Lincoln County Sheriff David Carpenter and a local concealed carry instructor weighed in about a recent legislative piece that passed through the state House this month and is aimed at keeping information pertaining to pistol owners and individuals with concealed carry permits private.
The North Carolina House passed the bill on Tuesday with a vote of 97-20.
Carpenter told the Times-News the bill would only help to better safeguard gun owners’ rights.
“This adds another safety measure to gun owners by keeping information confidential and knowledge of gun ownership away from the thugs that could use it to harm their homes or families,” he said.
The bill would only grant government officials access to such information.
Following recent mass shootings across the country, citizens have found themselves divided over gun issues. A majority of individuals are either in favor of gun control laws or disdainful of any type of federal regulations on Second Amendment rights.
Carpenter praised state lawmakers for creating a bill that protects the rights of “law-abiding, gun-carrying citizens.”
Supporters of the bill have said that public access to such information makes weapons-owners vulnerable to thieves and media outlets, who have on more than one occasion published the names and addresses of concealed carry permit holders in their areas.
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy and Concealed Carry Instructor Doug Norwood is excited to see North Carolina finally follow in other states’ footsteps.
“North Carolina is playing catch-up behind most other states that already have this type of protection for firearms owners,” he said.
Norwood squashed the misconception that gun owners are automatically riotous and irresponsible people.
“What is often misunderstood by anti-gun activists is…that concealed carry permit carriers are law abiding citizens who only wish to protect themselves and their families,” he said.
Norwood added that by arming public citizens, criminals can be caught off guard.
“Those areas where firearms are banned…have a much higher violent crime rate because the only people armed are the police and the bad guys, and the bad guys know it,” he said. “Protecting the privacy of gun owners is a way to keep the bad guys from knowing who is armed and who is not armed.”
Anyone who would like more information on taking a concealed carry class can contact Doug Norwood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The legislative piece is currently being reviewed by the N.C. Senate.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.