Tillis: Changes in gun laws unlikely
by Staff Writer
CORNELIUS – N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis doesn’t see any drastic gun law changes on the horizon as a result of the shootings in Aurora, Colo. last month that left 12 dead and dozens injured.
Tillis, of Cornelius, was at The Range at Lake Norman on Thursday to speak with gun enthusiasts about concealed carry laws and other happenings in the N.C. Legislature.
North Carolina, Tillis said, already has sufficient protections in place.
“We’re always thinking of bills that relate to gun ownership whether it be opposing it or not,” Tillis said. “I don’t see us completely rethinking it as a result of that event.”
Similar talks went on following the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, Tillis said.
“It was a tragic event but you have to keep in mind the number of people that have guns and that the overall safety record is pretty strong,” Tillis said. “You always hear about the tragic event but you seldom hear about the number of violent crimes that may have been ended because a responsible gun owner was there.”
The biggest way to avoid events similar to the Aurora shootings, Tillis said, is to make sure gun owners are as educated as possible.
“What we need to do is encourage people to come to areas where you can be taught responsible gun ownership,” Tillis said. “People will go through those classes and learn more about safety and how it can be maintained. Those are the kinds of things we have to focus on.”
The Aurora shootings, like Virginia Tech and Columbine in 1999, have raised plenty of discussions regarding Second Amendment rights and could be a hot talking point as November’s presidential election nears.
But Tillis would like to leave the Aurora events out of politics.
“To exploit it for political gain, I think it’s a little overboard,” he said. “It’s disgusting to see how somebody would use that tragic event to advance a political agenda. If people want to have an intelligent discussion about how can we make guns safer and how can we ensure proper treatment and stewardship for gun ownership, that’s fine.”