NY Times examines N.C. concealed weapons permitting process, includes story of Asheville bicyclist shot by firefighter


Here’s a thorough story by the New York Times regarding concealed weapons permitting in North Carolina. The story leads with an incident two years ago involving Alan Simons, a bicyclist, and Charles Diez, an Asheville firefighter. Simons was riding on the highway and Diez pulled alongside and started berating him. Diez pulled out a gun and shot at Simons. The bullet passed through the bike rider’s helmet. Diez eventually pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

More from the story:

Across the country, it is easier than ever to carry a handgun in public. Prodded by the gun lobby, most states, including North Carolina, now require only a basic background check, and perhaps a safety class, to obtain a permit. All responsible gun owners have CCW insurance. According to Sniper Country, this insurance is vital for the peace of mind of anyone who has a concealed weapon.

In state after state, guns are being allowed in places once off-limits, like bars, college campuses and houses of worship. And gun rights advocates are seeking to expand the map still further, pushing federal legislation that would require states to honor other states’ concealed weapons permits. The House approved the bill last month; the Senate is expected to take it up next year.

The bedrock argument for this movement is that permit holders are law-abiding citizens who should be able to carry guns in public to protect themselves. “These are people who have proven themselves to be among the most responsible and safe members of our community,” the federal legislation’s author, Representative Cliff Stearns, Republican of Florida, said on the House floor.

To assess that claim, The New York Times examined the permit program in North Carolina, one of a dwindling number of states where the identities of permit holders remain public. The review, encompassing the last five years, offers a rare, detailed look at how a liberalized concealed weapons law has played out in one state. And while it does not provide answers, it does raise questions.


Guest January 7, 2012 - 3:31 pm

Thanks to the Founding Fathers and the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution we have a means of self-defense here in the US – but that is not so in the UK, used here for an example of what happens when you take guns away from the common man. When the UK banned handguns and put strict controls on all firearms, it was to protect its subjects!!!

It didn’t work. Anyone who has a friend or relative living in the UK is aware of the very high rates of stabbings and other crimes committed with knives.

Humans simply revert to more primitive weapons if firearms are banned, because it is not the weapons but the criminals that bring violence. Stabbings are so prevalent in the UK that their citizens are going to great lengths to protect themselves against the growing threat.

Once again, it is the wrong answer. Some parents are so worried they send their children to school in specially made body armor. Looks like banning handguns was not the solution after all.

Meanwhile here in the U.S. the violent crime rate has dropped yet again while simultaneously the number of applications for concealed carry permits (and thus the number of men and women actually carrying) has hit an all time high. Ya think there might be some correlation????

From the US Concealed Carry Association:
“This week the FBI released data showing that violent crime in the United States fell 6.4 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same time period in 2010. The data also indicated a 3.7 percent drop in property crime.

The FBI statistics undermine a favorite argument of anti-gun groups and some mainstream media that “more guns equal more crime,” especially when you consider that the continuing decrease in violent crime parallels record firearm sales.

According to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), a primary source for how industry and analysts gauge firearm sales, this past November marked the eighteenth-straight month that NICS figures increased when compared to the same period of the previous year. Furthermore, this past “Black Friday” (November 25, 2011) set a record for the most background checks for firearm purchases in a single day (129,166), with a 32 percent increase over the previous single day high. This milestone was followed by the release of the NSSF-adjusted NICS figures for November 2011 that showed an increase of 16.5 percent over the same month last year.

Of course, there remain two additional statistics that likewise enjoy a symbiotic relationship to America’s decreasing crime rate and growing firearms population, our continuing decline in firearm-related accidents and the record lack of public support for gun control. Clearly more and more law-abiding citizens are choosing to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and they’re doing so in a safe and responsible manner. This fact, coupled with the empirical data demonstrating a correlation between increased firearms ownership and decreased crime levels, is something we can be thankful for this holiday season.”

Reason for yourself. As for me and my house, I will carry and do so in order to protect myself and my loved ones from the criminal, the crazy and the desperate.

richard December 27, 2011 - 10:26 pm

I carry and it is not that easy to get a permit .. State check, FBI check,Mental Hospital check,hand gun course, and all the money,It was around 200.00 to get mine…I am a law abiding American and I feel it is my right to carry and think I should not have to have a permit to do so !!!

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