Town Governments Resist Gun Freedom
One would think that local politicians would be eager to do what they are legally obligated to do. Aligning local ordinances with state law is a no-brainer, if for no other reason than it is a legal requirement. But alas, just as it has been since the beginning of time, some stubborn holdouts in government resist any change that places power back into the hands of the individual citizen. The good news is, GRNC is here to expose those holdouts, and to fight for what’s right. Such was the case on November 12th, in Asheville and in Blowing Rock. Yes, some town councilmen and women had to be dragged kicking and screaming into compliance with state law, but comply they did.
UNC School of Government Sides with GRNC
In October, some Blowing Rock residents asserted that, because of Memorial Park's close proximity to Town Hall, the park was actually a part of the Town Hall property. For this reason, they proposed that the park could be posted against the sane, sober, background-checked citizens who lawfully carry concealed weapons. However, a vigilant GRNC volunteer consulted with Mr. Jeff Welty, Assistant Professor of Public Law at the University of North Carolina School of Government about this issue. Mr. Welty rendered the opinion that Memorial Park was not appurtenant to Town Hall. This opinion, from the highly-respected UNC School of Government, was passed along to the Blowing Rock Town Council, and made it clear that the town could not legally post Memorial Park against lawful concealed carry.
Even after the UNC School of Government rendered this opinion, it became clear that some on the Town Council might still attempt to illegally ban guns from Memorial Park during the Town Code amendment’s required second reading. GRNC immediately went into action and spread the word to its supporters, who in turn phoned and e-mailed the Mayor, the Councilmen, and the Chamber of Commerce. We made it clear that we would be closely watching the Town Council’s actions on this issue, and that falling out of compliance with state law would not be tolerated. GRNC supporters attended the November 12 Council meeting and donned their “Guns Save Lives” stickers to remind Blowing Rock town leaders that the citizenry was closely watching their actions. The amendment passed, with the two anti-gun Councilmen “abstaining” from the vote (Blowing Rock’s version of voting “Present”). This was a victory for GRNC and all NC gun owners.
“Outrage” in Asheville
Meanwhile, in Asheville, the Mayor and City Councilmen could not quell their disdain for the State Legislature as they reluctantly voted to bring Asheville into compliance with our state’s new gun laws. Their vote to do this was soon followed by a resolution declaring Asheville’s “outrage and condemnation” for the change in the law. Said Councilman Cecil Bothwell, “What we're doing is trying to preserve as much control as we can preserve under the idiotic laws passed by our state legislature.” Trying to preserve control indeed. Ceding such control back to the citizens, such as law-abiding concealed handgun permit-holders, is always difficult for politicians. However, we commend the Mayor and City Council for shifting power back to the people with only the mildest of temper tantrums.
It’s settled. Blowing Rock’s Memorial Park will not be posted against lawful concealed carry, and Asheville city leaders have, however reluctantly, resolved to obey the law. These are decisive victories for GRNC in its support and defense of gun owners across the state! Many thanks go out to all of the watchful GRNC supporters, as well as the tireless GRNC volunteers, who made these victories possible. If you sent an e-mail, made a phone call, or attended a Town Council meeting, give yourself a pat on the back—you deserve it. You won!
The anti-gun crowd will never stop, but unfortunately for them, neither will the freedom-focused volunteers and supporters at GRNC. Until the next battle . . .