Rockingham County lifts ban on concealed carry guns in government buildings

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- County residents and employees with concealed carry permits will no longer have to check their weapons before visiting government buildings.

The change was made Monday night at the county commissioners meeting.

Commissioners had to pass two separate ordinances, one that applied to the public and one that applied to employees.

The votes came after a discussion on whether or not lifting a ban on concealed carry guns in areas like youth services was a good idea.

“Who is to say if a guy loses a custody battle and has a gun and loses it?” wondered Keith Duncan, a Rockingham County commissioner.

In the end, the group agreed that it was important to pass the measures that the county had been looking into for the last year.

There was also a strong outcry from the public for change.

“It's not that I want to be Annie Oakley it’s the fact that I want the freedom to carry my weapon wherever I choose to,” said Dianne Parnell, chairwoman of the Republican Party in the county. “That is my right as an American.”

County administrators will now have to work on developing office policies for county employees who choose to bring a gun to work. County Manager Lance Metzler said the county has to come up with a strategy for accidental discharges. He also said it was important to make sure employees who do bring a gun to work aren’t pulling it out just to show off.

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