Progress on House Bill 189, now named “Freedom to Carry NC,” stalled on Wednesday after the NRA reportedly came out in opposition to the bill. NRA lobbyist DJ Spiker, who had been utterly absent from the debate over permitless concealed carry (and rarely seen at the legislature), showed up at the Judiciary 2 Committee meeting which passed HB 189 on Tuesday and began complaining about the bill’s contents.

To satisfy Speaker Tim Moore’s requirement to move the bill, the latest incarnation of HB 189 contains a nominal training requirement to establish that concealed carriers know relevant state laws. The training requirement can be satisfied by courses from the NRA, USCCA, or an online course to be established by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. There will be no permit, no live fire training, no requirement to carry proof of training, nor any central repository or database of who has or has not taken a course.

NRA  “not invented here” syndrome

Spiker reportedly complained to bill sponsor Rep. Keith Kidwell, that due to the training requirement, it was no longer a “true” constitutional carry bill. In truth, HB 189 has always been a hybrid bill in that it offered permitless carry only to those who would otherwise qualify for a permit. Its progenitors stretch back to 2017 with HB 69, sponsored by Rep. Larry Pittman, and HB 746, sponsored by Rep. Chris Millis, both of which contained language similar to HB 189. Despite the fact that HB 746 passed the NC House, sponsors report that the NRA has never been active in the constitutional carry debate.

What the NRA is really objecting to – and which they have done many times in the past – could best be described as the “not invented here” syndrome. Namely, that the NRA couldn’t claim credit for a bill it had not participated in crafting. 

What Spiker seems to avoid mentioning is that HB 189 represents a huge step forward by eliminating governmental “permission slips” for exercising a fundamental civil right. When called to explain, Spiker is quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer as making the laughable claim that the NRA “will never apologize for refusing to compromise on an issue as critical as Constitutional Carry.” In truth, the NRA (and Spiker) have a long history of compromise not only tactically, but on core principals in the gun rights movement.

But most important, the NRA has had since 2017 to weigh in on the language making up HB 189, but it reportedly never has. Instead, Spiker swooped in at the last minute and, like a vulture, deposited a large load of dung onto the efforts of the activists who are actually getting things done.

Next steps

HB 189 is not dead. Rep. Kidwell had it referred back to the Rules Committee in order to add a fiscal note, which would make it immune to the May 4 crossover deadline by which bills must clear at least one chamber to remain alive. In coming days, GRNC will issue alerts to get it moving.

Meanwhile, gun rights supporters are advised to contact the NRA and hit them where it hurts: money. If you are a current member who is not fully paid up or have an annual membership, resign from the organization. If you’ve already quit, call and email them anyway. 

The message is this: “Not a dime for the NRA.”

Bonus round

As a bonus, if you would like to express your “appreciation” to NRA lobbyist DJ Spiker, he can be reached by phone or text at 757-575-8507 and by email at In order that your feedback not be misrepresented as “harassment,” be civil and phone, text or email only once.



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Suggested Subject: "Not a dime for the NRA

NRA leadership:

Apparently, alleged misappropriation of membership funds is not enough. Now, after years of absence in the debate over constitutional carry, you send NRA lobbyist DJ Spiker to North Carolina to derail House Bill 189, the “Freedom to Carry NC” bill which would for the first time relieve citizens of the burden of obtaining a governmental permission slip in order to exercise the fundamental right affirmed by the Second Amendment. 

Here is my response: Not a dime for the NRA. No membership dues, no donations, no merchandise, no “Friends of the NRA” dinners. Nada.

If you are smart, you will leave decisions on North Carolina gun rights to North Carolinians.



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