Permission Not Required: “Constitutional Carry” Bill Introduced in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 17, 2017) – A so-called  “Constitutional Carry” bill filed in the North Carolina House would make it legal for most North Carolinians to carry a firearm without a license, and foster an environment hostile to federal gun control.

A coalition of 10 Republican representatives introduced House Bill 69 (H69) on Feb. 8. The legislation would allow: “Any person who is a citizen of the United States and is at least 18 years old may carry a concealed handgun in this State unless provided otherwise by State law or by 18 U.S.C. § 922 or any other federal law.”

The legislation includes provisions placing some limits on where individuals can carry a concealed handgun. H69 would still allow North Carolina residents to obtain a conceal carry license so they can carry in states that have conceal carry reciprocity with North Carolina.

While constitutional carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway. The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”

Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.

State actions like passage of H69 would lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.

“Constitutional carry is a big step toward being able to exercise a natural right that has been infringed at all levels for far too long,” ShallNot.org campaign lead Scott Landreth said.

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H69 was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary I where it needs to pass by a majority before moving forward in the legislative process.

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