Tillis: Changes in state gun laws not likely
CORNELIUS – N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis doesn’t anticipate any drastic gun law changes on the horizon as a result of last month’s shootings in Aurora, Colo., that left 12 dead and dozens injured.
Tillis, of Cornelius, was at The Range at Lake Norman on Aug. 2 to speak with gun enthusiasts about concealed carry laws and other happenings in the N.C. Legislature.
North Carolina, Tillis said, already has sufficient protections in place.
Similar talks went on following the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, he said.
“It was a tragic event but you have to keep in mind the whole number of people that have guns and that the overall safety record is pretty strong,” Tillis said. “You always hear about the tragic event, but you seldom hear about the number of violent crimes that may have been ended because a responsible gun owner was there.”
The Aurora shootings, as well as those at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., have raised discussions regarding Second Amendment rights and could be a hot talking point as November’s presidential election nears.
Eric Taylor, range operations manager at Point Blank Range in Mooresville, said gun sales have been on the rise since it opened last summer.
“Election years always create a buzz in the shooting sports business because there’s a possible leadership change,” Taylor said. “Also, I think firearms are just in high demand right now.”
Point Blank Range holds concealed carry safety classes about three times each month, Taylor said, and since the shootings in Colorado, they’ve seen a slight increase in sign-ups.
Concealed carry permits also seem to be in higher demand in election years.
The number of concealed carry permits issued in Lincoln County has fluctuated over the last five years, records and permits specialist Jennifer Mathewson said.
“In 2009, I was extremely busy just because everyone thought the gun laws might change following the presidential election,” Mathewson said. “I think they’re anticipating that again this year.”
By the numbers
The number of permits issued or
renewed in Lincoln County since 2007:
• 2007: 428
• 2008: 553
• 2009: 1043
• 2010: 618
• 2011: 831
• Through Aug. 3, 2012: 741