The Charlotte City Council has decided to consider imposing restrictions on the currently legal practice of law-abiding citizens carrying legally owned firearms that are holstered and visible. This issue was raised by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Darrel Stephens, who, according to an October 11 report by News 14 Carolina, claims "the open display of firearms is a threat to public safety." How law-abiding citizens simply obeying the law can constitute a "threat to public safety" is lost on us. Especially considering Chief Stephens held a press conference in August where he stated "the city, the county, is safer than it was last year." This press conference was held after a weekend when east Charlotte experienced five homicides.
So, which is it? Is the city safer than it was last year, or does Chief Stephens suddenly consider law-abiding citizens obeying the law and exercising a right protected by both the United States and North Carolina Constitutions to represent some sort of "threat to public safety"? At this point, it is unclear how the City Council will handle this issue. During a City Council meeting on Monday night, when Chief Stephens brought the issue up, no action was taken. It is possible the City Council will not address the issue until after the November 8 General Election, thus avoiding any possible threat of angering pro-gun voters.
While NRA will continue to monitor this issue, and take appropriate action if necessary, we encourage those who support our Right to Keep and Bear Arms and object to any attacks on this freedom that might adversely impact law-abiding gun owners, to contact members of the Charlotte City Council and voice their concerns. Contact information for Council Members can be found at www.charmeck.org/Departments/City+Council/home, or you can call the Council at (704) 336-2241.