Becky Ceartas's activity stream

  • published The Second Amendment Protection Act 2020-07-07 10:55:36 -0400

    The Second Amendment Protection Act

    To protect children, current state law prohibits concealed firearms at all schools, including places of worship that have an associated school. This is sound public policy. Removing this protection puts school children at increased risk regardless of whether the firearms are allowed during curricular and extracurricular activities. For example, it would increase the potential for guns to be mistakenly left behind on school property.


    • Increases the risk of serious injury to school children. There are many documented instances of firearms owners accidentally leaving their firearms behind on school grounds in restrooms, classrooms, and gymnasiums.[1]

    • Legitimizes further expansion of weapons at schools by chipping away at the prohibition of guns on school property. It effectively sets a precedent for private schools unaffiliated with religious places of worship to argue that they also should be exempt from the firearms prohibition. (NCGV opposes guns in all K-12 schools.)

    • Weakens NC’s concealed carry weapons permitting system by making it easier to renew a permit without an in-person firearms safety and training course if renewed within a certain amount of time. Given that permits last five years, we need to strengthen our permitting system, not weaken it.
    • Allows on-duty emergency medical services personnel working with law enforcement to carry concealed if they meet certain criteria. We do not need more people carrying deadly weapons in emergency situations. 


    • Guns are not needed in religious places of worship in the first place. Increasing the likelihood that places of worship become the site of shootouts does not protect worshippers. Civilians, armed or otherwise, rarely stop mass shootings. Further, mass shootings are more likely to occur in the home, rather than in a public place. Between January 2009 and July 2015, 70 percent of US shootings that killed four or more people occurred in a home, and 57 percent involved an intimate partner or a family member.[2]

    • There are many security-training programs available to church security guards to learn how to disarm a gunman without using a weapon at all. There are also non-lethal options, such as pepper spray.

    • An FBI study of 160 active shooter incidents from 2000 to 2013 found that only one was stopped by an individual with a valid firearm permit. In contrast, 21 incidents were stopped by unarmed citizens.[3]

    • The “Good Guy with a Gun” myth has been debunked by multiple studies, including a 2017 National Bureau of Economic Research study that showed right-to-carry laws actually increase rates of violent crime.[4]

    • When armed civilians try to intervene, it often goes wrong. In one Las Vegas shooting, an armed couple shot a man who was armed and drew his gun instead of fleeing.[5] In an Arizona shooting, an armed civilian almost shot civilian bystanders who were trying to intervene, rather than the gunman.[6]




    [1] Drane K. Every Incident of Mishandled Guns in Schools. March 2, 2020.

    [2] Jeltson M. We’re Missing the Big Picture on Mass Shootings. August 25, 2015.

    [3] Defilippis E., Hughes D. Commentary: Gun-Rights Advocates Say Places That Ban Guns Attract Mass Shooters. The Data Says They’re Wrong. June 18, 2015.

    [4] Donohue J., Aneja A., Weber K. Right-to-Carry Laws and Violent Crime: A Comprehensive Assessment Using Panel Data and a State-Level Synthetic Control Analysis. November, 2018.

    [5] NBC News. Two Cops, Three Others Killed in Las Vegas Shooting Spree. June 8, 2014.

    [6] Saletan W. Armed Giffords Hero Nearly Shot Wrong Man. January 11, 2011.

  • published Sustain Gov. Cooper's Veto of H652 2020-07-03 11:31:15 -0400

    Sustain Gov. Cooper's Veto of H652

    Great news! On July 2nd, Gov. Cooper vetoed H652, the Second Amendment Protection Act, saying  “the bill allows guns on school property which threatens the safety of students and teachers.” We couldn’t agree more.

    To protect children, current state law prohibits concealed firearms at places of worship that have an associated school. North Carolinians Against Gun Violence believes that this remains sound public policy. Removing this protection would put school children at increased risk, even if firearms are still banned on the school part of the property.

    H652 passed the NC House 77-38 and the NC Senate 33-14. See who voted for the bill in the House here and in the Senate here.

    Please call and email your representative and senator TODAY and tell them to sustain the Governor’s veto. You can find out who represents you here. The vote to try and override Governor Cooper's veto will happen tomorrow morning. 

