Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

NC Open carry and "Going Armed to the Terror of the Public"

Discussion in 'Legal' started by ChristopherG, Jun 15, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,933
    Location:
    Central WA
    Last week, I saw a non-Leo citizen (apparently) open-carrying in our local Walmart. This is the first time I've seen this in my several years of living in North Carolina (in the Durham/Chapel Hill area), and I was frankly surprised. I was under the impression that the grotesquely vague statute concerning 'going armed to the terror of the public' rendered open carry basically illegal--or at least made you liable to a misdemeanor charge if someone decided they were 'terrified' by your safe, holstered handgun. Here is the only state publication I can find concerning this law:

    Pardon my French, but what in the hell does that mean? Does anyone know how this law is actually played out on the ground? Is it legal to open carry in NC, or just legal until someone decides they don't like it, or what???:confused:
     
  2. abrahamsmith

    abrahamsmith Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    Interesting!

    Which Wally World was this?
    (I live near the one at Breier Creek, near Hwy 70 and I-540)
     
  3. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,933
    Location:
    Central WA
    The new mega-superwalmart at exit 165 off I-85, in Hillsborough.
     
  4. Waitone

    Waitone Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    5,406
    Location:
    The Land of Broccoli and Fingernails
    That sir is precisely why I cut a chogie to get my concealed carry permit. The law for open carry is just entirely too vague to be interpreted by reasonably intelligent bipeds.

    A guy at the range I frequent had a really ugly incident directly related to the vague law on open carry. He was shooting an AR look alike and finished. He cleared the weapon and threw it in the backseat of his car for a trip home. Someone standing on a sidewalk saw the firearm in the seat and whistled up the police. He was pulled over by LE and had a shotgun stuck in his left ear until he could prove the LE that it was not a machine gun.

    I've talked to gunshop owners, NRA instructors, LE, and anyone else associated with firearms and the law and their advice is the same. Do not screw around with open carry in NC simply because the laws is asininely vague and imprecise. It is a pathetic law that the legislature has no interest in fixing it. The worst place in the state to live if you frighten blissninnies is Berkley on the Muse (AKA RTP or Research Triangle or Tobacco Road or Chapel Hill).

    Getting your concealed carry permit will virtually guarantee you will not be harasses because you have a gun nearby. Just don't bait the bear.
     
  5. MacPelto

    MacPelto Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    652
    Location:
    The Great State of Texas
    Not to hijack, but what does that mean ?
     
  6. LAR-15

    LAR-15 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    3,385
    This dumb statute could apply to anything- even carrying a chainsaw or stick or baseball bat or Leathernman tool.......

    All it takes is one blissninny...........
     
  7. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,933
    Location:
    Central WA
    I actually have and use a Concealed Carry permit; I just find it incredible that the situation concerning open carry could be so legally muddled and open to subjective interepretation as this. If I were independently wealthy and heedless of my reputation in professional circles, I'd love to start wearing open and provoke a challenge to this obviously ancient 'statute'. Anyone who fits that description wanna do it for me? ;)
     
  8. Langenator

    Langenator Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    2,689
    Location:
    Ft Belvoir, VA
    You know, it's been a while since I took Constitutional Law back in college, but I seem to remember a bit about laws being "unconstitutionally vague" i.e. laws where a reasonable person wouldn't be able to figure out what was illegal.

    This NC law would seem to be ripe for a challenge on those grounds, but who wants to get arrested to do so?

    IMHO, most income tax codes are in violation here as well.
     
  9. David Roberson

    David Roberson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    153
    Location:
    Iron Station, NC
    MacPelto, "cut a chogie" is slang for "hauled ass."

    Waitone, I hadn't heard that term in probably 20 years. Are you by any chance ex-USAF?

    Cheers,
    DR
     
  10. fletcher

    fletcher Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,559
    Location:
    TX
    I'd also like to know about this - I had determined (in my mind at least :p) that open carry was essentially illegal in NC. It would be great to know otherwise...

