Beaufort County commissioners vote no to concealed weapons

WASHINGTON, N.C (WNCT)- For the second straight month, a motion to allow concealed weapons in Beaufort County buildings failed. Commissioners voted the motion down with a 4 to 3 vote.

However, that didn’t come until a lot of debate between commissioners, and county residents.

“That is a trump on the constitutional rights of the citizens of Beaufort County,” said William Cratch, who addressed commissioners during public comments in favor of the motion.

Cratch said anyone who passed the background checks required to receive a permit should be allowed to carry them in county buildings.

“The issue of concealed carry is not only a personal right, but a god given right as set forth by the Founding Fathers that established this constitution,” he said.

Commissioner Gary Brinn changed his vote to in favor of the motion, but was still one vote short of it passing. Commissioner Ron Buzzeo then became the swing vote.

However, in order for Commissioner Buzzeo to vote in favor of the motion, several conditions had to be met. Those included only allowing county employees to have concealed weapons in county buildings, mandating extra training, and studying security in all buildings.

“I want to base it on what is actually needed for the county, and in this situation, how do we protect the county employees,” Buzzeo said.

However, those in favor of the initial motion disagreed strongly.

“What Mr. Buzzeo has done is presumed that our employees are incapable of exercising good judgement,” said Commission Hood Richardson.

Following the failed motion, Commissioner Jerry Langley proposed a motion to not bring the issue up again for six months, which passed with a 4 to 3 vote.

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