No, concealed carry holders will not be arrested for wearing mask during COVID-19 pandemic

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Friday, June 26, 2020
Concealed gun carriers not impacted by N.C.'s mandated mask order
The question of conceal carry and masks have been on the minds of plenty of gun owners in North Carolina the last few days.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The question of conceal carry and masks have been on the minds of plenty of gun owners in North Carolina the last few days.

Several posts have been circulating around social media stating that a person with a concealed gun permit could be charged with a Class H Felony if they're out in public wearing a mask and have their gun.

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All of the posts sourced N.C. statute 14-12, which states no person can wear a face covering or disguise their voice within public property of any municipality or county of the North Carolina.

It was something Tony Jacobs, an N.C. Concealed Handgun Instructor, also wondered about, especially since he's been seeing a large influx of citizens working to earn their concealed carry permit at Jim's Gun Jobbery in Fayetteville.

"Suffer criminal prosecution for just trying to be safe. Safe by wearing a mask and safe by conceal carrying a gun," Jacobs said.

While it is true that persons concealing a handgun are normally not allowed to wear a mask or conceal their identity, that law was put on hold back in May when Gov. Roy Cooper and state leaders exempted the mask law in the name of public safety.

Though this statute and others don't specifically address conceal carry, Fayetteville PD and the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office say no law-abiding citizen will be arrested for protecting their health and exercising their 2nd Amendment right.

Several law enforcement groups across the state have echoed that sentiment, saying permit holders may wear masks but are expected to remove the mask if asked to do so by an officer during a traffic stop or if that officer in investigating a crime.

Jacobs, who also conceal carries, says he would like to see the state address this concern.

"I would certainly like to, and I know a lot of North Carolina residents would like to see that in writing," Jacobs said.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said it is working to get more clarification from the state regarding the ambiguity of this revised rule so they can provide the public with the most accurate information.

Jacobs tells ABC11 he's relieved that he'll be able to continue to conceal carry but plans to talk to county law enforcement to clarify other questions regarding permits.