    The message is simple:  Please vote to sustain Governor Cooper’s veto of H652, the Second Amendment Protection Act. I am very concerned for the safety of school children, teachers and for people in emergency situations. In addition, we need to strengthen, not weaken, our concealed carry weapons permitting system. 

    Along with allowing guns at religious places of worship with schools associated with them, H652 will further damage our state’s firearm safety laws by:

    • weakening NC’s concealed carry weapons permitting system by making it easier to renew a permit without a firearms safety and training course. Given that permits last five years, we need to strengthen our permitting system, not weaken it.

    • allowing on-duty emergency medical services personnel working with law enforcement to carry concealed if they meet certain criteria. We simply do not need more people with even less training than law enforcement carrying deadly weapons in emergency situations. 

    These changes undermine the link between gun safety training and permitting, and seek to add even more firearms to emergency situations.

    The CDC reports that in 2018, over 1,400 people were killed with firearms in North Carolina. We need better gun laws to protect all North Carolinians from gun violence.

    H652 goes in the wrong direction by prioritizing easier firearms access over family safety. Please contact your Senator and Representative today to ask them to sustain Governor Cooper’s veto of H652.


  • published H652 release in NC Legislation 2020-06-20 04:52:14 -0400

    NCGV Opposes Bill Allowing Concealed Carry at Places of Worship with Schools

    North Carolinians Against Gun Violence is opposing the Freedom to Worship Safely, H652, passed on June 19th by the state Senate because it would legalize carrying concealed firearms at religious places of worship with associated schools. 

    State law allows concealed firearms at religious places of worship except when there is an associated school in order to better protect school children. NCGV believes that still is sound public policy. Removing this protection puts school children at increased risk regardless of whether the firearms are allowed at the school itself.  

    “We oppose H652. It circumvents state policy outlawing concealed carry of firearms on school grounds and would put school children at more risk of gun violence,” said NCGV Executive Director Becky Ceartas. “State law applies to both public and private school property and makes no exception for schools owned and operated by places of worship for a simple reason: it endangers school children. 

    “The fact that weapons would be allowed at the place of worship with schools but not at the associated school itself on the same property practically amounts to a distinction without a difference,” Ceartas added.

    Bill proponents argue that it just aligns places of worship with schools and places of worship without schools in allowing concealed weapons. It’s not that simple. Most worryingly, H652:

    • increases the risk of serious injury to school children. There are many documented instances of firearms owners accidentally leaving their firearms behind on school grounds in restrooms, classrooms, and gymnasiums. Allowing concealed weapons at religious places of worship with schools increases the risk of them being discharged by intent or by accident. 
    • legitimizes further expansion of weapons at schools by chipping away at the prohibition of guns on school property. It effectively sets a precedent for private schools unaffiliated with religious places of worship to argue that they also should be exempt from the firearms prohibition. (NCGV opposes guns in all K-12 schools.)

    The current law that allows people to carry firearms into religious places of worship not associated with a school is also dangerous. At a minimum, places of worship should be required to “opt-in” to concealed carry so that people know which religious places of worship allow firearms. At present the default requires religious places of worship to “opt out”. H652 also would require opting out.

    NCGV opposes any legislation that weakens our state’s gun laws. 1,416 people were killed with firearms in NC in 2018 according to the CDC. We need stronger gun laws to protect all North Carolinians from gun violence. Unfortunately, H652 goes in the wrong direction. 

  • published black lives matter 2020-06-10 08:45:59 -0400

    black lives matter

    On National Gun Violence Awareness Day (June 5th), we #WearOrange to bring attention to the deadly intersection of racism, white supremacy, and gun violence in America, where Black people are 10 times more likely to die by gun homicide than white people. In 2018 in North Carolina, 67% of all firearm homicide victims were among Black people: 285 men and 44 women of the 489 total firearm homicide victims.

    We also want to be clear: police violence is gun violence. As anti-violence advocates, we condemn all forms of violence, including violence carried out by law enforcement. Nationally, police killings are approximately the same now as they were in 2013. The same is true in NC over a similar period: there were 22 legal intervention deaths in 2012, and 21 in 2017. This violence also includes an unknown number of serious injuries like the ones we have seen this week in cities across NC and the entire country. 

