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

A Wake County Superior Court Judge has upheld a ban on concealed carry permit holders from bringing their handguns into the North Carolina State Fair, which opens on Thursday.

Handguns have been banned at the N.C. State Fair for decades. However, as previously reported, gun-rights group Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) filed a lawsuit last week arguing that recent changes in state law made it illegal for the fair to continue banning concealed handguns.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens ruled on the side of the N.C. State Fair on Monday.

“I do have a great respect for the constitutional right for citizens to possess and bear arms, but I do believe that it would be unwise and imprudent for firearms to be carried into the State Fair,” said Stephens. “And if there’s some way that I can interpret these statutes to prohibit that, I will.”

According to, Stephens also said that, should the lawsuit proceed to trial, GRNC would likely lose, as State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler had the right to determine gun policy at the fair.

GRNC President Paul Valone told that the ruling appeared to be a foregone conclusion.

“It was evident to all that Judge Stephens had his mind made up long before the hearing began,” Valone said. “When GRNC’s attorney argued, his attitude was nearly contemptuous, and when the Attorney General’s representative argued, Stephens was soothing and supportive as if talking to a pet dog.”

Valone said GNRC is examine its options going forward.

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