Judge Stephens (courtesy wral.com)

Without further (Führer?) ado, here’s the money shot from Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens: “I do have great respect for the constitutional right of citizens to possess and bear arms. But I do believe it would be unwise and imprudent for firearms to be carried into the [North Carolina] State Fair, and if there is some way I can interpret these statutes to prohibit that, I will.” That could well be the most bald-faced example of anti-gun judicial activism we’ve ever encountered. Judge Stephens wasn’t shy about the motivation behind his gun ban bias . . .

Before announcing his decision, Stephens cited his stint as a U.S. Marine Corps officer, saying he had seen many weapons fired intentionally and many fired accidentally. He also noted that the law explicitly allows him to carry a gun in the courthouse, but that he had chosen not to, because the sheriff provided security and because the one way he knew there would not be gun violence in his courtroom was to make sure there were no guns in it.

He also said that while the idea of being allowed to carry guns might make the fair more attractive for some, it could have a chilling affect on attendance by scaring away others.

OK, the background . . .

Opponents of the fair’s gun ban are suing Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler to force his department to allow people with valid concealed-carry permits to take handguns onto the fairgrounds and its parking areas. They say a law passed last year makes the fair’s ban illegal, and were asking Monday for a temporary injunction to allow them to bring their guns in this year while Stephens considered the lawsuit.

He not only disagreed but called the law a “quagmire” and signaled that he was inclined to rule against the gun rights activists in the full lawsuit . . .

During a news conference Monday, Troxler said the gun ban is meant to reduce the risk of an accident.

“We do believe that we have a unique mixture of crowds, children, rides and animals here and that minimizing the risk is just not throwing the possibility of an accidental discharge into that mix,” he said.

And how many of those have there been since the Fair began in 1853, before firearms were banned? * crickets chirping * Violent attacks at state fairs? Plenty. Here’s an example [via myfoxtampabay.com]:

A disturbing picture is emerging about events Friday night that led to the Florida State Fair shutting down early.

Authorities describe scenes where hundreds of teens went on a chaotic spree of stampeding, shoving, and fighting.

The situation was so out of control, and deputies were so overwhelmed and outmatched, that the commander on the scene asked fair officials to shut the whole thing down.

“The commander said it was one of the worst things he’s seen in his law enforcement career, and it’s why he made the decision he made, and he was adamant about it. There was no room in his mind to let it go any longer,” said Colonel Jim Previtera, with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Previtera called the situation “wilding,” a slang term that refers to groups of people going around threatening, robbing, or attacking others.

The sheriff’s office estimates that around 200 to 300 people were involved in the stampeding. They eventually ejected 99 people, and arrested 12.

Previtera said the sheriff’s office thought it was prepared because the events that unfolded have become a “tradition” of sorts among teens on the first Friday night of the fair. He said long-timers at the sheriff’s office say the “wilding” has gone on as far back as the 90s.

Last year, 68 people were ejected when a similar scene unfolded.

Same thing happened in the Eat Cheese or Die state of Wisconsin.

Anyway, while Grass Roots North Carolina reacted to the ruling by announcing that they will return to the legislature to clarify their intention to allow legal carry at the State Fair, Tar Heel State voters need to take the anti-ballistic bureaucrats to the proverbial woodshed (i.e. vote them out of office and yank the judge off the bench).

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103 Responses to NC Judge on Fairground Carry: My Bias Trumps Your Gun Rights

  1. “I do have great respect for the constitutional right of citizens to possess and bear arms. But I do believe it would be unwise and imprudent for firearms to be carried into the State Fair, and if there is some way I can interpret these statutes to prohibit that, I will.”

    Wow – really? What is the typical procedure for removal of justices?

      • I would say Ballistic is only adding fuel to his proverbial fire. Use the Legal system which he is warping into his own blend of Public Service (and paying him a handsome paycheck) to remove his worthless ass from the bench.

    • Basically its like he is saying the following (simplified):

      Look i’m a judge and I don’t like this. Its my opinion and I don’t like it. So i’m going to use my power as a judge to bend the rules to my liking. Because I care about me – my views and not the views of others or the clear listing of rights within the constitution. Me. Not the constitution. Not the people. We are going to do what I feel is right – because that is within my power.

      • I thought what he really meant was:

        “I do have great respect for the constitutional right of citizens to possess and bear arms. But I do believe it would be unwise and imprudent for firearms to be carried into the [North Carolina] State Fair, and if there is some way I can interpret these statutes to prohibit that, I will.”

