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Newton: Make gun permits private
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Newton: Make gun permits private

Names of North Carolina concealed handgun owners would be kept confidential under a bill that state Sen. Buck Newton is backing.

Senate Bill 28 would exclude concealed handgun and pistol purchase permits from the state Public Records Act. Lawmakers drafted the bill after a New York newspaper published a list of permit-holders’ names and addresses, igniting a national debate on gun-owner privacy.

"Someone’s Second Amendment right to possess a firearm should not have to lead to public ridicule and pressure,” said Newton, a Wilson Republican. "They should not have to worry about their privacy being invaded just because they choose to exercise their Second Amendment right and try to comply with the law.”

Supporters believe allowing public access to gun permits could help thieves find gun owners to target, said Sen. Stan Bingham, a Denton Republican and the bill’s primary sponsor.

"I had a lot of folks call me who are gun advocates, and they were concerned about breaking and entering and armed robbery,” Bingham said. "It’s just for the protection of firearm owners.”

Neither Bingham nor Newton could recall a documented case where public gun permit information had led to a gun theft or other crime. Opponents of the bill say it’s a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

"There’s no case that suggests this is needed because none has ever happened,” said Beth Grace, executive director of the North Carolina Press Association. "There is absolutely no precipitating incident other than they’re mad at the newspaper and that’s why they’re doing it here.”

The trade group representing more than 100 North Carolina newspapers argues that lawmakers can’t demonstrate a good reason to exclude gun permits from the public records law.

"In our opinion, it is just an excuse to make records secret for no reason,” Grace said. "There is no indication that there is a danger to anyone.”

Grace said public records advocates want to hold the local sheriffs who issue concealed-carry permits accountable.

"It’s important that we all know as much as we can possibly know when our government is involved,” she said. "The reason it’s public in the first place is because the government is involved in licensing.”

In December, the Westchester, N.Y.-based Journal News published an interactive map of concealed handgun permit holders that displayed gun owners’ names and addresses. The move drew fierce criticism from gun-rights advocates, who said permit holders’ privacy had been invaded.

A national controversy over gun permit records ensued, with some newspapers and television stations choosing to publish gun-owner data and lawmakers in numerous states filing bills to make the records private.

"I wouldn’t dare put in the paper that I have someone in my area that is one of the most noted gun collectors in the country,” Bingham said.

The North Carolina bill’s primary sponsor is owner and publisher of the weekly Denton Orator. Bingham said many newspapers choose not to publish gun owners’ names and addresses, but he believes a new law is necessary because not all exercise that discretion.

"I’d say most probably would have enough common sense on their staff that they wouldn’t go there, but I would not put that past every paper,” he said.

Bingham said a central North Carolina newspaper and a Raleigh TV station have published concealed handgun permits.

The N.C. Sheriffs’ Association is supporting the bill, and Eddie Caldwell, the group’s executive vice president and general counsel, cited the potential for gun thefts as a key reason.

"Citizens have complained to the sheriffs saying that they don’t want the information to be released,” Caldwell said. "The sheriffs are responding to their citizens’ concerns.”

Caldwell said the bill represents a tug-of-war between government transparency and personal privacy.

"Like most issues in the legislature, it’s a balancing act,” he said. "Everyone supports the concept of open records and public records, and everyone supports a certain degree of privacy for individuals. You have to balance that out.”

Newton said privacy is the overriding concern.

"Why would anybody want people to know how many guns they have in their house?” he said. "I don’t think that information should be made public to anybody, just like I don’t think someone’s health records or pharmaceutical records should be made public. I don’t see how this is in any way, shape or form information that the public should have.”

SB 28 was filed on Jan. 31 and has since been referred to the Senate’s Judiciary II committee. Bingham said the bill did not clear committee review last week, but he expects it to advance.

If the bill passes, Grace said, state public records laws will be weakened and all North Carolinians stand to suffer.

"I think it hurts open-records laws in this state again by a legislature that ran on a platform of openness ... ,” Grace said. "It just makes no sense.” | 265-7821
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@zayla said...

Simple...prove your thoughts via statistics. You can't magically revoke the millions of guns already in the US, so what's your plan? Guns do not equal unsafe America. Remember our country was founded at the end of a gun barel. Sure you attended History class??? I think you are asking for criminals to be safer. Good luck with that.

Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 12:26 AM
Zayla said...

This senator definitely would not approve of my agenda. He wants to promote a culture of guns. I want a safer America.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 4:19 PM
@zayla said...

He makes perfect sense to me and in fact is doing exactly what he said he would do; FINALLY a person who walks the walk. Any old dead fish can float down river. Perhaps you don't like it 'cause it does not agree with your agenda. Guess you'll have to take your toys and go home now.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 8:30 AM
Zayla said...

