CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Could North Carolina become the 13th constitutional carry state?
A Cabarrus County Representative is trying to make that happen. Rep. Larry Pittman, a Republican from Cabarrus County, introduced HB746 in Raleigh Tuesday. Under the bill, North Carolinians who purchase their weapons legally would not be required to obtain a concealed carry permit or go through the training courses.
Larry Hyatt, the owner of Hyatt Coin and Gun, says he is seeing more people interested in carrying a weapon concealed in the state.
"The number of people applying has gone through the roof," Hyatt said. "Terrorism, crime, all these things put together, people in urban areas want protection, it takes a long time to get it, the sheriff's department is overwhelmed, it's expensive."
Kenneth Sumpter stopped by Hyatt's to look into the process.
"I had an incident a week or go or so, I have to protect my family," Sumpter said.
Sumpter isn't a concealed carry permit holder, but Hyatt says the wait time to become one is three-to-six months.
"That's too long, it don't [sic] make sense," Sumpter said.
Hyatt says he has seen customers frustrated by the wait times.
"The good citizens that carry their guns don't cause problems, the criminals don't follow the law anyway and carry concealed, so the good citizens are disadvantaged because it takes so long to get the permits," he explained.
Pittman has been a long time proponent of gun rights. In a statement, he said, "Requiring a permit to carry concealed is a violation of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which makes no allowance for such restriction of the rights of law-abiding citizens... It is a matter of the basic right of self-defense and freedom"
Kenneth Sumpter agrees with Pittman's stance.
"It's really no need for a permit because you do have the right to bear arms," Sumpter said.
However, some permit holders value the process.
"I like the fact that you are taught about laws, you are taught about safe gun handling and you demonstrate that you can actually use the weapon on a firing range safely, " said David McClelland.
Hyatt says Pittman's bill might make it easier for law abiding citizens to carry, but he says that doesn't address the real issue
"We have good evidence that no matter what the law is, the good people that carry are not the problem," Hyatt said.
To read the bill in its full text, click here.