    Cities across North Carolina are rising up in protest against the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many, many other Black Americans by police and others in positions of power throughout our history. 

    We echo the call for reforming the system of policing that clearly has a different standard of response to people of color than people who are white, and which emboldens known white supremacist organizations. We saw it in Raleigh, where armed white protesters were welcome on streets and at a Subway, while Black protesters were met with batons, shields, rubber bullets, and tear gas.

    So on this #WearOrange day, more than any other day of remembrance and action against gun violence, we are with our communities, our state, and the world, in loudly proclaiming Black Lives Matter. We stand up and speak out today for Ahmaud Arbery; George Floyd; Breonna Taylor; and Hadiya Pendleton, in whose memory this awareness day was created; and the many other Black lives lost, hurt, and afraid because of police and gun violence.


  • published Safe Storage and COVID 19 2020-04-20 09:42:50 -0400

    Safe Storage and COVID 19

    The COVID-19 pandemic has confined families and individuals to their homes, creating considerable, widespread stress. Gun sales have surged in North Carolina, where gun retailers report increases of 5-10 times above normal March gun sales, especially for first time buyers. This creates a deadly combination. 

    Ensuring safe storage of guns is always important – but especially critical during this crisis.

    Can you share safe firearm storage information with gun owners you know, and on social media? 

    To safely store firearms, every gun in the home must be:

    1. Unloaded.
    2. Locked. Gun safes/cabinets are the safest option, but if one is not available, trigger locks or cable locks are good alternatives. Don’t forget to hide the key or combination from children or adults who have threatened to harm themselves or others.
    3. Stored separately from locked up ammunition.

    Local free or low cost safe storage resources

    Safety kits, which include a free cable-style gun lock and safety instructions, are usually available from your local law enforcement agency. If you or someone you love feels that having a gun in the home is not safe right now, some gun shops and local law enforcement will store guns temporarily to help in times of concern. Call them first to find out how and where you can take your guns for temporary safe storage.

    Why is safe storage in the home so important? 

    Most (70%) of NC gun deaths happen at home, and mainly include suicide, domestic violence, and accidental shootings. North Carolinians are at home now more than ever, and the pressures from a sudden and complete change to our lifestyle are stressful, real, and we don’t know yet when things will return to normal. Access to firearms increases suicide risk by more than 300%, and homicides by 200%. During this uncertain time, and especially with new gun owners, we need to be talking about safe firearm storage with our friends and loved ones, to keep guns away from kids, and from adults who are a danger to themselves or others.  

    Can you share this message with anyone that you know that owns a gun, and on social media? You can link to our safe storage fact sheet, which has good data on why safe storage is important and instructions on how to use a cable lock. 

    Lastly, please check out this blog on NC-specific resources from our partners at North Carolina MomsRising. It has a great list of state and national resources, including links for connecting with mental health and domestic violence resources. 

    Storing firearms safely at home is responsible and simple. And it just may save a loved one’s life. With the rise in firearm purchases and the evolving coronavirus pandemic creating fear, isolation at home, and uncertain supervision of youth, your sharing of this important safe storage information could save the lives of the people you love. 


  • published Safe Storage of Firearms 2020-03-24 11:56:56 -0400

  • published NCGV Response to COVID 19 2020-03-19 05:41:16 -0400

    NCGV Response to COVID 19

    The staff and board of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence hope that you are doing well with your health and social distancing. We care about you. We are working at home and communicating via phone and video conferences.

    As you can likely guess, we are postponing our annual Lisa Price Gun Violence Prevention Circle fundraising reception, scheduled for May 3rd. We will let you know when we set a new date. We deeply appreciate your commitment to reducing gun violence in North Carolina, including standing up against the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement with your financial support this year. 

    We are not asking for your financial support at this time. Instead we encourage you to support local food banks and other organizations helping communities during this pandemic. 