Common sense? There's no common sense in anything this senator is proposing. In fact, his plan has nothing to do with anything. Except maybe keeping his name in the paper on the cheap.

Monday, February 25, 2013 at 5:51 PM
@said said...

Base your comments on criminal statistics. Which criminal activity (murder, terrorism, robbery, etc) with a concealed gun permit are you referring?? How many criminal activities were performed by those with concealed gun permits last year??? Most lose their permits because of DUI’s and failure to renew. They didn’t lose their permits based on criminal activity with the gun. Also having a concealed gun permit does not mean you have guns. People have permits for years but some sell their handguns. And you can't make a total argument for the majority based on some outlier family member or friend who was drunk; they broke the law by drinking and you did call the law right??? That way they would lose their concealed permit. You did call the law??? Also did that person murder someone, threaten someone's life or rob someone, etc.?? Curious. Also you can't statistically base EVERYTHING on one person you knew somewhere in the past who broke the law. Institute of Crime Statistics: “Study concluded that CHL holders were always less likely to commit any particular type of crime than the general population, and overall were 13 times less likely to commit any crime.” I’d rather live beside someone with a permit than you folks that don’t; at least I know that person had a thorough background check and is in the SBI database. Rest of you I have no idea.

Monday, February 25, 2013 at 10:00 AM

These people are "the best law abiding citizens around" until they become criminals by using their gun to commit a crime. Should they have some extra right to privacy over the ability of the rest of us to know who is "packing heat" around our families? Several years ago, the first person I knew who had a concealed carry permit proved to me that the system is flawed as his gun was revealed ater about his fifth bourbon and water. That did not instill comfidence in the concealed carry laws and some of the people who feel it is necessary to carry a concealed weapon.

Monday, February 25, 2013 at 9:21 AM back on topic said...

There is absolutely no reason to have concealed gun permits as public knowledge. Those people are the best law abiding citizens around and willing to have their fingerprints put into the SBI database along with an extensive background check. You can't get on the government's list any bolder than that. Same with gun purchase permits...a thorough background check completed and your purchase is electronically logged. I applaud Newton for bringing common sense to the table. It is far past time! What I wonder though is how are we going to address these nut cases and criminals with guns/bombs/airplanes willing to murder hundreds of innocent people? PLEASE SOMEONE address the root problem. It ain't the gun.

Monday, February 25, 2013 at 8:57 AM Elmer.... said...

Sounds like he should do a better job of staying away form his product.

Monday, February 25, 2013 at 7:55 AM Zayla said...

Why do I get the feeling this senator would love nothing more than to peek inside my window?

Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 1:30 AM My Friend Elmer said...

Again, I'm not the smartest man, but my friend Elmer is pretty smart, at least I think so. Elmer says we need to give this Buck fella a little more time since he ain't been in Raleigh but less than three years. Elmer has a few guns, cause I've seen um. Even says he's been in the NRA before. But Elmer says he don't understand all this fussin about guns, that theys more things we ought to be fussin about. Elmer also says unemployment is a bad thing, since it keeps people out of work. I told you he was smart. He thought about that one a while, and then he said double digit unemployment must mean theres a whole lot of people lookin for work that ain't had no luck. As far as taxes, Elmer says he reckons he's paid a fair share over the years, but he reckons some of that's needed. I think Elmer's smart. What do yall think?

Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 8:18 PM @what about Jobs Buck? said...

Your own President was elected based on a socialist agenda. Buck has shown interest in all things that we voted him in office for. Remember, business does not report to government but shareholders. The sooner we realize that the more focus we can put on the economy in the correct place. Just shows you are "one of those" people who thinks that government owes you something. Double digit unemployment does not equate to "employment" figures. There are those who simply dropped out the workforce completely due to staying home drawing benefits. There are job openings right now in Wilson being filled by people outside of Wilson. Care to venture why??

Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 1:25 PM What about Jobs Buck? said...

I find it interesting that a Senator who represents a district with double digit unemployment is consistently more interested in inflaming the passions of his constituents over social issues than he is about jobs. The only idea Buck has for jobs is to cut unemployment benefits and eliminate income tax for corporations. Perhaps this is why he continually sponsors legislation that will get everyone distracted from his lack of interest over the real issues facing his district and the state.

Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 9:15 AM To @ Long Response.... said...

