A judge ruled Monday that gun owners with valid concealed carry permits cannot bring their guns into the North Carolina State Fair, which starts Thursday and runs through Sunday, October 26.
Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens called the law a “quagmire” when he ruled against gun rights activists Monday, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.
“I do have great respect for the constitutional right of citizens to possess and bear arms…But I do believe it would be unwise and imprudent for firearms to be carried into the State Fair, and if there is some way I can interpret these statutes to prohibit that, I will.”
Shortly after last year’s State Fair, the North Carolina General Assembly rewrote regulations so that citizens with proper paperwork could bring their concealed carry weapons to the event, ABC 11 noted.
The state’s Republican Agriculture Commissioner, Steve Troxler, who supervises the fair, said he supports gun rights but doesn’t believe guns should be on the fairgrounds, commending the judge’s decision.
“We want to thank Judge Stephens for upholding the longstanding policy banning weapons at the State Fair and for issuing his decision so quickly. The fair-going public will now know what to expect as they make plans to attend the fair.
“As it always has been, the State Fair is a place for families to come out and have fun, learn about agriculture and enjoy themselves.”
But Paul Valone, president of Grass Roots North Carolina, a pro-gun rights organization, believes Stephens demonstrated judicial overreach on his ruling.
“The state does prohibit firearms in a limited number of places such as the Governor’s Mansion, the courts and some other places.
“And the statute specifically lists where guns are prohibited but it does not list the State Fair.”
H/T Bearing Arms
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