    While the Coronavirus pandemic is rightly everyone’s first and foremost concern, NCGV eventually will need your financial support again. The tragedy of gun violence is not going away as is sadly reflected in these recent events:

    • The small North Carolina town of Moncure (population 711) is grieving the unexpected and inexplicable loss of seven community members after a man killed six members of his extended family and then took his own life on Sunday night.
    • Gun sales are at a record high, including first time buyers. Hyatt Guns, a large Charlotte gun store, says sales have increased by 30 to 40 percent since late February. One of our concerns is that people are not practicing safe storage, which is incredibly important with kids being at home more. One out of three North Carolina parents own a gun and over one in four of those parents’ guns are unsecured.
    • In Raleigh, we are preparing for the General Assembly’s scheduled return on April 28th as we are concerned about renewed efforts to allow teachers to carry a gun to school, dismantle our background check system for handguns, and waive the requirement to get a permit before carrying concealed.

    Rates of suicide, domestic violence, and hate crimes are not going away and are likely to be exacerbated by this crisis. As we head into the legislative session we know that radical gun rights proponents will not let up in their cause, even during a public health crisis. We will be there working to protect more North Carolinians from gun violence. 


  • published Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions 2020-02-12 04:23:56 -0500

    Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions


    Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions declare or imply that state gun safety laws do not apply in communities that adopt such resolutions. Some go as far as refusing to enforce and dedicate tax-funded resources to the implementation of state gun safety measures. These resolutions jeopardize public safety by interfering with the implementation of life-saving gun violence prevention laws.

    In North Carolina, at least 51 counties have passed Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions as of April 14, 2020. 

    • At least 29 of those resolutions state the county’s willingness to not enforce laws they deem unconstitutional: Alamance, Alexander, Ashe, Bladen, Brunswick, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Camden, Carteret, Catawba, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Madison, Montgomery, Moore, Pender, Pitt, Randolph, Robeson, Rowan, Rutherford, Wayne, Yadkin. 

    • And 22 go even further to threaten to withhold tax dollars that go towards enforcement: Allegheny, Anson, Cleveland, Columbus, Davidson, Davie, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Lincoln, McDowell, Mitchell, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Richmond, Rockingham, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Union, Wilkes.

    • While the language differs from resolution to resolution in North Carolina, the intent remains the same: to undermine life-saving gun violence prevention laws, or any laws that the locality perceives to unconstitutionally interfere with the Second Amendment.


    • Most notably, Second Amendment “Sanctuary” resolutions put domestic violence victims at increased risk for gun violence. According to the American Journal of Public Health, the presence of a firearm makes it nearly 5 times more likely that a domestic violence victim will become a homicide victim.[1]

    • Victims rely on their local governments and law enforcement agencies to help enforce protective orders, including orders for an abuser to surrender a firearm.

    • A local sheriff might feel empowered by the sanctuary resolution to take an extreme stance on not enforcing gun laws. For example, they might not use county resources, like staff time, to remove weapons from domestic abusers who make credible threats to harm a partner or child.

    • Passing these resolutions could embolden certain law enforcement actors and private citizens to ignore or knowingly violate gun violence prevention So-called “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” are abdicating their duty to promote the public health and safety of their constituents by refusing to enforce reasonable and necessary gun laws designed to save lives.

    • A Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution can harm a county’s economy. We have seen corporations around the country adopt stricter gun policies - it's an undeniable growing trend. We do not want to see businesses leave or not locate in a North Carolina county because corporations are worried about employee safety in a “Second Amendment Sanctuary” city or county.

    • A county that refuses to enforce a state law opens itself up to lawsuits.

    • These resolutions are out of step with the public’s widespread support for stronger gun safety laws. A 2019 poll by the conservative Civitas Institute found that 58% of North Carolinians think our gun laws are too lax, even though 48% of those polled either owned a gun or had someone in their home who owned a gun.[6]


    • In 2018, 1,416 North Carolinians were shot and killed, the most since 1999.[2]

    • Firearms are the third-leading cause of death for North Carolina children. In just two years, at least 672 children and teenagers in North Carolina visited a hospital for a firearm-related injury.[3]

    • The annual cost of gun violence in North Carolina is $7.4 billion -- $754 per resident.[4]

    • Suicide is the leading cause of firearm-related deaths in North Carolina, and nearly 57% of all suicide deaths in the state involve firearms.4

    • Sixty-one percent of North Carolina’s intimate partner homicides involve a gun, and abused women are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser has a firearm.[5]


    • It is the responsibility of our courts, not local governments, to be the arbiters of a law’s constitutionality. In fact, Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s majority opinion in the District of Columbia v Heller (2008) case said that the Second Amendment was not unlimited and that a range of gun regulations are fully consistent with the Second Amendment.