    • NC popularly elects all their judges. Normally, elections are great. But it is very difficult for the average non-lawyer to know what makes a good judge or what qualifies someone to be one. This sort of thing is the result of this system.

      • Not true. I remember one time when the people asked the government, “Don’t you think we should be able to practice the rights endowed by our Creator?”

        And the government ANSWERED to the people, “Nah, we’re good, thanks.”

      • For all the troubles this site has with ads and redirects and all the comments under every post about them with clear suggestions such as Donottrack, ABP, Ghostery, NoScript, and the infinite others out there you’d think folks would actually check them out rather than continue living at the whim of this site and the many others out there who seek to destroy their browsing pleasure.

        Folks need to take a lesson from their gun-owning ways and do for themselves what this site cannot do for you. Protect your own browsing people! It’s not rocket science and won’t have to pay some shark $100 to clean junk out every couple of months.

        • I agree with your suggestions to use an adblocker ( ghostery is another favorite ) but I take umbrage at your implication that people that clean up computers for a living are sharks.

          I didn’t put the crapware on your system, I didn’t click on the ad promising whiter teeth, losing belly fat in 3 days, that one weird trick that will lower your electric bills or demands that you upgrade your adobe flash player so you can watch a 3 second video of a woman’s boobs flying out of her top.

          I *AM* the guy that saves the pictures of your kids first day at school, your 3 years of quickbooks data, your quicken taxes, music, last video of grandma before she crossed over and yes, your extensive porn collection disguised so cleverly in a folder marked “golf links” that you never had the gumption to back up in any way, shape or form. I do it late into the evening so you can meet your 8am deadline, I do it on weekends, yes even Sundays. I’ve had to put my margarita down and rack my cue stick and leave my guests to run over to your business on a Saturday at 4PM because your employee jammed a box under the counter and broke the ethernet connector. When you’re losing a couple thousand dollars in sales from stupidity and laziness, please, refer to me as a ‘shark’ when you call so I can bill accordingly.

        • Lighten up, CM.

          Thanks to learning about ‘puters from folks like you, I recover my own smut when my HD takes a dump.

          🙂

  2. Someone who has always had someone else protecting him doesn’t want other people to be able to protect themselves. Sounds familiar.

    • That’s pretty much what I got out of it.
      Wow. If I lived there, I would fire off a bar complaint.
      Get a couple of hundred, or a thousand, and you’ll never appear in his courtroom. Ever.

  3. Could he be held in contempt of the law? He just admitted to failing his duty as a judge to uphold the constitution (including NC state constitution).

    • I was wondering the same thing. I have seen plenty of judges on TV, but am not versed with legalese. If the judge acknowledges the constitution, then in next breath is going counter to it, does that not set fertile ground for appealing the verdict?

      • Motion to recuse (ie get the case before a different judge). If he denies it, grounds for appeal Judge has already announced his verdict before a single fact has been admitted into evidence at trial. Then a complaint to the NC equivalent of the Commission on Judicial Standards. Then dis-elect him at the first opportunity.

    • From North Carolina’s “Order Adopting Amendments to the North Carolina Code of Judicial Conduct”
      – Canon 2 – A judge should avoid impropriety in all his activities.
      – A. A judge should respect and comply with the law and should conduct himself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. (emphasis mine)

      I don’t know about you, but after his comments on the request for a temporary injunction, I have zero confidence in his impartiality on this case, and I’m not too impressed with his apparent ability to “respect and comply with the law”, either.

  4. FYI, it is legal to carry at the Florida State fair. No reports of vigilantes taking the law into their hands there.

  5. In the 60’s and 70’s we had – “I’m not racist. Some of my best friends are black. But…”
    Then in the 80’s and 90’s we had – “I’m not homophobic. Some of my best friends are gay. But…”
    Now we have “I support the constitutional rights of the people to defend themselves. Some of my best friends own guns. But…”

  6. This is one fair I would not attend nor would I recommend attendance by any of my friends. Three hundred people out of control, a tradition? I control myself at home and in public and I don’t need a gun pointed at me to do it. The only thing guns would do in this instance is guarantee gun deaths. Florida get your act together.

    • how do guns guarantee gun deaths? sounds like the same kind of ‘logic’ used by the judge here. it would be unwise for guns to be there because they might autonomously awaken and start killing people.

