North Carolina State Fair, north carolina, gun ban, north carolina gun ban
North Carolina State Fair
(Photo by Wikimedia Commons)

A hearing has been set to determine whether or not concealed handguns will be allowed at the upcoming North Carolina State Fair, which is set for Oct. 16-26 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.

According to the Associated Press, gun-rights group Grass Roots North Carolina filed a lawsuit last week arguing that a change in state law makes it illegal for the fair to ban concealed carry permit holders.

The hearing to consider the request for an injunction to prevent the ban is set for today in Wake County. Wake Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens will preside.

Grass Roots North Carolina announced it was filing an injunction against the State Fair last week “due to an impasse in negotiations with North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler,” a press release said.

As the AP notes, State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said that while he is a gun owner and supporter of gun rights, he doesn’t think guns would “mix” with crowds, children and fair rides.

“We go to great lengths to provide a safe environment at the State Fair,” Troxler said in a statement. “Our efforts include a large law enforcement presence and the use of metal detectors. The fair’s weapons policy, which has been in place for decades, also plays an important role in maintaining that safe environment.”

According to, however, gun rights advocates feel that banning handguns would infringe on their right — and the rights of 350,000 other concealed carry permit holders in North Carolina — to protect themselves and their families. Documents in the lawsuit specifically cite incidents of violence at the Iowa State Fair in 2010 and Wisconsin State Fair in 2011.

In the lawsuit, F. Paul Valone II, president of Grass Roots North Carolina — and a state-certified firearms instructor and competitive shooter with nearly three decades of experience — cited a number of reasons why guns would not fall from holsters and discharge, reported. He also said there are at least four other states that allow concealed handguns at their state fairs: Florida, Oregon, Texas and Virginia.

Judge Stephens has not yet announced his ruling.

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