I lived in Haywood County, North Carolina for 32 years and still have property there. Thus, when I got the alert below from Grass Roots North Carolina about the intended anti-gun actions of the Haywood County Board of Commissioners I began to get angry.
Then I read the three proposed ordinances and became really angry. There are parts of the first two ordinances that are direct violation of state law regarding carry in state, county, and municipal parks and that is just the beginning.
Moreover, the outdoor range ordinance requires more of private ranges than it does of the county's own sheriff's department. The proposed ordinance §161.07(B)(1) states, "All shooting stations and targets on a range shall be located a minimum of three hundred feet (300’) from any property line." The backstop of the range that they share with the Maggie Valley Police Department is a mere 90 feet from the nearest property line. §161.07(D) of the ordinance requires that " All shooting stations, targets, and firing lines" be more than 1/4 mile or 1,320 feet from any occupied building. There are two retail stores at about 1,100 feet from the backstop and a handful of residences that are within the 1/4 mile radius of the target range. You can see this in the screen cap from the Haywood County GIS map. The HCSD/MVPD range is adjacent to the Town of Maggie Valley water and sewer plant. I have labeled the firing line, backstop, and distances to the property line and buildings.
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If you are a Haywood County resident, taxpayer, or just someone who visits the county, I would urge you to either attend the meeting on Monday or email the commissioners. I most certainly intend to do so.
Here is the complete alert from GRNC:
COUNTY MULLS GUN BAN
A special meeting will be held regarding a gun-ban ordinance this Monday, at 5:30 PM, in the Haywood County Courtroom of the Historic Courthouse (more meeting details below).
Please join GRNC President F. Paul Valone at this meeting, where the Haywood County Commissioners will be discussing an ordinance to BAN ALL OPEN AND CONCEALED CARRY in and on any county owned or controlled property. This ordinance would reverse regulations dating back to 1995, which recognize the citizens' civil rights in this area. (Click here to read a copy of the proposed new ordinance).
Some commissioners have claimed that the increase in gun ownership has created an unsafe atmosphere. Yet, statistics show that more crime happens in so-called "gun-free" zones. Gun owners must inform the commissioners that we know the facts, and we won't be fooled by false arguments, and emotional appeals.
Below, find out how you can contact the county commissioners and let them know that what they're considering is wrong, and not at all acceptable. Also, get details on the meeting so you can attend and help to put a stop to this effort to disarm good people like you, "put you in your place," and make you easy prey for the bad guys.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!
County Commissioners copy/paste email list:
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
DELIVER THIS MESSAGE
I have recently been informed of the gun ban that is being considered by the Haywood County Commission, and I am writing to urge you to vote against any such gun ban.
A patchwork of “gun-free" zones serve only to make accidental criminals out of otherwise peaceful, law-abiding citizens, while doing nothing to ensure anyone’s safety. A vote to close all county facilities to the lawful carry of handguns will only convey a disrespect for civil rights as they relate to the Second Amendment, and will ultimately endanger both the citizens and employees of Haywood County.
You may be unaware of the new trend that is currently sweeping our state. In recent months, county after county, after recognizing the fallacy of "gun free" zones, has moved in the direction of more gun-freedom rather than less: Pitt, Person, Wilkes, Rockingham, Cherokee, and Alamance counties---just to name a few. There are more, and the list continues to lengthen. This is a positive trend, and I would strongly recommend that Haywood County consider this course, rather than a sure-to-be fruitless and disrespectful gun ban.
Keep Haywood County free and safe for law-abiding voters and their families. Vote 'no' on any sort of gun ban. I will continue to monitor this issue through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.
UPDATE: I received an email last night from Commissioner Kevin Ensley (R-Haywood) who said he would be voting in favor of concealed carry on county premises. Kudos to Mr. Ensley to listening to the people of Haywood County. I fear that some of the other commissioners are not so willing to listen to their constituents.
Jerrika Insco of WLOS has a report on the Monday evening meeting here. I sense a lot of backpedaling on the part of the Haywood County Manager Ira Dove. He is trying to portray the moves by the county as being misunderstood by residents. He's trying to say it has always been banned and all the county is doing is updating their ordinances to comply with state law. That is only partially true. Including the county-owned Allen's Creek Park in the list of places that ALL carry is prohibited flies in the face of NCGS Sec. 14-415.23 which specifies where and where not carry can be prohibited in county, municipal, and state parks.