Concealed Carry Vote Tonight at BOCC
**The Mecklenburg Libertarian Party sent the following email this morning. I’m posting this a little short notice, but there is still time to act! Please join us at 6pm tonight at the Government Center to let your voice be heard.
Mecklenburg Co. to Vote on Park Concealed Carry Restrictions on April 2, 2014
Let the Commissioners know your position before the vote!
Mecklenburg County residents need to act now! Please email the county commissioners with the following message in an effort to convince at least five of the board members to vote against the proposed ordinance changes.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED
1. Email the Mecklenburg County Commissioners. Tell them to respect the rights of North Carolinians to defend themselves in county parks.
2. Attend the 6 p.m., April 2, 2013 meeting of the Board of Commissioners. The meeting will be held at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center in the Meeting Chamber on the main floor, 600 East Fourth Street. Parking is available in the deck on Fourth Street across from the Government Center (and other nearby lots/decks). Parking across from the Government Center should be free (the gate will be up) by the time you leave the commission meeting.
3. If you will attend the meeting, register to speak when the parks ordinance comes up on the agenda. See this link to register to speak and for the agenda: http://boccspeaker.mecklenburgcountync.gov/Source/SignInToSpeak.aspx
Mecklenburg County Commissioners:
Pat Cotham, Chairman – Pat.Cotham@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
Kim M. Ratliff – Kim.Ratliff@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
Trevor Fuller – Trevor.Fuller@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
Karen Bentley – Karen.Bentley@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
Vilma Leake – Vilma.Leake@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
George Dunlap – George.Dunlap@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
Dumont Clark – firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthew Ridenhour – Matthew.Ridenhour@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov
Bill James – email@example.com
Mecklenburg Cut and Paste Email List: Pat.Cotham@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov, Kim.Ratliff@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov, Trevor.Fuller@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov, Karen.Bentley@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov, Vilma.Leake@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov, George.Dunlap@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org, Matthew.Ridenhour@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov, email@example.com
DELIVER THIS MESSAGE
Dear County Commissioner:
Thank you for removing the parks ordinance changes from the March 19 consent items agenda and for making this a specific item on the April 2 agenda. The proposed parks ordinance changes, specifically the concealed handgun carry restrictions, are an important matter and far from a slam-dunk administrative or routine item suitable for the consent items list. Thank you for listening to constituent feedback and deferring this item for due consideration.
I wish to express my opposition to the proposed OPTIONAL concealed carry restrictions included in the parks ordinance updates. The proposed changes to limit legal concealed carry of handguns by concealed carry permittees in “recreational facilities”, as those facilities are defined under NCGS 14-415.23, will make county parks more dangerous for mothers at playgrounds, and for all citizens visiting and enjoying the array of Mecklenburg County parks. I strongly encourage you to vote against the proposed concealed carry restrictions and to keep Mecklenburg County parks safe by allowing law-abiding concealed carry permit holders to use the parks system unfettered by the optional restrictions.
As mentioned in the emails you received two weeks ago, the support for my request runs deep:
• Concealed carry restrictions in parks are not required by NC state law, they are optional.
• Mecklenburg County has not used the restrictions since the changes to 14-415.23 took effect on December 1, 2011, ~1.5 years ago, with no untoward incidents, therefore, why implement now?
• Concealed carry permittees have proven to be an exceptionally safe, sober, exemplary, law-abiding group since permits were instituted nearly 20 years ago and are not a problem.
• Studies show the mere possibility of the presence of concealed carry permittees in a locale reduces violent crime because criminals will not chance an encounter with a legally armed citizen.
• “Gun Free Zones”, where only criminals will carry (and blatantly ignore ordinances), are a proven danger to everyone and a magnet for crime – all but one of the significant shooting incidents we know of from the news in the past several years has occurred in a gun free zone – this is not a coincidence.
• Anecdotal information suggests gun free NC municipal parks, especially prior to the changes to 14-415.23, are more dangerous than non-gun-free-zones in NC, and the rate of violent crime in parks likely has not decreased as it has in most areas.
• By definition, concealed firearms will be invisible to other park goers, therefore, concerns about the presence of firearms causing worry or stress for unarmed park-goers is moot.
• Mothers, fathers, grandparents and caregivers taking their children to playgrounds, baseball fields and the like, and all park visitors, have the right and responsibility to be the first line of defense to protect themselves and their families from violent predators.
• Proposed restrictions are a demonstration of distrust toward the 19,000+ law-abiding concealed carry permittees in Mecklenburg County who jumped through hoops, passed extensive background checks, completed firearms and legal training, etc., to obtain their permit.
• Implementing gun free zones in parks is an unnecessary and inappropriate encroachment on freedom, the Second Amendment, and the right to self-defense.
• County Commissioners would be well advised to vote against the proposed restrictions in the county parks ordinance when updating the ordinance for the 14-415.23 changes.
Please support safety in our parks, support law-abiding concealed carry permittees, and vote against the proposed parks ordinance restrictions.
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