      • Actually, I think it almost works in this case. If you introduce people who are willing to take responsibility for their own safety and use deadly force to protect human life from violent, criminal assault, to an environment where mobs of thugs are rioting and attacking everyone in sight, you might almost be able to guarantee some gun deaths.

        And no riot the next year.

    • “The only thing guns would do in this instance is guarantee gun deaths.”

      Did you escape from the MDA facebook page or what?

      Maybe being beaten by a mob is more your style, but it sure isn’t mine.

  7. Typical “if something can go wrong then we shouldn’t do it”. Still you have a much greater chance of being hurt or killed on the trip to the fair or on the way home. Further more it only stops people from carrying into the fair, what about bad guys in the parking lot?

    Any judge that can’t fore go their own prejudices to follow the law is one that should be fired from their job. To bad they are there until the next election…well unless they are appointees that that means till death.

      • GNRC’s main issue is fighting this will cost money, and the money would need to be pulled away from the money currently allocated to the upcoming election. So perhaps you take a pass on it this year and fight it next year, elections being the more important of the two.

    • As I stated above, they need to file a motion to recuse, to get that judge off the case. He has already announced his verdict before the trial has even started. If he denies the motion, there is one ground to appeal his ultimate verdict right there. With an very possibly successful appeal all but guaranteed, the administrative judge for the district (or the NC equivalent thereof) could well move the case just as a matter of judicial economy.

    • I think you mean ‘partial much?.’ I was on jury duty once. During the selection one lady gets up there, and the judge asks her why she thinks she’d make a good juror? She was looking forward to sit on the jury. So she gives some generic answer and then says, in all sincerity, but using the wrong word, I’d make a great juror because I would be partial. The judge pauses, not sure of what just happened, asks her again: I’m sorry ma’am, did you say partial, or…impartial? She says: Partial!. Judge: Thank you. NEXT!!!

  8. Absolute scum of the earth. I swear, when the heavy shit comes down this clown is gonna be one of those smug elitists who rightfully gets dragged off the bench, dragged outside and lynched. His attitude is that of a despot, which makes him a serious enemy of any free-thinking man in this country.

  9. “I do have great respect for the constitutional right of citizens to possess and bear arms. But–“

    STFU right there, Stephens. There is no “but” there. You either do and allow carry on the fairgrounds, or you don’t and go against the grain of state law (which you are allegedly sworn to defend and uphold) by disallowing it.

    Seems you’re one of the nots. Roger that, “Judge”. May the Governor appoint someone competent to fill your seat after you leave it.

  10. “…if there is some way I can interpret these statutes to prohibit
    that, I will.”

    I sorry, but regardless of ideological position any judge that
    makes a comment like this should not only be instantly
    removed but defrocked and disbarred. To me, such a
    statement says that there is no need for law at all; your fate
    will be arbitrarily judged by one who seeks only to justify his own
    personal moral code (or lack thereof).

  11. “because the one way he knew there would not be gun violence in his courtroom was to make sure there were no guns in it.”

    Oh the irony, the only true way to keep guns out of anywhere is to have guns there in the first place to keep the other guns out. I guess the Sheriff and his deputies must not be humans, otherwise they, like all other humans have the ability to negligently or criminally discharge their weapons just like all other people. The judge is a hypocrite, just like all other grabbers.

  12. “…because the sheriff provided security and because the one way he knew there would not be gun violence in his courtroom was to make sure there were no guns in it.”

    Uh, yeah, dingbat, except there are guns in your courtroom. They’re on the hips of each of those sheriff’s deputies providing security for you. So much for your “gun-free” courtroom. Got any other bright ideas?

  13. Hold up now, folks, especially those of you who want to lynch the honorable judge. We go to this here fair most every year. Let me tell yuh–Troxler and the judge are right. Guns, concealed or open, don’t belong there. If you feel unwelcome because you can’t open carry your boom stick, you best get your cotton candy fix elsawheres. The crowd is thicker than pea soup; it’s shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip in most places. You let go of your youngins hand and the crowd sweeps them away. Heaven forbid you want to ride the bumper cars. “Here, carnie, hold this here for me.” If you ain’t been, best to shut your pie hole and tone down yer rhetoric a might. Guns have their place in society–I’m carrying right now–but the fair isn’t the place. (Safety hint: don’t go at night and if somebody is missing their front teeth, don’t play their games.) Out.

