In some ways, North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a rising star on the national stage, can credit his entire political career to overzealous Guilford County Democrats’ efforts to curtail Second Amendment gun rights.
It was, after all, a fiery 2018 speech before the Greensboro City Council that first brought widespread attention to the longtime educator, entrepreneur and gun enthusiast.
Robinson’s dressing-down of the Democrat-dominated council went viral on YouTube, and he soon found himself making cable-TV appearances, where his charismatic presence made murmurs of elected office inevitable.
On Thursday, Robinson was back in his wheelhouse, slamming the gun-grabbing leftists in his home county—only this time, it was via an official press release from the state capital of Raleigh.
It came as the Guilford County Board of Commissioners planned to consider sweeping gun-control measures that critics feared would:
- Make it illegal to repetitively discharge firearms for 2 hours consecutively during daylight hours, even at shooting ranges
- Ban altogether the repetitive discharging of firearms during nighttime hours (9 p.m. to 8 a.m.)
- Empower the county sheriff to respond to discharge calls, even on private property, and impose fines up to $500
- Prohibit shooting—including when hunting—within 150 yards of houses, barns and chicken coops
- Ban the use of non-stationary targets at personal and professional shooting ranges
- Impose $500 penalties for landowners if guns were discharged on their property, even if they were not present
Robinson warned the county that its attack on private citizens potentially violated several constitutional rights at the state and federal level.
“The Guilford County Commissioners’ push to forcibly control the rights of law-abiding citizens is not only wrong but dangerous,” he said. “This new ordinance restricts what you can do on your own property and limits businesses in how they operate.”
State Republicans also noted that the very laws cited by the county as justification for their proposals included statutes that prohibited the county from attempting to regulate or restrict hunting rights.
Additionally, they pointed to the passage of a 2018 referendum amending the state constitution, which further codified protections for hunters.
“That constitutional provision provides that the people’s right to hunt is ‘subject only to laws enacted by the General Assembly,” said the NCGOP in a letter to the board.
The letter, signed by Philip R. Thomas, the NCGOP’s chief counsel and strategy director, said that not only had the GOP-led state legislature withheld permission to the county, but it had expressly prohibited the county from acting.
“Your Board would be well served to seriously consider the potential legal ramifications of the adoption of the proposed changes,” Thomas wrote.
In his statement, Robinson hammered the board for being driven more by a radical ideology than concern for public interest or upholding the law.
“The agenda of the County Commissioners is not about the safety of the people but about pandering to leftist ideology,” he said.
“As a lifelong resident of Guilford County, it is sad to see the County Commissioners focusing on a personal agenda, rather than real issues,” Robinson continued. “County leaders should be focusing on a plan to prevent real crimes, starting with helping the Sheriff’s Office recruit much-needed deputies to fill vacancies and empowering them to build trust within the community.”