Following remarks made by former City Council candidate Noah Reynolds at Monday night’s Forsyth County Board of Commissioners meeting, Commissioner Walter Marshall all but begged someone to file a law suit over legislation from Raleigh that has “forced” the Board of Commissioners to change decades of no guns policies at Tanglewood Park and allow concealed weapons. In an email sent to all seven County Commissioners on Wednesday, Reynolds informed them that he intends to file a lawsuit contending that if the General Assembly and BOC force concealed guns into the park in the face of years of common practice then they will be in violation of the Second Amendment rights of those who open carry as well as create a special class and a special privilege for those who have a concealed carry license.
Reynolds indicated that he also plans to contend that because the state government contributes no money to the operation of Tanglewood Park forcing concealed weapons into the park is tantamount to telling a private citizen exactly what they can do on their own property. Both arguments are essentially Conservative arguments so it will be interesting to see how the “Conservatives” on the County Commission (clearly ram-rodded by Commissioner Bill Whiteheart) will react to the possible law suit or if it will effect the Oct. 14th final reading.
In his email to Commissioners, Mr. Reynolds stated:
I have reached out to an attorney to see their thoughts and if they would handle the case. I am not trying to attack our county commissioners. I just Do Not like or believe that Forsyth County can cite Raleigh law as a defense for voting for concealed weapons in Tanglewood park. And further, that unless open carry is allowed to, or concealed and open banned, that this violates and erodes my 2nd Amendment right to bear arms openly in Tangkewood park to defend myself when concealed carry has this right.
Reynolds went on to outline his case:
I am considering suing Forsyth County for complying with a Raleigh law allowing concealed Carry gun holders into parks. The suit is over a recently changed county ordinance for Tangkewood park that my great uncle gave them.
The Supreme Court has ruled in Feb 2013 that concealed carry is not protected under 2nd amendment and one state does not have to recognize another states cc law. Ref Colorado only allows open carry.
The same Federal rights should be afforded a county when a state passes a law allowing concealed carry in a park.
Tanglewood park only allows concealed carry right now and not open carry. I want to sue Forsyth county to either a) ban cc in the park or b) allow both cc and open carry in the park.
The current ordinances ( cc yes, open carry no, is a violation of my 2nd amendment right to protect myself and bear arms in the park when an unprotected class (cc) has more gun rights than a protected class . This is not only a bad precedent for protected 2nd Amendment rights, but a bad law from Raleigh, NC.
Also individual counties need to know that they have a choice in this! They do not have to comply with the state law citing the Supreme Court case Feb 2013
This would be a suit in Federal court citing that a county and by proxy a State (NC) has passed a law in violation of my 2nd Amendment right to open carry in a park if cc is also allowed. All gun holders allowed or none. This hybrid case erodes county sovereignty over county property and places unprotected cc holders above open carry holders in their right to protect themselves in the park ( bear arms to defend )
The impact of Reynolds suit, if he follows through, could be felt state wide as municipalities and counties (including Winston-Salem, who recently had to allow guns into their parks for identical reasons) would have legal ammunition with which to push back against Raleigh’s “Big Government” intrusions into local affairs. With legal precedent clearly reading that the 2nd Amendment does not apply in any way to concealed weapons it is possible that the entire law could be legally called into question.
This story is developing. Please check back to CCD for further legal analysis and comments from County Commissioners.
CCD broke this story on yesterday’s News Hour which includes a discussion of the issue with City Councilman James Taylor and activist Brinda Sousley. You can listen to that podcast HERE.
CCD’s coverage of Monday’s County Commissioners meeting HERE.
Noah Reynold’s Letter to the Editor on concealed guns in Tanglewood HERE.