Publisher's Note: This article originally appeared in the Beaufort Observer.
Rebecca Martinez, of the left-wing wunc.org reports on the dispute over whether the North Carolina State Fair can legally ban concealed firearms.
The North Carolina General Assembly expanded the rights of concealed-carry permit holders last year. But now, Agriculture officials and gun rights activists disagree about what that means for the State Fair.
Grass Roots North Carolina activists have threatened to sue the Fair, saying that includes the fairgrounds in Raleigh.
The fair has a long standing gun ban. But new language in state law now allows concealed-carry permit holders to have firearms at any assembly where a fee has been charged for admission.
Paul Valone is the president of Grass Roots North Carolina. He said he's speaking with legal counsel about taking action against the Fair unless it allows concealed-carry permit holders to bring their firearms. He wants a temporary injunction against the fair's ban.
At issue is an interpretation to a recent change to the NC state laws.
"We have changed the law. The General Assembly has spoken on assemblies of people for which admission is charged. Concealed handgun permit holders who have had background checks and training (are) now legal there," Valone said. "We are asking the Commissioner to obey the law."
But state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says the language is still unclear.
"If it's not challenged in court or if there's no restraining order, we would continue that policy of no weapons at the state fair," Troxler said.
to go to the original source to read the rest of the story. You will note that WUNC couldn't find but one shooting incident to support the gun ban, and that was across the street from the Robeson County fair and before the fair even opened. Our research (Google search) reveals that there has never been anyone shot at the N. C. State Fair by any holder of a concealed carry permit. None. Zero. Nada, Zip. But for that matter we can't find any record of anyone being shot recently by any concealed carry holders anywhere in North Carolina, including Robeson County.
Yet Governor Pat McCrory is taking sides with Troxler against the Second Amendment rights of law abiding North Carolinians.
We would humbly suggest to the two Honorables (Troxler and McCrory) that it is not their right to determine whether we can carry our weapon to the fair. The law already settled that issue. There is no prohibition of that, just as there should not be. In the absence of a clear legal proscription then it is permitted. The Agriculture Secretary and the Governor are not above the law. No matter what they think they have no authority to prevent a legal permittee to exercise their Second Amendment right. And no Secretary Troxler, the point is that the law allows for the carrying of concealed weapons with a permit. If the law is unclear it is unclear on the point that it authorizes him to abrogate our constitutional rights. Just who does he think he is, as our Grandmother would say.
Now, for the Legal Eagles among our readers we will review our position. The Second Amendment says very clearly: "...The right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The courts have long held that this right is not absolute. Certain restrictions can be found in case law. The courts apply a "balancing test." That test holds that in order for a restriction on the right the government must show a compelling reason based not on pure speculation of some hypothetical reason, but a compelling reason based on actual probative evidence. So Mr. Troxler and Mr. McCrory should put forth that hard evidence, not some imaginary speculative suppositions. Bring it on. Let us hear it. Or follow the Constitution you swore to uphold.