    • We believe that these resolutions are non-binding and/or legally invalid for several reasons: First, the language of the resolutions tend to be vague, implying that they are merely symbolic in nature. Second, each type of gun violence prevention law at issue has been deemed constitutional by courts around the country. If individuals, or even a city or county, wanted to challenge the constitutionality of any of the state gun violence prevention laws, the proper mechanism would be to file a civil suit.



    [1] Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships. Am J Public Health.

    [2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. WISQARS Fatal Injury Data.

    [3] Hundreds of NC Children are being killed or injured by guns. The News & Observer.

    [4] The Economic Cost of Gun Violence in NC. Giffords Law Center.

    [5] Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships. Am J Public Health.

    [6] North Carolinians for stricter gun control. Civitas Institute.

  • published 2019 Legislative Victories 2019-11-08 12:36:08 -0500

    2019 Legislative Victories

    As the 2019 General Assembly draws to a close, North Carolinians Against Gun Violence has important legislative victories to share and celebrate. All of these were made possible by your contributions and actions.

    HB 508, the Firearms Safe Storage Awareness Initiative, called for an initiative to educate the public about safe firearm storage, and to facilitate the distribution of gun locks. This initiative is so important because over 40% of North Carolina residents own a firearm, yet only about half of these gun owners and less than half of gun-owning parents keep them secured.

    NCGV was a part of the 2017 Child Fatality Task Force’s Firearm Safety Stakeholder group that developed this proposal.

    NCGV supporters called and emailed to support HB 508 and our lobbyists helped get the initiative included into the budget bill. In the end, the budget was vetoed by Governor and this measure was not included in the “mini budgets”. But getting it in the broad budget bill was a big step forward. With your support we will again fight for its inclusion in next year’s budget or as a stand-alone bill.

    HB 499, Omnibus Gun Changes, was a dangerous bill that would have significantly weakened our gun laws. Most notably, it would have: 

    • Repealed portions of NC’s concealed carry permitting system which would essentially allow 18 year olds with no training and no background check to carry a concealed gun.
    • Permitted approved school employees to carry a concealed gun in K-12 schools while performing their duties.
    • Allowed legislators and staff to carry weapons at the General Assembly.

    Again, NCGV was present every day at the General Assembly talking with key lawmakers about the dangers of this bill while our supporters across the state called and emailed legislators to express their opposition. These contacts worked! HB 499 was never brought up for a vote.

    Rep. Pitman tried to offer an amendment to arm educators in K-12 schools to the School Safety Omnibus bill, SB 5. NCGV worked with legislative leaders to ensure that the amendment did not come up for a vote. We were successful!

    The School Security Act of 2019, SB 192, also would have allowed for K-12 educators to be armed and given them a 5% salary supplement! We conducted an educational campaign in key districts to talk about the dangers of this bill, educated our supporters on the bill prior to their meetings with key legislators, and spoke to influential legislators about stopping this bill. This bill also was never brought up for a vote!

    NCGV took strategic steps on each damaging bill to create a successful plan to stop each one. We are excited to have made it through the legislative session without passage of any harmful bills.

    Thanks to the many supporters who called, emailed, and met with legislators this session! We are grateful for your partnership, and proud of our work together to help keep our state a safer place for all of us.

    This was all made possible by your support. We hope that you will continue to support us to sustain our victories in 2020 because any of these bills can be acted on next year.




  • published Extreme Risk Protection Orders in NC Legislation 2019-09-23 11:42:50 -0400

    Extreme Risk Protection Orders



    Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) laws are bi-partisan policy proposals which can be instrumental in preventing people who are a threat to themselves or others from possessing firearms. For North Carolina, this law could be highly effective in addressing situations of hate-related gun crimes, mass shootings, or suicides, potentially saving hundreds of lives.


