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FYI: Open And Concealed Carry Allowed In North Carolina While Wearing COVID19 Mask

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Quite a few people are concerned about this, even going so far as to say that mask rules are being implemented to stifled 2nd Amendment Rights. Many states are making sure that there are no legal issues. I ran across a story at WRAL on this, but, it left out some relevant information, so, going to the Charlotte Observer

Carrying a gun while wearing a mask: NC sheriffs clarify what’s legal during pandemic

It’s illegal to wear a mask in an attempt to conceal your identity in North Carolina unless it’s Halloween, Mardi Gras or you’re attending a masquerade ball, according to general statutes.

At least it was, pre-pandemic.

Now, as local officials from Raleigh to Boone institute mask requirements to protect against the coronavirus and N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper weighs a statewide mandate, residents are seeking a clarification of the rules — particularly those with gun permits.

A statewide mask requirement goes into effect at 5pm today, Friday the 26th. The story goes on to note that in Illinois and, yes, even Virginia, people are allowed to carry both concealed and open while wearing a mask as long as they are not in the commission of a crime.

As North Carolina inches toward a potentially similar mandate, law enforcement officials have said the same logic would apply to concealed carry permit holders here. But unlike Illinois, North Carolina’s mask-wearing statute outlawing citizens from attempting to hide their identity does not mention weapons.

Still, Guilford County Sheriff D.H. Rogers in Greensboro said in a news release Wednesday that several citizens had asked about “the legality of carrying a concealed handgun while wearing a COVID-19 protective mask.”

“If you have a valid CCH permit, it is legal (i.e., it is not a crime) to carry a concealed handgun while wearing a mask, provided that you are wearing the mask to protect yourself or others from the COVID-19 virus,” he said in response.

Permit holders must, however, remove the mask if instructed to do so by a law enforcement officer, according to the release. (snip)

According to Senate Bill 704 or Session Law 2020-3, face coverings are allowed “for the purpose of ensuring the physical health or safety of the wearer or others.”

“Session Law 2020-3 was specifically enacted so people could carry concealed (or open carry) while wearing a mask. This is valid until August 1st, although it may be revisited and extended, especially if face masks become mandatory,” spokesperson Christina Howell told the Winston-Salem Journal.

So, if you want to carry and not commit a crime, you’re good to go.

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