Cumberland bans guns on county property

FAYETTEVILLE (AP) — As of Monday, people can no longer openly carry weapons on Cumberland County property after the county’s Board of Commissioners approved a law in a 6-1 vote.

Commissioner Jimmy Keefe was the only one to oppose the law. Keefe said he wanted to delay the matter for 60 days so county staff members could clarify which recreational areas are exempt from the law, The Fayetteville Observer reported.

“Because the devil is always in the details, we should look at it again,” Keefe said.

The commissioners voted for the prohibition in June, but it required a second vote because the first wasn’t unanimous. Keefe also was the only commissioner to oppose the issue then.

Keefe said Monday that the prohibition was confusing because the word “park” was removed but “recreational facility” remained.

Assistant County Attorney Robert Hasty said the word “park” was taken out because state law does not allow the prohibition of guns on greenways, walking trails or bike paths.

When asked how the law would apply to places such as Arnette Park, which has ball fields and walking trails, Hasty said the issue isn’t clear, but in his opinion, the law would apply to the property’s majority use, which would be the athletic fields.

Commissioner Charles Evans said he is against carrying weapons on county property.

“We don’t want to instill fear on property we maintain,” Evans said.

Violators of the law could face a fine of up to $500.

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