Viewpoint

N.C.’s armed guardians?

From an editorial Wednesday in the (Greensboro) News & Record:

North Carolina could license a force of armed “homeland security” marshals if a bill pushed by a gun-rights group is enacted. The newly minted guardians would even carry badges.

Even in gun-friendly North Carolina, this is going too far.

Senate Bill 708 is titled “An act to strengthen homeland security by establishing the homeland security unrestricted concealed handgun permit.” Applicants would pass a background check and complete training.

We’ll concede that people who undertake this training will be capable of defending themselves and others under the right conditions. They won’t be enrolled members of the military or sworn police officers. Yet they would be granted a badge and allowed to carry concealed firearms virtually anywhere in the state, ignoring “no guns” postings by private property owners.

Police officers are professionals subject to a chain of command and accountable to the public. These other people, armed with concealed guns and badges, would not be. They should not be entitled to carry weapons into a private business or a public place where it’s specifically posted that guns aren’t allowed.

The greater concern is that the state would create a class of quasi-officers trained in using guns but not in any other aspects of police work. Simply knowing how to use a gun does not make someone an agent of “homeland security.”

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