    • Seventeen states plus Washington, DC have enacted ERPO laws: Connecticut, Indiana, California, Washington, Oregon, Florida, Vermont, Maryland, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, Colorado, Nevada, and Hawaii.[1]
    • Generally, a judge may only issue an order for removal of someone’s weapons after a full hearing in which testimony and other evidence is presented to determine if the individual presents a credible threat of harm to themselves or others.
    • Where the threat of harm is immediate, a judge may issue an order on an ex parte basis. “Ex parte” means the order for removal of weapons may be issued without prior notice to the individual.
    • If the order is issued ex parte, a full evidentiary hearing is required within a short period of time (usually less than three weeks after the ex parte order is issued) to determine if the behavior demonstrates a credible threat.
    • If, after a full evidentiary hearing, the threat is ruled NOT credible, no order is issued and the weapons remain in the individual’s possession. If an order was previously issued ex parte, the person’s weapons are returned.
    • If, after a full evidentiary hearing, the threat IS found to be credible, an order will be issued for removal of the weapons – often up to a year. If an order was previously issued ex parte, the person’s weapons will not be returned for the duration of the order - typically up to one year.
    • There are often harsh consequences - including court costs, attorney fees, and even criminal punishment - for anyone that misuses or abuses the ERPO process simply to harass or annoy an individual.


    • The shooters in Parkland, Florida; and Isla Vista, California[2] had behaviors that would have set the ERPO process in motion if these laws were in place at that time.
    • A study revealed that 51% of mass shooters showed signs of distress which would have been actionable if ERPO laws were in place.[3] This legislation can prevent mass shooters from possessing weapons.
    • ERPO laws have proven effective at reducing suicides, which account for nearly two-thirds of gun deaths in NC.[4] For every 10-20 ERPO orders in Connecticut, one suicide has been prevented.[5]
    • After passing ERPOs, Indiana’s suicide rate dropped by 7.5%.[6]
    • Maryland’s 2019 ERPO law has been invoked in at least four cases involving “significant threats” against schools, according to the leaders of the Maryland Sheriffs’ Association. In just one year, the law potentially thwarted several acts of mass gun violence.[7]






    [1]   Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. The Extreme Risk Protection Act of 2019. July 2019.

    [2] Giffords Law Center. Extreme Risk Protection Orders.

    [3] Everytown for Gun Safety. Mass shootings in the United States: 2009-2017. December 2018.

    [4] North Carolina Injury Prevention Branch. Suicide in North Carolina, 2016. October 2018.

    [5] Swanson, J. W., Norko, M. A., Lin, H. J., Alanis-Hirsch, K., Frisman, L. K., Baranoski, M. V., et al. (2017). Implementation and effectiveness of Connecticut’s risk-based gun removal law: Does it prevent suicides? Law and Contemporary Problems. 80(2), 101-128.

    [6]  Kivisto, A. J., Phalen, P. L. (2018). Effects of Risk-Based Firearm Seizure Laws in Connecticut and Indiana on Suicide Rates, 1981–2015. Psychiatric Services. 69(8), 855-862.

    [7] Broadwater L. Sheriff: Maryland's 'red flag' law prompted gun seizures after four 'significant threats' against schools. The Baltimore Sun. January 15, 2019.

  • published 1.31.19 intern blog in Blogs 2019-03-04 04:57:47 -0500

    1.31.19 intern blog

    Duke University Hosts Panel on Reducing Gun Violence

    January 31, 2018

        Duke University students, faculty, and staff, along with residents of the Durham community, gathered on campus Tuesday evening for a student-organized panel on reducing gun violence. Co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice-Provost, panelists included professors from numerous schools within the University, including Professor Phillip Cook from the Sanford School of Public Policy, Professors Darrell Miller and Joseph Blocher from the Law School, and Professor Jeffrey Swanson from the School of Medicine.

        David Prisch, a junior majoring in Political Science, put the panel together after the tragic Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburg, which occurred in October of this past year. Prisch stated that “even if we can’t eliminate hatred and violence, we can do more to curtail their power to destroy”. The event was moderated by Carlee Goldberg, a student from Parkland, Florida who has experienced the devastating consequences of gun violence first-hand. The panel brought together experts from various fields to discuss opportunities to progress in tackling this multifaceted problem.


    Outlined below is a brief summary of the panelists’ responses to the moderator questions.


    Q: How do we make gun ownership safer in America?

