I am Demetrise Stephenson, a former Chapel Hill Law Enforcement Officer. I served 3 years until my career was shortened by a gun in the wrong hands of a student suffering from mental illness.
As an officer, intense training gave me the right and foresight to use a weapon for my own protection and the protection of others. I talked with officers who have had to draw their weapon and very few who have had to use them. They agree, training coupled with the mental anticipatory guidance is one of the reliable resources necessary.
I believe in the right to bear arms. Human life is what we should all desire to protect. I strongly oppose the Constitutional Carry Act, HB 69. It eliminates our life-saving concealed carry weapons permitting system, enabling 18-year-olds the right to carry a hidden loaded weapon in public without firearm carry concealed training. Dangerously, 18-year-olds are four times more likely to commit homicide than adults 21 years old or older.
I now work in public education. It is a place of many social exchanges where immature coping strategies led to the doorway of impulsivity.
In 2015 Mount St. Mary’s University compared non-trained carriers. Without training, “You get a person who’s unfamiliar and put a live weapon in their hand and expect them to be both competent and safe, you’re asking a lot of that person,” Kelly Veuden, Owner Criterion Tactical- firearms training center in San Antonio.
Please consider the permitting process. Be a citizen, live in NC for 30 days, 21 years old, no mental or physical condition that would interfere with safe handling of a firearm and lastly, complete firearm safety training, including practice fire handguns and learning about NC gun laws!