The Charlotte Observer reported this morning that the number of concealed carry permits in North Carolina has tripled since 2010 to 647,553 at the beginning of this year. While the number of law-abiding citizens carrying firearms has drastically increased, violent crime has not.
North Carolina passed its comprehensive concealed-carry law in 1995, requiring permit applicants to be certified before they can carry handguns tucked away in their bags, purses, cars and hidden belt holsters.
The process involves an eight-hour course and a firing test to see if the applicant can wield a weapon correctly. It requires a criminal and mental health background check and costs a few hundred dollars.
More than 600,000 N.C. residents have undergone that process. At about eight percent of the state’s population, that represented the 10th-highest rate in the nation in 2017. Mecklenburg County, like many urban areas, has a lower concealed-carry rate of about 3.7 percent of the population.
The fact that the proliferation of concealed handguns has not resulted in the Old Wild West level of violence that gun control advocates always predict has not stopped them from trying to reduce the number of law-abiding citizens carrying firearms.
Gun Control Advocates Prefer 'May-Issue' over 'Shall-Issue' Concealed Carry
May-issue states like California, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii and Maryland allow local law enforcement complete discretion over who can exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
In California, this results in very uneven respect for the right; counties like Orange and Fresno issue tens of thousands of permits, while San Francisco County has issued only two. [That last is not at typo.]
North Carolina, as a “shall-issue” state, prompts its sheriffs to issue concealed-carry permits to any applicant unless there’s a glaring reason not to, such as a felony conviction.
“We have some good laws in place,” said Becky Ceartas, executive director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence. “There’s always room for improvement.”
This year, state legislators nearly approved a bill similar to laws in nine other states that would leave it to the sheriff’s discretion whether to issue a concealed-carry permit. “Law enforcement officials know that community best,” said Ceartas, whose group supported the move.
And, all too typically, too many sheriffs are of the opinion that if you're not a cop, you're little people.
The case of North Carolina just goes to show you that even when their predictions all turn out for naught, so-called gun-safety advocates don't really care about safety, they hate guns. If that makes you less safe, then so be it.