store).

    The laws were more than likely intentionally written so vague so they can trap people without them even knowing it, or so people could wriggle out of any charge if they pay enough to a lawyer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    Ruger,

    Guilford County Codes may prohibit carry in a polling place even if it's in a church, because a polling place is temporarily under the "legal possession or control" of the County during the voting times.

    http://library1.municode.com/default...ction=whatsnew
    [/INDENT]
    Dreamer, that post said "offices under control of the County"...would the polling place really be considered an "office"? Is the general public allowed into County offices? I don't think we are, so I don't see how they could call this an office.

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    could a state or local government legitimately say that they are in control of a polling place during the time voting is allowed?

    the one major problem i see with this is that they, the state and counties, allow polling places to be in places of worship

    i don't see ANY state or county agency claiming to be taking control of a church or any other house of worship at any time and if a federal election is on the ballot then it would certainly be a violation of the US Constitution

    Dreamer... i would think that if you know of a polling place in Beaufort county that is in a house of worship you could call the sheriff's dpt back and ask how they can legally seize a church without it being an endorsement of religion or an infringement upon peoples freedom to worship?

    the government uses loopholes to go after us, use any loophole you can get to go back after them
    GO PIRATES!!!!!

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farkles View Post
    Dreamer, that post said "offices under control of the County"...would the polling place really be considered an "office"? Is the general public allowed into County offices? I don't think we are, so I don't see how they could call this an office.

    I'm a member of the "general public", and I go into County Offices ALL THE TIME. Sheriff's office, County Clerk, Election Commission, etc, etc, etc...

    Now, whether or not the County Election Board or the Sheriff can classify a polling place as "being under control of the County or State" to classify it as a prohibited place for carry is, as the Deputy told me, "a matter for the courts to sort out". They have said clearly that they would consider carrying in a polling place as a chargeable offense, and would act accordingly...

    I then said that under that logic, it would be illegal to carry while walking or driving on a state or county road in NC, and asked him if that was the case. His answer was "well, that's different"... More hemming and hawing...

    The general gist I'm getting for answer to this question is who cares what the law actually SAYS--it's what the "badges on the street" WANT it to say in a given situation that determines how a given LEO will act in a particular situation. Thus it shall ever be...

    When I first called the Sheriffs office about this, he said "Well, I'm not sure, but I think people wouldn't want folks carrying at polling places."

    My reply was "I understand that Deputy, but the question is not what people want. The question is what does the LAW say on the matter..."

    I think their answer shows that they don't really care what the LAW SAYS. What they are really interested in is how THEY want things to be...

    NC needs to repeal this silly "cities and counties can opt out of State Preemption" clause, and do things like VA and WV. The state law in NC should say "Cities and Counties cannot impost restrictions on possession, carry, transport, or commerce of firearms above and beyond State Law." Period, end of discussion. This municipal patchwork of convoluted (and often carefully hidden) restrictions on carry, transport, and possession of firearms in NC is an unholy mess, and needs to be dismantled.

    Either we have State Preemption that stands as Rule of Law, or we have a toothless token of a statute that has no real effect, power, or authority over localities, and allows them to enact whatever restrictions they see fit...

    Either we have a 2A in NC, or we don't.
    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."
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  23. #23
    Regular Member papa bear's Avatar
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    here is another example of the "whites only water fountain" attitude as it pertains to the 2A. constitutional rights ought to be first priority in public property. dosen't the taxes we pay go to these facilities.
    Last edited by papa bear; 10-11-2010 at 11:00 PM.

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    It seems to me that all portions of the above mentioned law should be easily able to be beaten in court.

    It is shocking to the conscience that in order to exercise one fundamental right, you cannot be exercising another...

    Funerals - Right to assemble
    Protest - free speech, right to assemble, redress of grievances
    Parades - free speech, right to assemble
    Polling places - right to vote
    Public places owned by the state - right to assemble, redress of grievances

    There is no way that ANY of those could be justifiably qualified to be the kinds of "sensitive places" referred to in Heller.

    I could see SOME public places being "sensitive", courthouses, city hall, jails... but not EVERY public place.

    The rest are completely out of line with the idea of exercising your rights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mekender View Post
    It seems to me that all portions of the above mentioned law should be easily able to be beaten in court.

    It is shocking to the conscience that in order to exercise one fundamental right, you cannot be exercising another...

    Funerals - Right to assemble
    Protest - free speech, right to assemble, redress of grievances
    Parades - free speech, right to assemble
    Polling places - right to vote
    Public places owned by the state - right to assemble, redress of grievances

    There is no way that ANY of those could be justifiably qualified to be the kinds of "sensitive places" referred to in Heller.

    I could see SOME public places being "sensitive", courthouses, city hall, jails... but not EVERY public place.

    The rest are completely out of line with the idea of exercising your rights.
    I agree completely, but I don't have the money to test it.

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