Your reply shows just how uninformed you really are. My point is not to shoot someone stealing the car, but what do you do when you walk up on 15 of them coming across and they are drug mules. They react with aggression and your life and your families life is endanger. A 7 shot pistol does you very little good against all those illegals who have nothing to lose. Police is tens of minutes away. You have 30 seconds....and the same goes when you walk up on them stealing your car and they think they might get caught, they will act with aggression. You have to be able to protect yourself. And I'm all for law abiding citizens having a .50 cal. Or we could do as your progressive breathers from the Colorado legislature said about women facing an attacker, they can blow their whistles instead of using a gun or they can walk in "rape free" zones. We have drug free zone over our entire country,how is that working....

Friday, February 22, 2013 at 7:50 PM @long response said...

How about common sense like we use with all our Bill of Rights? It makes no statements about felons, but I think we know the answer. We all have to abide by laws even not specifically pointed out in the Bill of Rights. However, regarding safety, I hope you are aware that Police do not walk beside you every minute of the day and you've seen more officers getting shot lately by criminals too. You fully know police would not arrive at your house in time to defend you if someone kicks in your door at 3am, right? Also there are some places you simply are not safe anytime/all the time. Some of us travel down some mighty lonely roads in our jobs and sometimes with police escort but many times without. Protection is just not at home and for law enforcement. The NC common law and Castle Doctrine boils down to YOU have a right to protect yourself. Also you mention Border Control Agents but they are only successful some of the time but not all the time else we would not have such an influx of illegal immigrants. We've hired and hired yet the influx keeps coming. They also have bigger issues to deal with like terrorism/drug trafficking. And we all know we have a BAN ON DRUGS too; how is that working for ya?

Friday, February 22, 2013 at 3:05 PM To long response said...

If your example in AZ kills someone walking across his land or stealing his car he is guilty of murder.
Where do you draw the line - how about a 50 caliber on a tripod on the front porch? How about a 30 caliber, an AK47? What a mortar rounds to prevent the great unwashed from even getting close to your property? There has to be some weapon of war that will compensate you.
Where do you draw the line. I reject your position of a country where everyone is armed and no one is safe. We have police for domestic protection and the military and border patrol for boder security. If there are not enough of them, hire some more.

Friday, February 22, 2013 at 10:15 AM @truth said...

Like what? everything he does is in the news and front page. What exactly are you talking about? I just love people who take the critic route but don't back it with any facts. Call him up and his office and they will tell you everything he has on the table; its not secret. Someone equated Newton with the lunatic right... I think that means they are liberal lacking in moral and ethics then, right? We can all make extreme statements and that gets us where??? ignorance at its best.

Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 7:04 PM The Truth said...

This senator is not public minded at all. He has done nothing for the benefit of the community at large. Everything with him seems to be all about keeping things secret.

Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 6:06 PM To @ "To The Truth".... said...

Its not yours nor anybody else' place to tell someone what they do and do not need to defend their home and their family. You cannot tell someone how they have to feed their family if they are on government assistance.
What do you say to the citizen who lives on the border in a state like Arizona. They have several hundred acres of land, that this government fails to construct a fence upon and several thousand illegals cross through his land a year. They have had vehicles stolen. They have found them hiding in their out buildings and it has been up to an hour before authorities arrived. They are coming through his land dozens at a time. He does not know which ones are "mules" for drug kingpins. What if he runs across 10 or 15 of them and they think he might alert someone to their presence and they have drugs on them and become violent. How is a 7 shot pistol going to work for him???? NOT VERY WELL. You are seeing this through someone who lives in a specific house, in a specific neighborhood and are missing the point. The 2nd amendment is NOT about hunting. No where in there does it say citizens have a right to hunt. It speaks to a well informed militia to protect oneself from invaders and intruders upon ones duly given rights. This applies to EVERYONE and just as our social laws are there to protect the few, so does this right, and it protects and should apply to the person who lives within our borders in a state like Arizona where they do have to fend for themselves because our government will not stop this unlawful influx.
You may not need 30 bullets to kill a deer (this is the perfect example of the low information voter being swayed by 30 seconds of media coverage and failing to understand the whole issue), but that guy in Arizona and many more like him do need protection and should have every right to protect their families thoroughly. And by the way, how many of the 500+ murders in Chicago (the nations murder capital where the strictest gun laws in the nation reside), our wonderful President's home city are caused by "assault rifles"? And one more thing to think about since you are so well versed on this issue, what happens in New York (where you cannot have more than 7 bullets in a magazine) if someone has their home invaded by 4 robbers (usually in home invasions there are at least 3) and you only have 7 shots. You know you are nervous, but you better be lone ranger good at shooting or you are out of luck. There are countless other examples where, once again, our progressive country attempts to treat the sympton of a problem because the low information citizens are unable to identify the disease because they might hurt someone's feeling.
The situation I know to be true from personal knowledge. That does not make it any less or more true in anyone else' eyes, but I just wanted to give some context to my post.

Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 9:45 AM @ The Truth said...

Oh, I did not vote for McCrory. I am not that out mod touch. I was just hopeful that someone from a big city like Charlotte would be sophisticated enough not to fall in with a bunch of rubes.

Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 7:36 AM offroadranger said...

The constition dont say a word about printing the names of the people who own guns but it does say the people have a right to own as many guns as they wont to and to have the right to fom a well informed malitia and also the right to vote. It goes own to say that the y have the right to be happy. The goverment alreay knows how many dogs and cats I own and taxes me as which. Next they will wont to tax my guns just like in Russia. It dont dsay nothing acoutt the ri i I dont
ans t I can have as a pet . i dont w maybi can buti

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:24 PM @ "To The Truth" said...

There are no constitutional issues at hand. No one is threatening the 2nd amendment. Arguments are being made that you don't need a machine gun or ammo clips with 30,50,100 shell capacity to go deer hunting - and I agree with that. You don't need an assault weapon to defend your home. Anyone that would break into my house would start running when they heard shells being racked into my pump shotgun. Wouldn't even need to fire!
Come on - unemployemnt is still up, education is still low, people are still dying because the can't get medical care. Will someone focus on one of those?????

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 5:40 PM The Truth said...

You hoped McCrory would not be pulled by the lunatic right wing? What make-believe world were you living in when you voted?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 4:52 PM To The Truth?... said...

What are the real issues besides ones that deal with the Constitution that you are referring?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 12:08 PM Former Wilsonian said...

I guess those who approve of publishing the names of those who choose to invoke their 2nd ammendment rights also support publishing the names of those who choose to end the lives of their unborn through abortion?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 11:57 AM @corbett said...

But you know someone will in light of the recent issues. Instead of focusing on criminals, people are now looking at law abiding high trained and background checked citizens. Go figure. Just look at the posts here to make a point; they didn't even know the current laws. They have no clue what they are talking about yet probably represent a large populous of people out there. Ignorance at its best.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:25 AM @the truth said...

I actually think the opposite. I think he's the only senator with enough moxy to bring forward issues that others don't because they are politically afraid. Newton is doing exactly what he promised; how many politicians can you count that do that? bueller bueller?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:22 AM @ The Truth said...

You mean like abolishing "The Death Tax?". Because don't we all leave behind estates valued at over $5 million?
We are in for a long 4 years. I actually like McCrory and had hoped he would not be pulled by the lunatic right wing. This all turning out to be verynsd.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 7:01 AM corbett said...

No one said to publish this info, just allow it to remain in public records where it currently resides.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 6:22 AM wondering said...

What web site do you access to see names of people have gun permits or concealed carry permits

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 9:32 PM ok said...

-you need a pistol purchase permit to buy a is not a concealed weapons permit (these are two different things)
-you do not need a pistol purchase permit to buy a shotgun or rifle(so having a list of pistol purchase permittees is not going to display an accurate list of gun owners in the county)
-you can receive a firearm as a gift from anyone and there are no requirements for any type of federal or state paperwork
-there is no registration of firearms in NC
-when you fill out the paperwork (4473) to buy a gun, it goes nowhere-the feds have no master list of gunowners, they have to do a hand search of all records at a particular store to find your reciept of the sale if they are trying to find a particular firearm to trace
-if you sell a handgun to anyone in this state, you need to get a pistol purchase permit from them and keep it forever (statelaw)(write the guy a reciept too)this prevents sales of firearms to individuals who are not allowed to receive them....(its the same as a background check from the feds)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 9:23 PM The Truth said...

When will this senator start focusing on the real issues confronting the people of North Carolina? Never, apparently.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 8:33 PM reality said...

Publishing handgun permit holders does not mean they have a gun. That's the rub. Just publishing names in the paper does what? Tells everyone you have been background checked and are probably the safest person out there with a handgun?? Or endangers families and undue risk of retaliation needlessly??? Think that's Newton's point. There could be someone living beside you with 100 assault rifles and never a permit issued. Yet someone thinks pointing out the legal handgun owners is helpful? How?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 3:36 PM To @ Weasel.... said...

To your point (if you call it that), there are those who may not want to live next to someone who has an abortion as they HAVE (in the eyes of some) killed someone, and people may not want those type of morals or positions around members of their family or their children. There are those who receive mental health treatment (which is necessary and a good service which unfortunately is not available to the extent it is needed) from public funds. They should be made public for "safety" reasons. I think a public list of those who received them should be public if concealed carry permit holders are.
This will only lead to the taking and harassment of those who are LAW ABIDING citizens who choose to exercise their 2nd amendment right. It is but one step in the slow erosion of our rights under the 2nd amendment and conversion to a socialist nation where no one can be offended and if someone wishes for something it should be provided as a "right".

