By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- The North Carolina legislature has seen fit to remove restrictions that forbid children under the age of 12 from using BB guns and air rifles without supervision.
I am not sure when such a law was put into place; it seems that such a decision is best left up to parents.
I learned to use an air rifle when I was 11, and was very responsible with it.
What is peculiar about this law is that it only applies to some counties and not others. There are 100 counties in North Carolina. The statute formerly applied to 17 counties; now it applies to 12, removing 5 from the list. The 12 counties that remain contain some of the most populous, but not all. The counties that still have the restriction, and their populations (from wikipedia) are: Caldwell 82,395, Caswell 23,403, Chowan 14,831, Cumberland 324,885, Durham 273,392, Forsyth 354,952, Gaston 207,831, Haywood 119,256, Mecklenburg 944,373, Stokes 47,242, Union 205,463, and Vance 45,307.
Some of the more populous counties that do not have the restriction are:
Wake 929,789, Guilford 495,279, and New Hanover 206,189.
Sarah Stevens, a Mount Airy attorney who represents Surry in the N.C. General Assembly, didn’t know such a restriction existed until being contacted by a concerned constituent who lives in Elkin. That man was seeking to buy a BB gun for his grandson, Stevens has said, but learned that under the law its ownership or unsupervised access by the child would be illegal
Here is a Link to bill pdf. The relevant paragraph and changes are below:
Air rifles, air pistols, and BB guns shall not be deemed “dangerous firearms” within the meaning of subsection (a) of this section except in the following counties: Anson, Caldwell, Caswell, Chowan, Cleveland, Cumberland, Durham, Forsyth, Gaston, Harnett, Haywood, Mecklenburg, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Union, Vance.”
SECTION 2. This act becomes effective December 1, 2014.
I am not sure why 12 counties in North Carolina have this restriction, and now 88 do not, but it seems positive that some slight level of parental discretion has been restored. Perhaps the 12 counties have large numbers of feral children?
There may be some informed readers that can explain the history of this statute. I have seen a general attempt to broaden the definition of firearms to include air guns across the nation, as a general movement to demonize and make illegitimate firearms and firearms training.
c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch
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.