At its meeting this past Monday, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners was slated to vote on allowing concealed carry in county parks. Currently, both open and concealed carrying of firearms is banned in all Forsyth County parks, and there has been heated debate over the effect enactment of any new laws would have on citizens and visitors alike. Due to intense arguments on both sides, the county commissioners decided to postpone any action on this measure until they meet again on Monday, February 13.
As previously reported here, once HB 650 was enacted, it removed 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.
The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to vote on the issue at its next meeting on Monday, February 13. 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 parks under Forsyth County control. 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 which will 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.
The meeting on Monday, February 13, 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.