The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners is considering an ordinance to address the local park carry provisions of House Bill 650, as previously reported here. You may recall that, HB 650 removes the absolute authority of local governments when it comes to deciding if Right-to-Carry (RTC) permit holders may lawfully carry their firearms into parks under the control of these local governments. This new law, which went into effect on December 1, 2011, allows localities to impose some restrictions on carrying in certain parks by permittees. However, the new law does not in any way mandate adoption of these permissible restrictions.
Winston-Salem, one of the municipalities in Forsyth County, recently voted to impose unnecessary restrictions on concealed carry in their city parks, as reported here. Currently, there is much debate in Forsyth County about the effect enactment of any new laws will have on citizens and visitors to county parks.
Your voice matters in this debate! The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to vote on the issue at its meeting this Monday, January 23. Please attend this meeting and urge county commissioners to respect the rights of safe, law-abiding RTC permit holders by allowing them to carry their personal protection firearms in ALL Forsyth County parks. Let your county commissioners know that allowing the legal carrying of firearms by law-abiding citizens in county parks is not “a recipe for disaster,” as flippantly claimed by some, but a prudent decision to allow carry permit holders to provide for their own safety in situations where, as Commissioner Bill Whiteheart points out, "seconds matter and the police are minutes away."
Monday’s meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. on the fifth floor of the Government Center Building located at 201 North Chestnut Street in Winston-Salem. If you plan on speaking at this meeting, please arrive early to fill out a speaker card for submission to the clerk prior to the meeting.
Also, please contact your commissioners prior to the meeting! You can find contact information for the County Board of Commissioners by clicking here.