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  • Writer's pictureDorothy Royal

Topsail Gun Gal

So many tragedies could be avoided.

In the news it does not take a lot of searching to find a heart-breaking story about a tragedy that could have been avoided. In Tennessee, 6 young girls, ages one to 18 years of age, were killed when the car they were in rolled during an accident. The two adults in the car survived. It is believed the six children were ejected from the vehicle, which may mean none were properly secured by car seats or seat belts. The result of this accident may have been different if the vehicle wasn’t overloaded and the children were properly restrained.

A young New York teen without a driver’s license took his cousin's rented car and took several of his young relatives on a joy ride. The young teen, just 16, crashed the vehicle, killing himself and four other members of his family, ranging in age from 17 to 8 years old. A nine-year-old boy survived. It was believed that the driver fell asleep or became distracted. Another driver witnessed the accident and was able to pull the 9-year-old out and to safety. It was reported that the driver’s parents had forbidden him from driving on several occasions. The crash took place at 12:30 am.

A 28-year-old woman in Tennessee plotted to commit a horrific crime. Armed with 2 handguns and a rifle, she entered an elementary school and took the lives of 3 adults and 3 children. She was killed on site by local law enforcement that were able to get to the school within 14 minutes of the 911 call. When questioned, her parents stated that she was being treated for an emotional disorder and that they were not aware of her purchasing weapons or having them in their home. On the morning of the event, her parents stopped her, questioning her about the contents of a bag she was carrying, but failed to pursue it beyond questions.

In Mexico, a group of men formed a protest in a detention center after being told they were going to be moved elsewhere and decided to light their mattresses on fire. When the smoke began to fill the center, the guards released the women and children but failed to open the doors to the area the men were in. By the time the fire was extinguished, 38 men were dead and 28 more injured.

All of the above horrific acts could have been avoided if just some simple steps were taken. How sad it is to live in a world where we know right from wrong but still tend to ignore it.

North Carolina Gun Laws UPDATE:

On Wednesday, March 29th an Executive Order was issued to all North Carolina Sheriff Departments.

“Do not issue any more pistol purchase permits. They are no longer required.”

This was a long-fought battle between the Governor and the NC House and Senate, and not the first time the Governor has refused to sign such a bill into law, but this time was different. For the first time since 2018, the House and the Senate had the votes to overrule the Governor’s Veto, and they did.

What does this mean for North Carolina residents? Effective immediately, if you are 21 years of age or older and are eligible to purchase a handgun, you can do so by going to your local gun shop without the hassle of applying for a permit. Up to date background checks will now be done on site at time of purchase.

No more paying $5 per permit. No more driving to Burgaw (or your county’s Sheriff Dept.) No more waiting for a few weeks to get your permits.

Remember knowledge is power, knowing right from wrong can make a difference, and laws should change as society changes.


March 29, 2023 from: Sheriff Alan Cutler, Pender County Sheriff’s Office

Effective immediately, pistol purchase permits will no longer be issued by any Sheriff in North Carolina. The Pender County Sheriff’s Office has stopped processing pistol purchase permit applications including pending applications. All state laws regarding the issuance of pistol purchase permits by Sheriffs in North Carolina were repealed on Wednesday morning following a vote by the General Assembly to override Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of Senate Bill 41, Guarantee 2nd Amendment Freedom and Protections. This means any person who wants to purchase or transfer a handgun in North Carolina no longer has to apply to the Sheriff for a pistol purchase permit. However, any person who wants to purchase a handgun through a firearms dealer will still undergo the background check required under current law and either be sold the handgun or denied sale if the background check indicates the person is disqualified from possessing a firearm. Criminal penalties still apply for anyone that knowingly transfers a handgun to a person who may not lawfully possess the firearm (such as a convicted felon). Therefore, it is important for citizens to remember that anyone wishing to obtain or transfer any firearm, including a handgun, must still comply with federal and State laws governing who may lawfully possess a firearm. It is important to understand that North Carolina concealed handgun laws have NOT changed. Any person residing in Pender County wishing to carry a concealed handgun in North Carolina must still apply for and be issued a concealed handgun permit by the Sheriff.

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