HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WNCN) – Holly Springs on Tuesday moved forward with a plan to prohibit the open carry of firearms on town property.
Dozens attended the town council meeting Tuesday night to listen in on the discussion, which went on for about an hour. The decision was a vote for a new ordinance to forbid open carry on town property, as well as parks and recreation facilities.
“I’ve already received a total of 355 emails. I’m going to have to cut down some more trees,” said Dick Sears – Holly Springs Mayor.
“The Michigan legislature had to shut down their entire legislative session because armed protestors were occupying the galleries,” argued councilmember Aaron Wolff.
“There is still full-on rioting going on in Raleigh, so I can understand why there are people fearful and why there is a massive uptick in people wanting to purchase weapons,” argued councilmember Shaun McGrath.
It’s personal for one councilmember leading the effort.
“I was on the Virginia Tech campus during the 2007 mass shooting there and spent about five hours in lockdown. I saw the effect that had on the community (and) know people who lost their lives. And honestly, I promised after that day that I would do something,” Wolff said.
In a 3-2 vote, the council approved the ordinance with a six-month delay of implementation to allow for proper signage and citizen education. A second vote will be required at the next council meeting to approve the ordinance.
While the council reached some common ground, the crowd in attendance did not. Gun advocates said the ordinance is infringing on their rights.
“What they have voted on tonight for Holly Springs is basically a gun-free zone. I’m disappointed,” said resident Sue Butcher.
Others said it’s the right move for the community.
“I lost six family members to gun violence. I do understand the importance of the Second Amendment, but I also understand the importance of safety,” said Gerald Givens, the President Raleigh-Alex NAACP.
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