    • So it’s impossible for responsible gun owners to carry when there are a lot of people around? I don’t see what the problem is. I carry everywhere I go, whether it’s by myself, with friends, or with my wife and three kids. I’ve carried in Wal-Mart, Kroger, Target, Applebees, the mall, Chuck-E-Cheese, my kids’ school, and everywhere else I’ve been. Some of those places have been quite crowded, most of them have plenty of kids around. Funny, I managed not to shoot anyone.

      My gun does have a place in society. It’s place is everywhere I go. It doesn’t do me much good otherwise.

      • I hope when you carry at Chuck E. Cheese you have a BUG. No, sorry, that’s what you get from eating at CEC. No sarcasm. I am serious. Carrying at Target isn’t the same as the NC State Fair. It’s packed with people–some of whom are finest urban yutes Raleigh and Durham have to offer. You pop a cap at the fair and you will hit somebody you don’t intend. Isn’t one of the cardinal laws of safe gun keeping that every bullet has a lawsuit attached to it? I’ll say again–leave your roscoes at home.
        On the other hand, less than lethal options are a great alternative. Pepper spray can be used for self defense or as a condiment for the footlong half-horse meat/ half sawdust wieners that they serve there.
        I saw a great con there last year. Great as in the sheer audacity and bollocks of the guy. I would’ve resorted to less than lethal options if it had been me. A clown/comedian the fair hired was doing his schtick and was pretty good. His patter was spot on. At the end of his set, he asked the crowd of anybody had a $20 bill for the next trick. After making it disappear, he wrapped up his act till the next show. The guy was left trying to beg the ‘entertainer’ for his $ back. The guy said he would give him a credit to some toys he was selling after the act. Now, mix a gun into that mix. Hmmmm?

        • Do the cops take off their handguns when they enter the fairgrounds? No, I didn’t think so. So they must know something that you don’t; like responsible people don’t have to leave their lethal defensive options at the door, they just have to make double-darn-sure of their target and backstop.

          That whole “if there’s a gun fight you’ll shoot someone in the crowd!” crap sounds all logical and stuff until you compare it to the alternative; if only the bad folks have guns or other lethal weapons, it’s won’t be a gunfight, it will be a murder or a massacre, depending on how bloodthirsty the perps are at that particular moment. The anti-gun folks (of which you sound like one) think that just because they don’t have a gun, they’ll somehow be safe and insulated from any violence by some mystical force-field. They are wrong, and so are you.

          Given the choice between being involved in a gunfight or being the subject of a murder/massacre, I know which one I’ll choose, crowd or no crowd.

          And carrying a gun doesn’t mean you can’t also carry pepper spray or other non-lethal defensive weapons, and many of us do. They are not mutually exclusive.

        • Paranoia sure runs deep around here. There has never been a massacre at the NC State Fair. I’m more worried about food poisoning by the Elks Club or jimmied carnival rides. Second, there is a huge police presence at the fair. Third, everybody is screened for weapons upon entering. Fourth, the polissimo pretty much have immunity from wayward and errant flying lead–You don’t have that luxury. Your rights aren’t being trampled on by Troxler’s pronouncement. It’s easy to beat the 2nd amendment drum from your ivory throne, but gun rights are not advanced by dominating others by screaming about your rights

        • “The guy was left trying to beg the ‘entertainer’ for his $ back. The guy said he would give him a credit to some toys he was selling after the act.”

          Change that human, with one who is willing to GET his money back from said clown, it doesnt matter if hes got a box cutter, Ka-Bar, or his trusty roscoe BUG, that clown is about to have a bad fvckin night.

        • David B said: “Carrying at Target isn’t the same as the NC State Fair.”

          What about Target on the Friday after Thanksgiving? Or on Christmas eve, or the last shopping weekend before Christmas? Do you have a formula for figuring when it’s “too crowded” and when it’s not? If the crowd surges when you are there and carrying, do you shriek and run out of the store?

        • David B said: “Second, there is a huge police presence at the fair.”

          And you never answered me; do they wear their handguns inside? If so, how have they solved the “might shoot someone else in the crowd” problem? Most cops that I’ve seen don’t shoot that well, and of the ones I’ve competed against (the self-selected cream-of-the-crop), certainly don’t usually shoot any better than I do (although I’ve been beat in certain stages of handgun competitions by local cops a few times, that’s normally not the way you want to bet).

          David B said: “Fourth, the polissimo pretty much have immunity from wayward and errant flying lead–You don’t have that luxury.”