    The surrounding cities/towns in my area have laws concerning open carry I believe, but I don't know if there's some small thing in the state law that could affect that.
     
  11. Guntoatin

    Guntoatin Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    I came upon this thread through google , looking at the laws of NC. my concealed license is recognized in NC as well.

    In VA open carry is leagal. infact its a normal thing to see people with guns on their side , in the Richmond Area. cops don't give you crap about it either. my buddy had his apt broken into so I went to help him out while the cop was there doing a report, I walked in with my springfield XD fullsize 9mm on my side in plain view. never even got a wierd look. as my friend was freeking out because he thought the cop would sure do somthing to me.

    anyways it looks like from what has been said that "terror" could mean the same thing as a brandishing law? where someone who feels lagitimatly threatend by a weapon.

    if you have your gun on your side that is not brandishing, if you pull your gun off your side and hold it in a manner which could be threatening or is blatent. then that is brandishing or causing terror as stated in the NC law.



    here I found some more info for you guys from the NC rifle association.

    Q: I don't want to get a Concealed Handgun Permit; I just want to carry a gun openly in a holster. Is this legal?

    A: In North Carolina there is no State law specifically prohibiting the open carry of firearms. Under the theory that if it isn't specifically prohibited it's not illegal, open carry is possible. There are some glaring exceptions to this. They are:

    Private property owners and businesses can post "no guns."
    Firearms are strictly prohibited on state-owned property, except rest areas and state lands where hunting is permitted.
    Local governments can (and do) enact prohibitions against "display of firearms" in cities and/or specific areas within cities or counties, which means they can't be visible. Under this statute there is absolutely no requirement for the city or county to post notice of the display ban.
    Local governments can (and do) enact firearms bans on local government property and in parks and recreational areas.
    Any federally-owned property or federally-regulated property like banks and Post Offices is of course a prohibited area.
    Much of the Outer Banks is "National Seashore," and firearms are prohibited in those areas.
    So in theory that leaves everywhere else in the state - except for one more thing. There is a common-law offense in NC called "going armed to the terror of the people." Basically what this means is that if someone sees you carrying a firearm and calls the police to report "person with a gun," you can be charged with this offense. It's not often used in rural areas, but has been used in populated areas. If you are an out-of-state visitor who is not here lawfully hunting or engaged in some overt firearms-related event such as a competition, it will be hard to talk your way out of it.

    So is open carry legal in NC? In theory, yes. In practice, maybe. It seems to us like a very good way to get arrested.


    here is the link to the full page.

    http://www.ncrpa.org/ccwfaq.htm

    the best way to find things in concrete is to go to the city courthouse you live in or contact them.
     
  12. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,777
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I've open carried on occasion with no hassles. Even have had police drive by and nod while a holstered firearm was on my hip. It all depends on which area of the state you are in. The Chapel Hill/Durham area is one where I wouldn't want to be a test case in. I live a bit west of there where the politics are a bit more right of center. I will say though that some of those folks seem to be infiltrating lately.
     
  13. Guntoatin

    Guntoatin Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    just remember if you dont exercise your rights they go away very easily.
     
  14. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    5,434
    Prove the above.

    That will make an interesting court case. I don't live in NC, so it won't be me, but if our TX laws were written similarly, it might be me next week or next month...
     
  15. Guntoatin

    Guntoatin Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    you can't really terrorize anyone without touching your gun can you? if so it would be a new one on the common sense books lol
     
  16. scout26

    scout26 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    2,622
    Location:
    Illinois - The Deadbeat State

    Well I'd definitely be trying to terrify anyone who would wish to do me harm......
     
  17. scout26

    scout26 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    2,622
    Location:
    Illinois - The Deadbeat State

    Well, I'd definitely be trying to terrify anyone who would wish to do me harm......
     
  18. LAR-15

    LAR-15 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    3,385
    Open carry of firearms is legal in NC.

    Nobody is arrested for just open carrying.
     