        Professor Swanson emphasized the necessity for the implementation of consistent gun ownership laws across the fifty states, however sweeping laws are much more difficult to implement after DC v. Heller (2008). He noted that the current ownership criteria is flawed in that it does not correlate with potential risk. Professor Blocher added that “people too often think you have to make a choice between gun rights and regulations, but that’s not true as a matter of history or a matter of doctrine”.


    Q: What are the interesting trends in gun regulation?

        Professor Cook explained that “the tectonic shift in gun politics happened in 2018 with the Parkland large extent due to the student leadership coming out of that school”. The raising of these voices led to the recognition that kids across America are riddled with the fear of gun violence each day. Professor Swanson added that the root of this fear is so irrational that we must demand a solution to it. However, Swanson noted that a small percentage of gun deaths derive from such mass shootings, and solutions to one kind of gun violence are not necessarily solutions for another. For example, Red Flag Laws were enacted as a result of this post-Parkland public outcry, but research on the effectiveness of such laws shows that they have a greater impact on reducing suicide than preventing gun-based homicide.


    Q: What do you think that students, or the general population, can do to address the problem of gun violence?

    Professor Cook emphasized that opportunities to get involved politically have greatly increased in recent years, and if you prefer to stay more distant from direct politics, you can still make an impact by volunteering for local groups in the Durham area. Individual ability to influence policy is greater on the local level than the federal level - start small and move big. Professor Blocher added the current momentum is the greatest he’s seen in all of the years he’s been working on this issue. And finally, Professor Swanson made his greatest piece of advice clear: “Vote”.



    Written by Brina Melton, Duke University student intern for NCGV

  • signed Ban Military-Style Assault Weapons 2017-10-11 04:49:57 -0400

    Ban Military-Style Assault Weapons


    As you likely know by now, the Florida high school shooter, the Las Vegas shooter, the Orlando shooter, the Sandy Hook shooter and many others, used military-style assault weapon. These weapons are designed to kill as many people as possible as efficiently as possible. They should not be available to civilians.

    It is well past time for the Congress the United States to act.

    Please tell our Senators to ban military-style assault weapons now. Add your name to the petition today.


    702 signatures



    Dear Senators Burr and Tillis:

    Yet again the nation faces a tragic massacre helped along by easy and inappropriate access to military-style assault weapons. This time it is 17 dead at a Parkland, Florida high school. Before that it was 58 victims in Las Vegas, 26 killed in Sutherland Springs.

    Military-style semi-automatic assault weapons are designed to efficiently kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time available. There is absolutely no reason for assault rifles, assault pistols, and assault shotguns to be sold on the civilian market.

    Congress did not act after Aurora, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Las Vegas, Southerland Springs and many other devastating mass shootings. It’s high time Congress stopped sacrificing lives and work to address this crisis before even more lives are lost.

    We ask that you act now to prevent more carnage by supporting an effective ban on the civilian use of these weapons. Military-style assault weapons, high capacity magazines and bump stocks do not belong in our homes, our streets, our schools, our malls, our movie theaters, our places of worship, or in any of our other gathering places. It is well past time to act but it’s not too late to spare more Americans from death at the hands of killers using these weapons of mass destruction.

    Thank you.


    Add signature

  • published No to the Deregulation of Silencers 2017-09-11 05:19:37 -0400

    No to the Deregulation of Silencers

    Please sign our petition urging Congress to REJECT any legislation deregulating the sale of firearm silencers and make them easily accessible to criminals who want to conceal their crimes.



    203 signatures

    As a North Carolinian, I urge you to please vote against the SHARE Act.

    Silencers are already easy to buy if you’re a responsible person with a clean criminal record. If silencers are deregulated, there will be nothing to stop criminals from adding silencers to their growing arsenal: a public safety threat that we have successfully countered for the past 80 years.

    This bill puts the profits of gun manufacturers ahead of public safety. We know that during active and mass shooting situations, hearing and seeing gunshots can mean the difference between life and death. Protecting communities and law enforcement is more important than gun company profits. So, please vote against the SHARE Act.


    Add signature

  • signed Minutes Matter 2016-05-15 06:56:39 -0400

    Minutes Matter

    Take the Pledge!

    5 pledges

    I pledge to think and speak of suicide as something that can be prevented.  Lives can be saved.