          You think this is about who has immunity from prosecution?!? I’m concerned about living as long as possible and dying in bed of old age, not whether or not a group of urban hoplophobes approve of my carry/use of a weapon after I save my life with it.

          As far as where angels fear to tread; well, if we all knew ahead of time when and where any conflict was going to take place, we’d all arrange to be somewhere else, wouldn’t we? If you’re one of those folks who thinks they know every possible place where they can and can’t get into lethal trouble, well, there’s nothing I can do to fix that kind of defective thinking.

        • Are you going to the fair or just espousing theories? If you are going, go early in the morning and I’ll get someone to hold your hand while we look at the 4H exhibits. 🙂 I say that in a friendly sort of way.
          I will say this. I think GRNC is a good organization. But, I think they are pressing this issue too far and will lose more than they gain from it.

        • Still can’t/won’t answer the questions. Do you carry during crowded holiday shopping, or not? And if so, how is that different?

          David B said: “I think GRNC is a good organization. But, I think they are pressing this issue too far and will lose more than they gain from it.”

          Judge Donald Stephens: “I do have great respect for the constitutional right of citizens to possess and bear arms. But I do believe it would be unwise and imprudent for firearms to be carried into the [North Carolina] State Fair, and if there is some way I can interpret these statutes to prohibit that, I will.”

          Two peas in a pod. “May your chains rest lightly upon you.”

        • From another TTAG article on a similar subject:

          Steve Lo Vullo says:
          October 4, 2014 at 22:26

          This year the Minnesota State Fair barred guns for the first time ever, making it a “gun-free zone.” Also for the first time ever, a business at the fair was robbed at gunpoint. This took place at the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild exhibit, which was jacked for more than $10,000. Coincidence?

        • “There has never been a massacre at the NC State Fair.”

          There had never been a massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, either…until 2012. There had never been a massacre at a Luby’s restaurant…until 1991. There had never been a massacre at Virginia Tech…until 2007. And on and on…

          That’s all beside the point, anyway, because the kind of violence most likely to be encountered at such a venue isn’t a psycho mass murderer. It’s common criminals, looking for an easy score. Knowing that every single person leaving the fair is unarmed creates a target-rich environment for such thugs and lowlifes.

          In any case, I’m looking at my copy of the Bill of Rights, and can’t find the part about “…shall not be infringed, unless you’re in a sorta crowded place.”

        • Well, how about an update now that the fair is over? I’m sure the newest no-gun zone turned the fairgrounds into a virtual paradise, right?

          “3 robbed at gunpoint after N.C. state fair declares gun-free zone”

          http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/30/3-robbed-at-gunpoint-after-nc-state-fair-declares-/

          This is my non-shocked face.

          first few paragraphs of the article linked above:
          —————————-
          Three people were reportedly robbed at gunpoint Saturday leaving the North Carolina State Fair after a judge ruled earlier this month that concealed weapons would not be permitted at the event.

          Wake County Superior Court judge Donald Stephens decided more than two weeks ago that it would be “unwise and imprudent” to allow concealed weapons at the state fair this year. The controversial decision received fierce backlash from Second Amendment supporters who argued the ruling was illegal, The Blaze reported.

          The same activists are now blaming N.C. officials after three people were robbed by two men armed with pistols while walking to their cars Saturday night.

          “By announcing to violent predators that people attending the North Carolina state fair would be unable to protect themselves, the responsibility for this armed robbery of fair-goers lies squarely with Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, who illegally banned concealed at the fair, and … Stephens, who willfully misinterpreted the law to impose his own worldview,” Paul Valone, president of Grass Roots North Carolina, told Guns.com.

    • While you’re my than welcome to your opinion on when you will and won’t carry, it’s still your decision about what you will and won’t do. This choice you make has no bearing on the legality of carrying firearms at the fair grounds. Your feelings have no impact on the rights of your fellow citizens. This is the problem we face on this issue as a whole. I, nor anyone else, need to take your feelings into account when practicing our rights.

      • Well said.

        David B. seems to be using logic supplied by Demanding Moms.

        Guns don’t belong HERE because ______________ .

    • Troxler and the judge are not right and neither are you. The state law says I can concealed carry at the fair and just about anywhere else in the great state of NC if I have an NC CHP. There are plenty of places in NC posted illegally against concealed carry. The law trumps those signs. This has been tested in the courts and challenged by GRNC on several occassions. The law is the law. Your opinion about not having weapons at the fair counts for nothing. If you dont agree or like the laws in NC then work to change them or move.

