Wednesday: Gun rights advocacy group targets attorney general’s process



(The Center Square) – A meeting Wednesday in Raleigh will focus on changes to the process for concealed handgun permits from Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein’s Department of Justice.

Gun rights advocates contend the changes to North Carolina administrative code requiring reports and identification of students in required classes will make it more difficult to obtain training and suppress applications for concealed handgun permits.

The N.C. Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission posted a public notice of the administrative changes in June that include a “pre-delivery report” for concealed carry training, as well as a “post-delivery report” and a “concealed carry handgun student roster” form.

Instructors would be required to submit the predelivery report 30 days prior to a class, while the student roster would include names, email and certificate numbers for those who participate.

An email to instructors sent out on June 23 states the changes will take effect on Oct. 1, though the commission has not publicly vetted the proposal as required by law.

Paul Valone, president of the gun rights group Grass Roots North Carolina, responded to the notice with a letter to Stein last month that highlights several major issues with what he calls “egregious changes.”

Grass Roots is concerned the new rules were set to be implemented ahead of public comment, and Valone says they will ultimately result in less access for residents to secure a permit.

The predelivery report “is an onerous restriction which will make it significantly harder for lawful citizens who want concealed handgun permits to obtain the necessary training,” he wrote. “The requirement that instructors keep a ‘roster’ of students, including full legal name and ‘contact information’ represents an invasion of privacy for students who take the course but do not, for whatever reason, choose to apply for a concealed handgun permit. Given that the state maintains a database of concealed handgun applicants, the requirement is also redundant.”

Valone says the end result is “almost certainly suppressing applications and rendering citizens vulnerable to violent crime,” and likened the proposal to similar administrative restrictions on the federal level.

“In the absence of sound evidence that changes to instructor protocols are needed, GRNC will regard additional restrictions as abuse of a regulatory agency to harass unlawful gun owners, much as the Biden administration is misusing rulemaking and oversight authority via the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives,” he wrote.

Grass Roots vowed to lobby lawmakers to intervene if the Justice Department does not withdraw the proposed changes.

The Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed rule amendments at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Wake Technical Community College Public Safety Training Center.

The full commission is scheduled to vote on the proposal Aug. 11.



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