Permission Not Required: North Carolina House Passes “Constitutional Carry” Bill

RALEIGH, N.C. (June 12, 2017) – Last week, the North Carolina House passed a “Constitutional Carry” bill that 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 four Republican representatives introduced House Bill 746 (H746) in April. Under the proposed law, any person who is a citizen of the United States and at least 18 years old would be able to legally carry a handgun, openly or concealed, without a concealed handgun permit in North Carolina unless provided otherwise by State law or by 18 U.S.C. § 922 or any other federal law.

The legislation does prohibit carrying a concealed handgun in certain places, including the state capitol, courthouses, and certain other areas. It also establishes and clarifies other limits on carrying firearms in the state.

H746 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.

The bill passed the House by a 64-51 margin.

The NRA praised passage of the bill in a statement.

“A record number of Americans carry a firearm for personal protection because it is increasingly evident that law enforcement cannot always be there to protect us. This legislation simply expands self-defense options for law-abiding citizens.”

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 H746 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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H746 will now move to the Senate for further consideration.

 

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