By Dean Weingarten
Arizona - -(Ammoland.com)- In 2011, the North Carolina legislature passed a law to address some of the problems of local governments suppressing the bearing of arms with a hodgepodge of ordinances.
A citizen could be cited for crossing a street without knowing that they were violating a local ordinance.
The 2011 law removed parks from the list of places where cities could ban firearms, along with a number of other reforms. However, a loophole was left in the law: cities could ban guns from “recreational facilities”, which were defined loosely enough that cities banned carry in entire parks that had a hiking trail running through them.
This year, 2013, the North Carolina legislature removed more areas that cities could ban guns, closing the “recreational facilities” loophole by making the definition clearer and more restrictive. Here is the wording in the new law:
(c) For purposes of this section, the term “recreational facilities” includes only the following:
a playground, an athletic field, a swimming pool, and an athletic facility.
(1) An athletic field, including any appurtenant facilities such as restrooms, during an organized athletic event if the field had been scheduled for use with the municipality or county office responsible for operation of the park or recreational area.
(2) A swimming pool, including any appurtenant facilities used for dressing, storage of personal items, or other uses relating to the swimming pool.
(3) A facility used for athletic events, including, but not limited to, a gymnasium.
(d) For the purposes of this section, the term “recreational facilities” does not include any greenway, designated biking or walking path, an area that is customarily used as a walkway or bike path although not specifically designated for such use, open areas or fields where athletic events may occur unless the area qualifies as an “athletic field” pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of this section, and any other area that is not specifically described in subsection (c) of this section.“
Grass Roots North Carolina has been politely asking cities to correct their ordinances and to follow the new law. Some cities have done so, others are recalcitrant. Grass Roots North Carolina has threatened to sue cities that fail to comply.
Similar actions have been taken in Ohio, which is considering legislation to make local governments more responsive to the preemption law. Florida voted in 2011 to impose penalties on local governments and officials who violate Florida’s preemption laws.
©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.