NC Governor: Right To “Sporting Arms” A “Privilege…Granted” By “Democracy”

Iowa and Tennessee Constitutional Carry Laws Effective on 1 July, 2021, iStock-602335156
NC Governor: Right To “Sporting Arms” A “Privilege…Granted” By “Democracy”, iStock-602335156

USA –-( “As one of the thirteen original colonies, North Carolina maintains the moral and legal concept that the right to keep and bear sporting arms is one of the fundamental privileges granted by our American Democracy,” North Carolina Governor Terry Sanford informed GUNS Magazine when asked for a public comment on his stance on the issue.

“This privilege should be infringed upon only when deemed necessary, through the will of the people in a democratic action, to insure public safety or to prescribe the manner of taking game,” he continued. “We do not anticipate any legislation abrogating these premises.”

No, but anticipate it or not, defining a fundamental right as a granted privilege subject to majority consensus on something as nebulous as “public safety” opens the door for literally anything those who want to abridge those rights can think up and manipulate public opinion on.  Presumably, Gov. Sanford would also have no objection if enough voters could be bamboozled into backing a state-imposed religion or no religion at all, or prohibitions on free speech, or the lifting of them on warrantless searches or cruel and unusual punishment…

But wait a second: Terry Sanford? North Carolina’s governor is Bev Perdue. Sanford gave up that office back in ’65.

Regular Gun Rights Examiner readers know that every month, GUNS, the magazine I write the “Rights Watch” column for, posts the corresponding monthly issue from 50 years ago as a free download on its website, giving us a fascinating window into a past some of us are old enough to remember.

A regular feature in those days was “Know Your Lawmakers,” where prominent politicians were asked to share their views on the right to keep and bear arms with the magazine’s readers.  Some would do stellar jobs, such as the proper understanding (that is, one that today would be branded “extremist” by the gungrabbers) articulated by John F. Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey.  Others? Like Sanford, not so well.

His response, along with those from several other office holders, was printed in the February 1962 issue. Understanding the political sentiment from half a century ago gives insight into how things have been allowed to degrade since then—kind of a “those who do not learn from the past” sort of thing. Plus, the entire magazine is a trip, from classic period ads at classic period prices, to articles on firearms, shooting, hunting, reloading…and don’t forget the “Crossfire” letters to the editor: in this issue, there’s a scathing and witty one by Ralland Fortier of Flint, Michigan to “Senator Pell of Rhode Island” that really puts a wayward political hoplophobe in his place.

Click here to read the February 1962 issue of GUNS Magazine, as well as all editions posted since the magazine’s debut in January 1955.

About David Codrea

David Codrea is a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He is a field editor for GUNS Magazine, and a blogger at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. Read more at

David Codrea

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

If your state requires a permit to own a firearm, you can safely say you live in a police state.

2War Abn Vet

The NC governor is Pat McCrory (R).


It's true… we Tarheels have had a bad history of electing dumbasses, idiots and assholes to the governorship. It's not necessarily our (the native North Carolinian's) fault but we have been overrun by an epidemic of northern carpetbaggers since the end of the civil war… even more so since the 70's through 90's, when liberal policies forced (by stupid liberal policies) liberals out of their liberal bastions in places like Massachusetts, New York (the lower-state libtards and their Jersey cousins, not the good upstate folk) much in the same way Georgia (well, the Atlanta area anyway) and the west (thinking… Read more »

Gregg Weber

So, according to the last line this story was writen between 1961 and 1965.


Ever notice that the antis are never after "legitimate" sporting arms? Have you noticed that you scoped 30/06 is now a sniper rifle?