      • Seems like David B. would fit right in in California, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington D.C., Hawaii, and Illinois. Maybe he should find greener pastures in one of those states since they all think like him.

        • I just got back from the 2014 NC State Fair. I spent 6 hours and a couple hundred dollars. Had a whiz bang good time and I did it with only my trusty CRKT A/O Ignitor in my pocket. Cops, as in years past, were everywhere, but not a single dog, steer, or 4-H animal got shot which will shock, SHOCK! some of you. We ate all the food, rode all the rides, played all the games, won a few prizes, and heard about Jesus. Saw plenty of guns at the shooting arcade, BB-Shoot-a-star games, and even as toy prizes for some of the chance games. What this party didn’t need was an idiot open carrying his 1911 in an Uncle Mike or someone nursing a grudge that they couldn’t conceal carry. Guess what? Life went on just fine and I didn’t get mugged walking back to the truck. In life, there are certain risks you take. Carrying a fat gat doesn’t eliminate them. The NC State Fair is a low risk proposition without a CCW. It wouldn’t become a no-risk proposition with one. Troxler made the right call on this one folks.

  14. “… Tar Heel State voters need to take the anti-ballistic bureaucrats to the proverbial woodshed (i.e. vote them out of office and yank the judge off the bench).”

    I don’t know … I think I prefer the literal reading of that statement.

  15. All of this speaks to a bigger problem. Criminals don’t abide by the rules set by the good judge, so this only hurts law abiding citizens! Also, I support law enforcement but if you rely on anyone else to protect you and your family, you are out of touch. In most cases the cops will get there after you have been victimized or killed.

  16. This judge is lying about seeing many weapons accidently discharged while serving as Marine. I spent 4 years in the Corps as an 0352 infantryman. Shot six expert awards and spent my last year working on rifle & pistol ranges as a Marine combat marksmanship coach…..I NEVER ONCE saw an accidental firing of any weapon at any time during my time as a marine. Never a single time. He is lying. This could be proven since any accidental discharge would immediately result in disciplinary action, thus leaving a paper trail.

  17. My response to this Judge would be “over your dead body”, but am inclined to tell the people of this state to first look at their state law and then to tell this judge to jump off a short pier.

  18. I was at a fair in Bellevue NE when there was a shooting. What sparked it was a carny love triangle. Thank God the shooter’s weapon jammed after a few shots and security from the local Air Force base were able to subdue him but not before he killed his intended target. At the time Nebraska didnt allow CC.

  19. I would remind the Honorable Idiot that just because he does not have a gun and just because there are no guns in his courtroom does not mean no gun violence in his courtroom. You don’t even have to go back 10 years; Remember what Terry Nichols did to the judge and the court reporter? As to his “respect for the Constitution” I call BS on that claim as well.

  20. I go to the NC state fair almost every year. It is slam full of thugs and wanna-bes, especially at night and on weekends. There is very little police presence or security. It is exactly the place where a well armed citizenry should have the right to protect themselves.

    • I stopped attending the NC State Fair quite a while ago. It’s chock full of thugs, obnoxious kids with stupid parents, mediocre food, and (worst of all) no beer.

      I made that decision years before carrying was a major concern of mine.

  21. Yeh I wasn’t happy reading this in the paper. What the judge neglects is that we went a year where conceal carry in bars is legal. Guess what, No bar massacres. I just wish we would go to constitutional carry and remove the opportunity for a tyrant in a robe to meddle. As far as a rope and tree I would say since were the Tarheel state make it tar and feathers.

  22. WELL.. I guess the simple wording of the Constitution is to hard for him to understand… I even understand those words… NO where does it say where you cant carry…. It says “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,shall l not be infringed”….. WHAT is so hard with that ??? If you want I would be glad to come and explain that to you….

  23. By posting, and otherwise advertising that no firearms would be allowed in, or onto the fairgrounds, the governing committee created the thought of “no rules of behavior applied”,and followed the creation of the thought by providing the circumstances where “NO RULES EXIST”.

    THEY created the problem in exactly the same manner that ENTRAPMENT is created by ‘law enforcement’ creating a scenario to intentionally lure people in violating laws.

    The fault lies on the shoulders of the ‘judge’ as well as the fair committee members.

