Ashe County BOC supports gun permit privacy
by James Howell
The Ashe County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution on Monday to support the exemption of public access to records containing information about who has handgun purchase permits or concealed carry permits.
During the meeting, Commissioner William Sands read the resolution that prevents public access of citizens with weapons permits.
The resolution reads:
“Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Ashe County Board of Commissioners hereby requests that the Ashe County delegation to the North Carolina General Assembly introduce and support legislation to exempt handgun purchase permits and concealed carry permits from the records of Sheriff’s Offices that are accessible by the public at large.”
“I’m very much in favor of that (the resolution),”said Sands, “I think this is a worthwhile resolution.”
According to the resolution, the public records include information like names, addresses, and ages of anyone that has either handgun purchase permits or concealed carry permits.
The resolution passed 4-1, with Commissioner Gerald Price casting the dissenting vote.
“I would just like to say this would protect the privacy of our citizens who aren’t criminals; their good people and have been proven to be such,” said Sands.
Public assistance drug testing
Another resolution also appeared on the agenda for Monday’s commissioners meeting; however, it was tabled until the board could gather more information about the impact of the resolution.
The resolution was a request for legislation to require drug tests for public assistance programs.
According to the proposed resolution, seven states have already adopted drug tests for recipients of public assistance programs since 2011, and 28 other states are also considering drug testing.
This legislation is being discussed to prevent recipients of public assistance funds from trading their funding to buy drugs.
“I agree with this resolution,” said Commissioner Judy Porter Poe during the BOC’s planning meeting. “If these people are getting county money and support, they need to take a drug test.”
During the discussion, Sands said he was hesitant to support this type of legislation. Sands said he was worried about the expenses of implementing that type of legislation.
BOC Chair Larry Rhodes agreed with Sands.
“I’m like William, I haven’t really thought about voting for this,” said Rhodes.
“I hate to see this happen (parents using public assistance funds to acquire drugs); I’m sure sure if this is the answer,” said Rhodes
The financial impact wasn’t the only consequence discussed during the planning meeting. The board also discussed the potential impact on the children of those who tests positive for drugs while seeking public assistance funds.
One of the unanswered questions addressed at the meeting was if children will be removed from the care of parents who test positive and placed in the care of social services.
“I don’t know if this is the right answer, but something has to be done,” said Roark.
Eventually, the decision was made to remove this resolution from the 3:30 meeting to give the board more time to learn about the proposed legislation.
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