Candidates in N.C. praise gun decision

Thursday's decision on guns by a divided U.S. Supreme Court didn't split North Carolina's candidates for Congress.

Democrats as well as Republicans generally applauded the 5-4 ruling upholding an individual's right to have guns.

“This ruling is a victory for all law-abiding citizens and gun owners in this country,” said Democrat Kay Hagan, who is challenging Republican incumbent Elizabeth Dole.

Dole said the ruling confirms “what I, and millions of Americans, have long recognized – that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to possess a firearm and to use it for lawful purposes.”

A CNN poll this month found that more than two-thirds of Americans believe the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to bear arms. In North Carolina, where gun rights are as popular as barbecue, it was little surprise in an election year that Democrats as well as Republicans were quick to embrace the ruling.

“I have always believed that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual American's right to keep and bear arms, and this decision ends that debate,” said 10th District Democrat Daniel Johnson.

His opponent, Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry, also applauded the decision.

Democrat Harry Taylor, challenging Republican Rep. Sue Myrick in the 9th District, described himself as a gun owner. Myrick called it “a victory for Second Amendment rights.”

In the 8th District, GOP Rep. Robin Hayes and Democrat Larry Kissell both praised the decision. So did Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler and Republican challenger Carl Mumpower in the 11th District.

In the 12th District, Republican Ty Cobb Jr. said Americans “should be able to arm themselves to protect themselves.” And Democratic Rep. Mel Watt praised the court for finally ruling on the issue and for opening the door to limits, such as carrying guns in schools.

“The opinion seems to confirm that, notwithstanding the fact that individuals have the right to bear arms, there are also limitations to that right,” Watt said.

North Carolina's two major gubernatorial candidates, Republican Pat McCrory and Democrat Bev Perdue, both support the court ruling.