  19. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Messages:
    2,439
    Location:
    0 hours west of NC
    That bad part about NC law is that individual counties, and sometimes cities, get to interpret this how they want.
    Which means that the officer can decide you're "going armed to the terror of the people" by simply wearing a gun "just to get attention" or "cause a scene." And, if you've been using your google fu on open carry, you've no doubt seen the videos where o/c types get harassed and accused of attention seeking.

    Bottom line is: You could get cuffed and stuffed, processed, and then get the opportunity to have the ultimate "reasonable man" decide whether or not you are indeed going armed to the terror of the people.

    However, we recently had a guy here in Huntersville open carry in Target. The people who finally noticed his weapon freaked out and the management called the fuzz. The fuzz didn't arrest him. They just escorted him off the premises and searched him/checked his ID. Which, in NC is very fair considering our messed up laws.
     
  20. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Messages:
    5,456
    Location:
    In the land of make believe.
    Did you realize this thread is 3 years old?
     
  21. LAR-15

    LAR-15 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    3,385
    So what?

    That common law statute is still law in NC.


    There is a specific statute that allows NC counties and cities to ban the display or wearing of firearms in public.

    They don't use the 'armed to the terror of' statute cause they can't.
     
  22. kurtmax

    kurtmax Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    457
    It's similar here in Alabama. There are no laws prohibiting the unconcealed carry of pistols and long-arms.

    You will get arrested and charged with disorderly conduct though. Then you have to either:

    A. Fight it in court, spend 30kUSD, sue the police department in civil court and get a 2USD judgment and another 30kUSD in court costs.

    B. Prosecutor drops the charges if you sign a waiver to make the police department immune to civil lawsuits. Still have 5 or 6k USD in lawyer fees.

    Either way you have an arrest on your record, and even if expunged, will prevent you from being employed by about 50% of the businesses in the US (Even though it's illegal to discriminate due to arrest record.... who is gonna catch them?).

    Oh.. and pretty good necro. A few years at least :p
     
  23. Well Regulated

    Well Regulated Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    203
    Location:
    Commonwealth of Virginia
    What's interesting is the common law quoted with the Supreme Court backing, would make all police officers guilty of that crime.

    I made a check of the North Carolina Declaration of Rights. There is a section that the people have a right to keep and bear arms. This normally overrides any common law. I don't know why the NC Supreme court said what it said except that many parts of the NC Declaration of Rights is filled with Yankee Carpet bagger language. Virginia Jettisoned this laguage in 1904. What's wrong with North Carolina? The Declaration of rights is the natural rights of man. Citizenship and forced allegiance to the United States or to North Carolina is not a Natural Human right anymore than citizenship and forced allegiance to Russia is.

    "Sec. 4. Secession prohibited.
    This State shall ever remain a member of the American Union; the people thereof are part of the American nation; there is no right on the part of this State to secede; and all attempts, from whatever source or upon whatever pretext, to dissolve this Union or to sever this Nation, shall be resisted with the whole power of the State."


    "Sec. 5. Allegiance to the United States.
    Every citizen of this State owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and government of the United States, and no law or ordinance of the State in contravention or subversion thereof can have any binding force."



    The war is long over, you are a sovereign state. How long will you be Yankee whipped?
     
  24. Elza

    Elza Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    692
    Location:
    North Texas
    There you go trying to equate common sense and logic to the ludicrous ravings of anti-gun blissninnies. Never the twain shall meet.
     
  25. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    14,613
    Location:
    Texas
    If it is a "common law" provision then that means it is judicially-made law, not legislative. You would have to look at the cases describing the law to understand where the boundaries were and even then, that is no guarantee that the officer who says hello has the same understanding of the case law.

    In statutes, the word "purpose' is typically used to show the highest intent standard possible. Under that standard they would have to show that you intended to cause terror. Of course since this is a common-law rule and not statute, the actual intent necessary may be a lot looser than that.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page