"I want to make sure I'm protected as much as I can be," said Megan Click from Johnson City, Tenn. Click was at the Personal Defense and Handgun Safety Center in Raleigh practice shooting on the range and seemed genuinely concerned about Democrats in Washington, DC trying to take her guns.
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"I know Hillary is talking about pulling guns from everybody," Click said, although, when pressed, she couldn't offer specifics. "Law-abiding people might have their guns taken from them and that's where you have issues where if people were allowed to have a gun they might be able to stop a criminal if other people's lives are in danger."
Click's argument boils down to the now-famous quip from the president of the NRA about the only thing stopping bad guys with guns are good guys with guns. Advocates for gun control say proliferation is not the answer but that leaves little room for common ground.
"If (criminals are) bound and determined to get hold of (a gun)," Click said, "they're going to find it somehow."
One place Click and other gun advocates say they're willing to look for agreement is background checks. "You do go through the process of having a background check. That way guns aren't getting into the hands of the people who shouldn't have them."
But a new bill in the state legislature could change that. A group of pro-gun lawmakers are pushing for a constitutional amendment that would do away with the requirement to get a permit in order to carry a concealed weapon.
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Gun-safety instructor Doug Leon, who considers himself an avid gun enthusiast, says that goes too far. "It's just like driving an automobile. You need a license. You can't just have anybody get behind the wheel and drive a car. I would vote for some sort of control."
Gun-rights advocates say more than a dozen states have so-called "permitless" conceal-carry laws. Gun-control advocates are promising to fight to see that North Carolina doesn't become one of them.
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