Some Localities Seeking to Restrict Concealed Carry in Parks

With the enactment of House Bill 650 earlier this year, many pro-gun changes to North Carolina laws will soon go into effect. Thanks to the leadership of pro-gun state Representative Mark Hilton (R-96), these changes include:

• Adopting the Castle Doctrine;

• Prohibiting Fraudulent Firearms Purchases;

• Allowing Right-to-Carry (RtC) permit holders to store firearms in their locked vehicles when parked on the grounds of certain state properties and courthouses;

• Removing the restriction on owning (but not possessing) firearms by those subject to certain orders of protection;

• Allowing purchase of rifles and shotguns by North Carolina residents in all other states;

• Removing some restrictions on local governments prohibiting RtC permit holders from carrying firearms in parks under local control;

• Allowing possession of Title II firearms in conformity with federal law and without limitation on any lawful use, as well as other improvements.

The section of HB 650 in question [21 (b)] states:

A unit of local government may adopt an ordinance to prohibit, by posting, the carrying of a concealed handgun on municipal and county recreational facilities that are specifically identified by the unit of local government. If a unit of local government adopts such an ordinance with regard to recreational facilities, then the concealed handgun permittee may, nevertheless, secure the handgun in a locked vehicle within the trunk, glove box, or other enclosed compartment or area within or on the motor vehicle. For purposes of this section, the term “recreational facilities” includes only the following: a playground, an athletic field, a swimming pool, and an athletic facility.

News reports indicate that some localities are considering possible ordinances to address this provision. While the new law allows certain restrictions, it in no way requires them. Local officials should respect RtC permit holders, and allow them to carry concealed firearms for their personal protection without unnecessary restrictions.

If you hear of any cities that are either considering restricting carrying firearms in their park or have already done so, please let NRA-ILA know by calling 1-800-392-8683, or sending an e-mail to