NCSU Trustee Arrested For Gun Possession On U.S. Capitol

A North Carolina State University trustee was arrested for gun possession on U.S. Capitol grounds Wednesday, according to multiple media outlets.

NCSU alumnus Ronald William Prestage, 59, of Camden, S.C. was arrested just after 9:00 a.m. Wednesday at the Cannon House Office Building entrance. A capitol police officer was searching Presage’s bad when he found a loaded 9mm handgun.

Prestage has served on the Board of Trustees since May 2013. He is the president of Prestage Farms in South Carolina and president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council.

He is due in court Thursday morning.

Recent Shootings Prove No More Than Last Year

While it may seem as though shootings in Chapel Hill this year have been more frequent, Chapel Hill Police Public Information Lieutenant Josh Mecimore says that these numbers are no worse than last year.

“I don’t know that there have been any great changes in how we are patrolling,” says Lt. Mecimore, “but I would suspect that they are probably along those same lines: three or four in a half-year period.

However, Lt. Mecimore says that the severity of the shootings has been greater. Aside from the homicide that took place on Christopher Road on May 30, Lt. Mecimore recalls the other three shootings that have taken place this year.

“There was one on West Rosemary Street in the 300 block, one on East Franklin Street in the 100 block, which was this past week, and then a robbery on Cotton Street, where a gun was fired,” says Lt. Mecimore. “I think only in one of the other ones this year was someone was actually hit, but in the other two, a gun was discharged either during an argument, or in the one case, during a robbery.”

So far this calendar year, there have been four shootings. At this timeast year, there were also four.

NC Police Chief: Teen Shot Himself In Patrol Car

DURHAM — Durham’s police chief says a teenager who died while inside a patrol car shot himself in the head.

Chief Jose L. Lopez Jr. issued a statement Wednesday saying 17-year-old Jesus Huerta was found slumped over in the back seat of the patrol car on Nov, 19 after the officer driving the car heard what he thought was a gunshot.

Lopez said while the medical examiner has confirmed that Huerta died from a gunshot wound to the head, it’s not known if the wound was intentional or accidental.

Authorities said Huerta had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for second-degree trespassing. An investigation showed the officer handcuffed, searched and detained Huerta in the back seat of his patrol car and was taking him to police headquarters to get the warrant.

Gun Rights Groups Monitor New NC Law

CHARLOTTE — North Carolina’s new law expanding where concealed handguns are allowed is creating a dilemma for communities that had banned firearms from playgrounds.

Some municipalities had to change local laws to comply with the new state legislation. Those cities include Asheville, Winston-Salem and Morrisville.

Opponents say it’s dangerous to have guns around children, but supporters say concealed weapons help reduce crime.

While community leaders are expressing outrage, gun rights groups say its time municipalities follow the law. And they say they’re watching to make sure they do. If they don’t, legal action could follow.

Local Bars With Mixed Responses To NC Gun Law

Image courtesy of nathanmac87

CARRBORO – You may now bring your gun into your favorite bar or restaurant thanks to House Bill 937 which Governor Pat McCrory signed into law Monday, but it’s up to the business whether or not to allow the firearms.

The law allows those with a concealed carry permit to bring a concealed firearm into an establishment that serves alcohol. Jim Wald, one of the owners of GlassHalfFull in Carrboro, says he’s is opposed to the idea of having guns and alcohol in the same vicinity.

“It doesn’t seem like the two mix,” Wald says.

The law includes that those who bring a concealed firearm into the bar are prohibited from drinking alcohol while they have the gun.

Sean LaBelle, kitchen manager at Bailey’s Pub and Grille in Chapel Hill, says he feels more comfortable with restrictions like this in place.

“I think it would be a fine thing,” LaBelle says. “As long as they have all of the necessary permits to carry a concealed weapon.”

Fox & Hound Restaurant Group, the company that owns Bailey’s Pub and Grille, says it has no comment on the bill.

Restaurants and bars would be able to expressly ban concealed firearms in their business. David Roberson, beverage manager at Southern Rail in Carrboro, says his bar would enforce that ban.

“We would probably rather people not come up here with firearms,” Robertson says.

The state’s Board of Insurance says that restaurants and bars that have patrons with concealed firearms would likely not affect their insurance premiums.

PPP Polls on John Edwards, New York Times, More

RALEIGH – If you’ve ever wondered what your fellow North Carolinians think about John Edwards, the New York Times and judicial oversight, Public Policy Polling has you covered.

In its recent survey of North Carolina voters, PPP found that 67 percent of residents say they would never vote for former Senator John Edwards again. Sen. Edwards, who was once the Democratic party’s Vice Presidential candidate, received backlash after it was revealed that he had a lengthy affair while his wife had cancer.

Jim Williams, a polling analyst with PPP, explains why Sen. Edwards can do so poorly in North Carolina while other scandal-riddled politicians like former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner and former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer can continue their political life.

Williams says that not only do states like New York have a different moral tolerance than North Carolina, but Sen. Edwards himself was held in higher esteem in his home state.

“He was sort of representing North Carolina on a national stage before he had his fall from grace,” Williams says. “I think there’s a certain level of embarrassment among North Carolinians when it comes to John Edwards.”

On the subject of embarrassment, PPP also asked North Carolinians how you feel about the New York Times. While this was not included in the question, the New York Times’ editorial board ran a piece titled “The Decline of North Carolina” on July 9, criticizing the General Assembly.

Williams says that while the survey found an almost even split between people who favored, disfavored and had no opinion on the paper, he says the ideological split the poll found between Democrats who favored it and Republicans who disfavored it is likely no different anywhere else in the country.

“It has a reputation of being favored and enjoyed by liberals and dismissed and disliked by conservatives,” Williams says.

Support among North Carolinians for expanded background checks is at 78 percent. While incredibly high, the level of support for background checks in the state is actually lower than in previous polls, which Williams says is a result of issues dealing with gun control not being in the news lately.

“That’s just simply a function of time passing since a major gun tragedy, a major gun shooting somewhere in the United States,” Williams says. “But it’s still overwhelming support.”

Another issue that a majority of North Carolinians stand together on at 52 percent is the Supreme Court overturning Section Five of the Voting Rights Act, with majority displeasure across party lines. Williams says this support for the VRA comes from its storied history.

“People see it as a cornerstone of the Civil Rights movement and you’re not going to see too many people say they don’t agree with what the Civil Rights movement was trying to do,” Williams says.

Congress is currently taking up Section Five of the Voting Rights Act and seeing if it can be re-written to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision, but Williams says that, with the level of discord in both the House and Senate, it’s unlikely that it will get passed any time soon.

Gun Rights Resolution Approved by NC House

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina House debate on a resolution backing constitutional gun rights prompted concerns from Democrats who argued that it criticized national leaders for proposing rules the resolution says would infringe on those rights.

The resolution backed by a 73-35 vote on Wednesday doesn’t have much force of law and will be sent to members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation. Resolution sponsor Republican Michael Speciale of New Bern says the resolution’s message is simple – the right to bear arms should not be infringed upon and any gun restrictions coming from Washington are unconstitutional.

Democrats said they supported the Second Amendment but took issue with language in the resolution, including words saying the president and vice president and members of Congress have proposed laws that would encroach on that right.