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Troxler to Post NC State Fair in Violation of Law

Sep 30, 2014   //   by Christian Hine   //   Carolinas, Christian Hine  //  12 Comments

*From our friends at Grassroots North Carolina.  

At the request of North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler, GRNC representatives today met with the commissioner and his legal counsel after his police chief for the state fairgrounds, Joel Keith, began telling people the North Carolina State Fair would be posted against all firearms, including lawful concealed carry. Although Troxler is not particularly anti-gun, he seems unwilling to take responsibility for doing the right thing, saying instead that as a member of the executive branch, he cannot interpret statutes and must follow the interpretations given to him (more on that shortly).

Consequently, the commissioner and GRNC were unable to achieve a satisfactory resolution of the problem. GRNC is now preparing a filing for a temporary restraining order, through its sister non-profit, Rights Watch International, to prevent the fair, which starts in just over two weeks, from being posted.

Before passage of House Bill 937, which became effective on October 1, 2013, guns were prohibited at “assemblies of people for which admission is charged.” Since that section of NCGS 14-269.3 was changed to permit carry by those with concealed handgun permits, however, only private property owners hosting such assemblies may prohibit concealed carry. The state fairgrounds, of course, are not private property.

Although NCGS 14-269.3 specifically opens carry to permit-holders, Troxler claims “vague” language in the statutes enables the state to post under NCGS 14-269(a2), which says the state’s general prohibition on concealed weapons, “does not apply to a person who has a concealed handgun permit issued in accordance with Article 54B of this Chapter, has a concealed handgun permit considered valid under G.S. 14-415.24, or is exempt from obtaining a permit pursuant to G.S. 14-415.25, provided the weapon is a handgun, is in a closed compartment or container within the person’s locked vehicle, and the vehicle is in a parking area that is owned or leased by State government.”


  1. The section above merely enables permit-holders to keep guns in closed compartments of locked motor vehicles in state properties where guns are prohibited. It does not createa prohibition in itself.
  2. In fact, NCGS 14-269.4 lists the specific state properties – such as the State Capitol, Governor’s Executive Mansion” and courthouses – where guns are prohibited. That section does not include the state fairgrounds.
  3. Even in the exceedingly unlikely event a court agreed that Troxler is allowed to post the fair, nothing requires him to do so. In short, his rationalization that he is just following what he has to do is false. Troxler is choosing to prohibit lawful concealed handgun permit-holders from protecting their families not only at the fair, but also in the parking lots outside the fair.

As we’ve seen time and again, gun-free zones are dangerous places for law-abiding citizens. No family should be rendered entirely helpless should an event occur such as what happened at theWisconsin State Fair in 2011. Dozens of teenagers and young adults attacked peaceful fairgoers as they left the fair. Eleven people were injured and thirty-one arrests were made. Criminals are always empowered when they know that their intended victims are disarmed. Posting against law-abiding gun owners is equivalent to a wink and a nod to the criminals who would prey on the now-defenseless families. Not an acceptable plan, Commissioner Troxler.


  • Anybody who thinks they need a gun at the fair to feel secure is a scared idiot. They need to have some sense beat into them.

  • Zon,

    A quote, just for you. “….many US drone entrepreneurs are finding it hard to get off the ground, even as rivals in Europe, Canada, Australia and China are taking off.
    The reason, according to the interviews with two-dozen drone makers, sellers and users across the world: regulation. The FAA….”

    And our economy is supposed to do what?

    • What does that have to do with carrying a gun into the State Fair, Lewis?

      Seeing as it’s kind of important to keep airplanes from flying into things, I’m glad the FAA is doing its job. Saying there should be no regulatory oversight over air traffic is nonsensical. You need a better argument.

      • I should be able to carry a firearm anywhere at any time, except onto private property where the owner has final jurisdiction. Public property like parks, fairgrounds, etc should never have restrictions on carry…especially concealed carry.
        Lewis is giving an example of the failure of over regulation. The FAA is actually way behind on keeping up with technology. It is over burdened and innefficient…just like most government agencies. Are you suggesting that if not for the FAA that planes would just be crashing into eachother left and right? LoL. The airlines would certainly team up and fund some system of control themselves…and it would probably cost less and be more capable than the current FAA.

        • Zon requested some instances from me on how regulatory overreach is hurting the economy. This was another. His response speaks for itself.

          And Christian, except private property??? Almost all property is private, except what government owns. Where would you be able to go? From home onto the roads into a government park or building? Personally, I don’t carry a gun but have friends who do. They carry them everywhere. Very unobtrusive. And they have very good control of their guns. Excellent gun control one might say.

          • I mean private property rights trump my ability to do what I want. If Panera Bread says no concealed carry on their property, that is there right. I just don’t have to go there.
            That’s what bugs me about government smoking bans. If a restaurant says “no smoking”, that’s their right. Others will allow it and the market will decide each’s viability. We didn’t need the government to get involved.

        • Oh yes, I’m sure they would ‘team up’ for safety. Seriously, that’s nonsense. The reason our flights are as safe as they are is the FAA. Take them out of the picture and those businesses will scrap their safety protocols for profits in an instant.

          The law says you can carry a gun on public property all you want. It also says I can call you a scared pussy in public for doing it.

          • Actually that’s the debate here. Can I really carry a gun on public property?
            Call me names all you want. I’ll be prepared when the unthinkable happens. Read the news. It happens all the time.

            Let me guess, if there was no government, nobody would learn to read either. LOL.

          • Christian, the State Fair is private property.

          • So Zon, if the NC State fairgrounds is private property, who owns it?

          • Zon, was someone else using your name for a day or two? I thought you’d grown up. I see the responsible behavior was just episodic.

            So, along that line, tell me – does your better half ever let you have the remote?

  • Rick, the same thing that owns public colleges , public high schools, public libraries, court houses, the legislative building and libraries; where guns are not allowed either. Read the law, I’m sure you’ll figure it out.

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