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 12:45 PM To Corbett and Others.... said...

If you want this published, then names of people receiving abortions from public funds should be published. An abortion or medical procedure funded by tax payer money is not a right under the BoR. So by the same notion this should be published so that people who are against this practice could choose whether or not to associate or live next to someone who holds this position on human life. If you are for that, then I'd be for making it of public record. Think before you speak on an issue.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 12:34 PM ronkar said...

Well not only that, but criminals read the paper - hmmm lets see that house has a gun permit so we'll not bother there, and move on to the next one. Smart.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 12:06 PM again to weasel said...

Permits are for handguns ONLY. And those taking the concealed gun permit classes learn that the proper bullet to use in self defense is a hollow point (same as used by law enforcement). It does not travel outside the target/walls, etc. However, to me deer hunters with long range rifles worry me more than anything and they don't need a permit to purchase it or any training required to use it. So please tell me how making public handgun permits makes a difference? What would that give you in knowledge to make you do something different? Remember most handguns collect dust and are not used unlike rifles and shotguns which do not require any kind of permits. Also remember you can get a handgun without a permit or training as well as long as not a licensed dealer. PLUS the #1 issue is "illegal" use of handguns which those folks surely don't have permits or follow any laws. Please enlighten us.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 11:37 AM weasel said...

your post displays your lack of knowledge about firearms.
the velocity, or danger, of a bullet is created from the energy behind the bullet being forced in the only available direction, down the barrel.
while exploding ammunition is dangerous, it is not going to kill someone 100 yards down the road as if shot from a gun.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 11:10 AM To weasel said...

and what exactly would you do if you knew your neighbors had a gun or guns?
how does that help or harm you?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 11:05 AM @weasel said...

I misread the article and it does include Gun purchase permits but that is not equivalent to how many guns you own. If your brother gives you a handgun, you do not have to get a permit or register it. If you buy a shotgun or long gun you do not need a permit. those actually going through the permit process have background checks. those are not the people you need to worry about.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 9:30 AM @weasel said...

Buying a house is not part of the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution either nor is it forefront in the paper these days. This is NOT a gun permit, but a concealed weapon permit. Big difference. This does not change any laws about how many guns you have. You can have a concealed weapon permit and own zero guns. Those getting a concealed gun permit outside of law enforcement are the most responsible and educated gun owners out there. You have to sit through hours of training, score in an actual shooting range/target, pass a test, fingerprinted and wait about 90 days while a background check with the SBI is completed. Those are the people I want next door to me!! And those permits should not have anything to do with public knowledge. The government is fully aware you have a permit and you are HIGHLY documented in the system.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 9:11 AM Buck Newton - you weasel said...

I guess you don't want anybody to know how many guns you are sitting on as a State Senator. Most people that don't want things published are trying to hide something themselves. If I buy a house or some land, I don't have the luxury of it not being placed in the paper for everybody to know where it is and how much I paid for it. Why should a gun purchaser be any different? What if a person have a great arsenal of guns and if they buy the guns they also buy the ammunition to go with it, and their house catches on fire. Aren't you placing the firemen and that person's neighbors at risk of being shot if fire gets to that ammunition. I surely would want to know if any of my neighbors have an arsenal of guns. In fact, I would want to know if any of my neighbors had A gun!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 8:30 AM corbett said...

Should be a matter of public record.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 7:57 AM Really said...

This is just crazy. Any person legally entitled to receive a concealed hand gun permit should be able to do so in privacy. I personally have one and did not make it anyones business other than my family when I obtained mine. That is the whole point of a "Concealed" carry permit. So that you can carry and no one knows you have it. If this passes I am sure there will be a lot more under the table purchases than ever before. I for one would never want my information published. That puts a huge target on your back saying look at me I have guns so then the criminals just wait for you to go to work and break in your house.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 7:25 AM Conflict with existing law said...

Allowing gun/permit owner information to be published would be in direct conflict with another NC law.
Currently, you have to secure your weapons from children.
Basically, that means storing them out of sight and locking them up.
By putting a flashing neon sign on them, it makes it easier for all others to know they are there, including children.
A gun with a trigger lock can still be stolen and the lock removed later.
If they newspapers want to hold the sheriffs accountable, hold them accountable.
If they publish the information and one of the houses is robbed and a gun stolen, arrest the editor for conspiracy, aiding and abetting.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 7:23 AM
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