After years of inaction on gun safety from Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly – even after the tragic shooting at UNC-Charlotte – town council members in Holly Springs are stepping up to fight back against gun violence. Last night, they approved an ordinance to prohibit the open carry of firearms in public buildings and in sensitive areas where children play, like parks and playgrounds.
“In the absence of action from our state legislators, we’re glad that our town council is stepping up to keep us and our kids safe from gun violence,” said Diana Gregory, a volunteer leader with the North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action from Holly Springs. “Our state lawmakers have had every chance to do the same, and they’ve failed – that’s why we’re going to vote them out and elect a gun sense majority come November.”
The ordinance will receive a second and final vote at the next town council meeting. According to the Raleigh News & Observer, Holly Springs would join Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, Garner, Wendell and Rolesville in restricting the open carry of firearms in city or town buildings and in parks.
Open carry laws allow people to openly carry guns in public without a background check, permitting or training. In nearly every state, including North Carolina, open carry is typically legal by default; there is no law forbidding it, but also no law permitting it. Open carry — a favorite tactic of white supremacist groups and a common intimidation tactic — is generally opposed by law enforcement but embraced by the gun lobby. More information on open carry is available here.