Last week, Grass Roots North Carolina notified the City of Raleigh that failure to remove its now-illegal signs prohibiting lawful concealed handguns in parks would result in litigation. For two years, Raleigh Parks and Recreation Director Diane Sauer had been telling complainants that it was too expensive to remove or amend signs, despite the fact that they were in non-compliance with N.C.G.S. 14-409.40 (statewide uniformity of firearms laws).
Under public pressure and threat of litigation, Sauer on Friday allowed that signs would be removed from some locations, but that others would remain. Said GRNC president Paul Valone:
“Grudgingly removing only some of Raleigh’s illegal signs prohibiting lawful concealed carry is akin to citizens agreeing to obey Raleigh’s noise ordinance only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. What part of the word ‘illegal’ does Raleigh not understand?
“City representatives cite cost of replacing the signs as the rationale for non-compliance. Of course, other cities have simply affixed stickers over the ‘no firearms’ language on their signs. Indeed, the problem could be solved with a $3.00 roll of duct tape.
“But Grass Roots North Carolina recognizes that times are tough, and we want to help. So if a public statement is not made by a representative of the City of Raleigh by Tuesday (October 29, 2013) that signs will be suitably removed or altered in a timely fashion, we will assume that Raleigh is in such poor financial condition that that it is unable to comply. Accordingly, we will encourage people to send rolls of duct tape to Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane.
“In a campaign orchestrated by GRNC, I am sure Mayor McFarlane will receive many hundreds — perhaps thousands of rolls of duct tape, particularly once the effort goes “viral” nationwide. Given the likely media circus, others will doubtless become aware of Raleigh’s plight and they too will be motivated to render assistance. It will, of course, be our pleasure to help Raleigh resolve it’s dilemma.”