    I pledge to keep any firearms in my house safely locked.


    I pledge to break the silence and speak with my friends and family about suicide awareness and prevention, letting them know that "minutes matter" for everyone.



    Add pledge

  • signed up on Action Alert Sign-Up 2019-09-30 04:50:46 -0400

    Action Alert Sign-Up

    Sign-up here for action alerts, current events, and other ways to support the work of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence. Together we can end gun violence and make North Carolina safe for everyone!


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  • published Who We Are in About 2015-02-04 14:28:15 -0500

    Who We Are

    North Carolinians Against Gun Violence is made up of supporters across the state. Below are our board of directors, staff, and consultants.


    2018 Board of Directors 

    Don Arabian is a retired senior executive from the Federal government who is a local community organizer and strong advocate of gun violence prevention programs in South East North Carolina.

    David Beck, born and raised in Winston-Salem, is the Director of Public Policy and Media Relations at Self-Help Credit Union in Durham since 1998. 

    Beth Berngartt is currently retired after a career as a paralegal followed by over 20 years working in the non-profit management field in Raleigh.  She has been an active advocate against gun violence since moving to North Carolina from Georgia in 1989.

    Kathleen Clarke-Pearson is one of our newest NCGV Board members.  She is a pediatrician and a long time supporter of NCGV.  Dr. Clarke-Pearsno grew up in Queens, NY and has lived in NC for several decades raising 4 children.  Her older brother is a victim of gun violence and a survivor.   

    Kris Evans holds an MBA and while she has spent the last decade out of the workforce to raise her kids, she has been an active volunteer with a number of non profits in the Charlotte area.

    Chantell Felder is a full time mom and employer and aids in the fight against gun violence through her nonprofit, L5 Angels. L5 Angels is a 501c3 that participates in speaking engagements and community services events centered around gun violence. We also offer a scholarship for siblings of gun violence victims.

    Wesley McMahon has ten years of experience working with non-profit organizations. He is currently a full time father of two young children and an active advocate against gun violence.  He is the president of the board of directors.

    Zoe Nichols is a high school senior. She’s survived a code red drill, knows how to fire a gun, and believes that gun safety and personal freedom go hand in hand

    Aleta Payne is Executive Director of the Johnson Service Corps; she is a native Virginian but has been a resident of North Carolina for almost two decades.

    Renuka Soll has volunteered in her community while raising her children. She has been residing in North Carolina for about 15 years.

    Jeremy Sugg is a husband, father and attorney in Charlotte who advocates for responsible gun ownership, and common-sense gun regulations.



    Staff and Consultants

    Rebecca Ceartas, Executive Director, has been leading NCGV since 2014 and has 20 years of experience with non profits.

    Sara Smith, Statewide Community Organizer, has a background in public health and organizing, and brings 19 years of experience with non-profits and universities to NCGV.

    Tracy Kondracki, Finance Administrator Consultant, founder of the Green Bean Counters, providing business services to non-profits and other environmentally & socially mindful small businesses since 2005.

    New Frame, Lobbyists, brings over 20 years of experience to lobbying for legislation at the North Carolina General Assembly.





  • commented on Unload Your 401k 2014-09-26 11:07:06 -0400
    Thanks for your comment Elizabeth. Would you be interested in volunteering with us in a different way – ?

  • wants to volunteer 2016-01-03 05:35:37 -0500

    Volunteer Survey

    Below are ways that you can get involved with North Carolinians Against Gun Violence. After you fill out the form, we will be in touch with you to talk about your interests. Thank you very much for volunteering to keep North Carolinians safe from gun violence.


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  • followed ASK - Asking Saves Kids 2014-05-17 09:43:40 -0400

    ASK: Asking Saves Kids


    I ask because:

    • Every 3 hours a child or teen is killed in a firearm related incident
    • For every child that is killed by a firearm 4 more are injured

    • Firearm injuries in the U.S. are the 2nd leading cause of deaths in youths ages 15-24

    • More children in the U.S. die from gunfire that from cancer, pneumonia, influenza, and HIV/AIDS combined

    • Most 3 year olds can pull the trigger of a gun

    • Not asking is too high a risk


    Asking is simple. “My child is so curious these days. I need to ask, is there an unlocked gun in your house?"