U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- The Grassroots North Carolina gun rights organization recently released an open letter to NC Senator Berger in response to his shutting down public access to the General Assembly. The full letter is below.
The Honorable Phil Berger, North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore
16 West Jones Street, Room 2007
Raleigh, NC 27601
Dear Senator Berger:
Traditionally, North Carolinians have enjoyed a laudably open system of government in which any citizen can go to Raleigh and walk into the office of his or her state House or Senate representative for the “redress of grievances” guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Bearing in mind the “Moral Monday” extremists who carried out repeated assaults on legislators, we didn’t enjoy the security checkpoints, metal detectors, and Capitol Police recently deployed throughout the General Assembly, but we at least understood why you would feel them necessary. Consequently, gun rights supporters have endured the resulting inconvenience without complaint.
However, the actions of legislative leadership in barring the public from the General Assembly, when you convened the 2020 session on April 28, create a new and potentially dangerous precedent in which citizens are closed out of a legislative process that controls virtually every facet of their lives.
Yes, I understand the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yes, I understand that legislators are working when others have the somewhat dubious luxury of staying safely at home and that access to the legislature by large numbers of people could present a health hazard to legislators and staff. Although other public services require similar exposure, Grass Roots North Carolina is not, at this time, formally objecting to your decision to bar the public from direct access to the legislative process.
Having spent twenty-six years as an advocate for legislation supporting the Second Amendment at the legislature, I am sure you will agree that live-streaming of floor sessions and even committee meetings, while long overdue, does not substitute for direct citizen access to the legislative process.
Accordingly, I urge you to re-open the legislature to the public, using appropriate mitigation measures, immediately upon implementation of Phase One of the governor’s re-opening plan, potentially as early as May 8, 2020, both for the remainder of this session and for future sessions.
I look forward to our continued cooperation in defending the civil liberties of North Carolinians
About Grass Roots North Carolina:
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.
Visit their website: www.GRNC.org