  24. I am a citizen living in the Tarheel state of North Carolina. And I am not surprised to see this. Even if you re-write the rule of law, a judge will simply sidestep it, when its “inconvenient”. Your encoded privileges do not matter, and let’s not talk about your rights. Only what FEELS right to these thugs in black cloaks. So, when I make that long ass walk to and from those endless parking lots near the Fairgrounds this weekend with my fine ass woman on my arm, I will only be armed with my wits, not with what the law says I can possess. Those of us with NCCHP and other CWPs from other states honored, have jumped through a whole lotta hoops and when it comes time for the state to step out of the way of the good little citizen, it gives us the finger. As usual.

  25. OK judge; at least you were honest enough to admit your bias. Now be honorable enough to remove yourself from the bench for hypocrisy and malfeasance.

  26. Ultimately, just as Harriet Tubman had to disregard the law against helping slaves escape to the north in order to do what was morally right, gun-owners may at times have to do the same.

  27. Well, not shocked to see that the gun-free zone worked as well as they usually do:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/oct/30/3-robbed-at-gunpoint-after-nc-state-fair-declares-/

    First few ‘graphs of the article, linked above:

    Three people were reportedly robbed at gunpoint Saturday leaving the North Carolina State Fair after a judge ruled earlier this month that concealed weapons would not be permitted at the event.

    Wake County Superior Court judge Donald Stephens decided more than two weeks ago that it would be “unwise and imprudent” to allow concealed weapons at the state fair this year. The controversial decision received fierce backlash from Second Amendment supporters who argued the ruling was illegal, The Blaze reported.

    The same activists are now blaming N.C. officials after three people were robbed by two men armed with pistols while walking to their cars Saturday night.

    “By announcing to violent predators that people attending the North Carolina state fair would be unable to protect themselves, the responsibility for this armed robbery of fair-goers lies squarely with Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, who illegally banned concealed at the fair, and … Stephens, who willfully misinterpreted the law to impose his own worldview,” Paul Valone, president of Grass Roots North Carolina, told Guns.com.

    • While I would have hated to have been one of the three, the fact remains that Troxler made the right decision to ban guns at the NC state fairgrounds. The crime rate in wake County North Carolina is roughly 900 to 1000 per 100,000 people. At the fair, they had over 928,000 people attend. And three robberies. These people could have requested state troopers to walk them out to their car. They were in a bad part of town very late at night. One of the robbers has already been apprehended on his way to Bible study at the college he had recently enrolled in since he was turning his life around. This is a terrible example to use to push for more guns at the state fair.

      • Three REPORTED robberies. Up from zero in previous years, I believe. Coincidence? After all the advertising that folks would be legally disarmed before coming and going to their vehicles? Yeah, right.

        And I had no idea that the State Troopers would gladly escort any and all of the 928,000 attendees to their cars, upon request. In my state (and in most states, I believe), if you asked about this, they would politely decline, as security for specific individuals (Gov/Lt. Gov excluded, I suppose) is not their job.

        So, do the State Troopers have a special parking lot escort program that I’m unaware of (entirely possible), or did you pull that proposed “solution” right out of your a$$ (as I suspect you did)?

        • A simple Google search would have shown you it was true. We ain’t some Hicksville bywater, bubbsy.

        • No, that would be the description of MY home town, I’m sorry to say.

          I apologize for the harsh accusation in my last line, above. I admit I didn’t run any sort of search for this type of program, because as far as I know, this is the first time a thing like this has EVER been done, or even attempted (for good reason; the numbers just. don’t. work.).

          However, in reviewing the search results, I see that some officers who were asked to perform escort duty seemed confused, and/or didn’t know about the offer to do so that had popped-out at the press conference. This reinforces my claim that this is NOT a normal duty for police, and except for this narrow exception, seemingly driven by a highly-charged press conference question, it would not (and probably will not) happen again. Again, the logistics of escorting 900,000+ fair attendees to their vehicles, both going in AND out of the fair, is simply impossible in a reasonable amount of time with the number of officers that were available. So, the police made a promise that was, in fact, impossible to keep, if any meaningful number of people tried to utilize it.

          Also, I’ve not seen any info on whether or not the folks who were robbed ever asked for an escort, or just left without one. In either case, the police chief’s claim that the area would be saturated with police patrols didn’t seem to matter to the perps; even though one was caught after-the-fact, this would have been too-little, too-late if someone had died during a robbery/attempt.

          After all, that’s why many folks carry a gun; carrying a whole cop is too heavy. And you only get to use whatever is on-hand when the crime takes place.

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