RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — After a packed house at Wake Tech’s Public Safety Training Center on Wednesday, members of the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission gathered again on Friday to discuss proposed rules to concealed carry handgun training.
During the meeting, commission member and DOJ’s Criminal Bureau Chief Leslie Cooley Dismukes said, “I think we were able to make a lot of headway in that discussion and come to a lot of consensus. That said, I think there were a lot of things said during that public hearing that we had not had a chance to consider.”
Commission chair Chris Blue, said the meeting earlier in the week brought a huge crowd and nearly 50 people—many who were instructors for concealed carry classes—to discuss questions and concerns.
What that meant to him, he said, was “that these rules matter to folks and we had a really important conversation and heard some things that we need to consider as we contemplate what a final decision might look like.”
“What we heard from instructors is they want accountability, they want consistency, they want to know that good instructors are out there doing the work and they want us to have the tools to ensure that that’s the case and they also want to be able to conduct their business in an efficient way. We share that interest as well,” said Blue.
After a vote, members of the commission decided to spend the next few months talking to stakeholders and gathering information needed to bring a recommendation back to the full commission in November. Blue added, “Whatever we ultimately do, it doesn’t have to happen today.”
The proposed changes include rules that would set standards for courses, instructor qualifications and instructor responsibilities.
Cooley-Dismukes said some of the changes have been prompted after reports of instructor misconduct including an incident where an instructor did not complete a full course. She said, “It was very difficult for us to enforce the standards against that instructor because we didn’t have any rules that we could lean on as a commission.”
Several people who attended Wednesday’s meeting mentioned concerns specifically about requirements for instructors to provide a “pre-delivery report” and roster of the class that would aid during an investigation or audit in cases of possible instructor misconduct.
Others also questioned changes that would require classes to be taught in person. After the discussion, commissioners mentioned looking at the potential for hybrid classes. These rules are all matters that the group further hopes to discuss before making a decision.
Blue added, “We hope to get to a place where we’re complying with the law, giving our staff everything that they need to appropriately support and administer these programs and also serve our stakeholders in a way that makes the most sense for them.”