Troxler Bans Lawful Guns at NC State Fair, Three are Robbed at Gun Point

North Carolina State Fair
North Carolina State Fair
Grass Roots North Carolina
Grass Roots North Carolina

North Carolina –-( Today GRNC President Paul Valone issued the following open letter to NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler who implemented an illegal ban of handgun carry during this year’s state fair.

In a painful irony that is attracting national media attention, three attendees became victims of an armed robbery walking to their car after attending the fair.

An open letter to North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler

Dear Commissioner Troxler:

So much has happened since last we spoke. Since then, as we both know, an activist judge sanctioned your willful misinterpretation of N.C.G.S. 14-415.23, allowing you to prohibit lawful concealed carry at the state fair.

When concealed carry at the fair was under debate, GRNC pointed out that ostensibly “gun free” zones actually attract sociopaths and criminals who know potential victims are disarmed. Indeed, of mass shootings in the United States since 1958, all but two have taken place in “victim disarmament zones.”

At a highly publicized press conference, you responded that you would have more than two hundred armed law enforcement officers inside the fair, to which we noted that your prohibition would still leave concealed handgun permit-holders defenseless in parking areas surrounding the fairground.

When your security chief, Joel Keith, was asked at yet another press conference whether disarmed fair-goers could receive armed escorts to their vehicles, he responded in the affirmative. Unfortunately, that promise was carried out only reluctantly, and only when people demanded it. Worse, the metal detectors you promised for fair entrances were used only sporadically, as numerous fairgoers have reported.

Sometimes, I hate to be right: Three of the people you purported to protect were robbed at gun point. That’s right, Commissioner Troxler; in case you haven’t heard, here is an early account from WTVD:

“Raleigh police are looking for two armed men who robbed three people at gunpoint late Saturday night near the North Carolina State University Club.

“Police say the victims were robbed around 11:35 p.m. as they were walking back to their vehicles on Hillsborough Street after leaving the North Carolina State Fair. Fortunately, no one was injured.

“The suspects drove off in a tan or cream-colored Lincoln. They’re described as two black males, one wearing a gray-hooded sweatshirt, one wearing a black-hooded sweatshirt and each armed with handguns.” [Emphasis added]

Where were your law enforcement officers when these innocent people were victimized, Commissioner Troxler? What if the criminals hadn’t just robbed them, but murdered them as well? One of the suspects is in custody but, of course, that would be far too late to help the victims.

Consider that by holding press conferences and announcing to the world that fair-goers would be disarmed, you also declared open season on them by informing violent predators that their victims would be defenseless. Indeed, you and Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens should count yourselves fortunate that nobody was killed.

Even before our involvement, word of your failure to follow through on protecting the fair-goers you disarmed is spreading throughout the gun rights community nationwide.

Perhaps you should convene another press conference … this time, to issue an apology.


F. Paul Valone

President, Grass Roots North Carolina

P.S. I note from USA Today that the fair’s attendance was down nearly 20% from its peak in 2010. Could it be that gun owners decided to stay home?


Contact your NC House and Senate Representatives.
Tell them these bureaucratic violations of state law must be fixed during the next legislative session.


Use the interactive map on the NCGA website to find contact information for your NC House and Senate Representatives.

Click HERE or go to:


Suggested Subject: “Stop Bureaucrats from thumbing their nose at the Assembly”

Dear Senator/Representative:

HB 937 which is now SL 2013-369 provides important clarity to the scope of where North Carolinians with concealed handgun permits are able to lawfully carry.

As you know, bureaucrats and municipalities hostile to Second Amendment rights have gone to absurd lengths (classifying lakes as pools, dog parks as playgrounds, etc.) to interfere with the clear intent of the Assembly to eliminate the confusing patchwork of conflicting laws that have faced citizens with permits.

Unfortunately, this effort has continued with the NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler prohibiting concealed carry during this year’s NC state fair in clear violation of the law the Assembly just passed. As a direct result of his malfeasance, three fair-goers returning to their vehicle on Hillsborough Street were robbed at gunpoint.

Similar arrogance has been stopped in other states through implementation of civil penalties for those responsible for unlawful bans.

Clearly North Carolina needs to put similar “teeth” in place to protect the will of the Assembly, and the rights of North Carolinians.

This must be made a priority in the upcoming legislative session.


About:Grass Roots North Carolina is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to preserving the freedoms guaranteed us by the Bill of Rights. Our main focus is the right to keep and bear arms. GRNC was central to drafting and passing North Carolina’s concealed handgun law and since that time has continued to push for improvements to gun laws.

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I dont recognize Troxlers authority to do nothing. The man is an idiot !


what the hell did they expect in a gun free zone ? they were lucky it didn’t become a gun free killing zone !

Bp. David

Sue the HELL out of the fair operators. Anyone who became scared because they HEARD of this RACIST HATE-CRIME against a defenseless person, should sue the HELL out of them. Anyone who wet his pants because he drank too much beer OR was frightened at the thought of being a defenseless victim at the UN-fair, should sue the HELL out of them–sue each fair director personally, as they would have voted for this rights-robbing and malicious policy. It’s called “Director Accountability Law” and applies even to CHURCH BOARDS. So MAKE THEM PAY!!!


The victims should sue for damages and irreparable harm for violating their Constitutional right to bear arms. Steve Troxler announced that the victims would be unarmed violating their privacy leaving them defenseless. So where was security?


They tried that at are ohio fair, the gun show people said they would move their show.
You can have your CCW at the fair now.


You could have taken the gun to the gate, le would check and hold weapon at gate and picked up before going to parking. You guys are stupid. Troxler was fair, you guys are stupid