The Transylvania Times -

Bill Allows Some National Guard To Carry Guns - Brevard NC


Rep. Chris Whitmire

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A bill allowing some North Carolina National Guard members to carry concealed handguns while on duty is now law.

Gov. Pat McCrory signed the measure Tuesday at a ceremony at National Guard headquarters in Raleigh.

The provision was added to legislation that also creates a new legal action for people injured by terrorists that they can use in North Carolina courts. The concealed weapons provision lets the state's adjutant general designate National Guard members with concealed weapons permits the ability to carry them in state buildings, such as recruiting offices.

The provision is a response to recent mass shootings on U.S. military property, including a reserve center in Tennessee. McCrory directed that Guard military police be stationed at high-profile recruiting offices after the Tennessee attack.

N.C. Rep. Chris Whitmire, a Republican who represents Transylvania County, was one of the bill's primary sponsors along with N.C. Reps. George Cleveland and Sarah Stevens.

According to a press release from Whitmire's office, the law provides a civil course of action specific to the federal definition of terrorism to prosecute perpetrators of terrorism and those who enable terrorist activity by providing a means to hit the purse strings of terrorism. This stand-alone measure is in addition to existing criminal provisions and gives law enforcement and the judiciary another means to thwart terrorist activity and those who provide support, the release said.

Anyone prevailing in an action under this law is entitled to recover three times the actual damages sustained or $50,000, whichever is greater.

Additionally, HB 371 includes attorney fees and court costs, so it ensures virtually anyone who is harmed can afford to pursue damages since their legal counsel is assured of reasonable pay if they prevail, the release said.

This further strengthens HB 371's ability to deter future terrorist activity, according to the release.

HB 371 also authorizes the Adjutant General of the North Carolina National Guard to randomly arm his troops who meet certain criteria with concealed carry orders.

This provides an additional deterrent to would-be assailants, so high visibility service members in uniform are no longer perceived as unarmed, the release said.


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