Like many Americans, I increasingly feel vulnerable to random attacks of violence. The most recent attack on members of Congress practicing baseball in Virginia underscores the need for every law-abiding citizen to have the ability to defend themselves. These lawmakers were fortunate that armed security were on hand to protect Congressman Scalise, but if capitol police hadn’t been there, this attack could have been a massacre.
More Americans than ever are carrying a personal firearm for self-protection. Currently in North Carolina, law-abiding gun owners can either carry a handgun openly without a permit, or carry a concealed handgun with a permit. HB 746 would allow law-abiding gun owners to carry a concealed firearm without a government permit. Sometimes the weather turns cold and a person puts a jacket on, and if they are openly carrying their firearm, that simple act makes them a criminal.
Twelve other states have adopted similar legislation. In those states that have had the law long enough to gather good FBI crime data, we know that the number of murders with handguns actually went down.
Many of us in North Carolina want to be able to protect ourselves. We don’t want to be victims of random acts of violence. I respectfully ask our lawmakers to think of us – your constituents and law-abiding citizens who don’t have the benefit of armed security – when you vote on HB 746. The right to protect ourselves should not be limited to a privileged few.