RALEIGH — A proposed rule by the organization overseeing concealed carry firearms rules has drawn fire from instructors across the state.
The N.C. Department of Justice’s Criminal Justice Education & Training Standards’ (CJET) proposed rule would force all concealed carry students to purchase a training manual known as the “Red Book.”
The Red Book is currently produced by inmates in the state’s prison system and in 2022 cost $8.59 but the price was reduced at some point during 2023 to $6.99. The books only cost the state $3.26 to print and purchasers have to pay shipping which can cost anywhere from $14 to $21.
The proposed rule went in front of the Rules Review Commission on Jan. 31 but no action was taken. Instead, Rules Commission Chair Jeanette Doran said the issue will be taken up at a “special meeting” with a yet undetermined date. The Rules Commission meeting currently scheduled is for Feb. 28.
N.C. Concealed Carry Instructors Association (NCCCIA) President Harvey Morse, a vocal critic of the proposed rule, said in a press release prior to the Rules Commission hearing that the rule would “not only put an unnecessary burden and expense on Instructors but, the book is fraught with errors.
Morse also noted that it was ascertained in CJET meetings last year that few of its members have actually read the Red Book.
“In 30 years with 900,000 people having successfully completed the Concealed Carry Course, the book was never required. Why now?” Morse said.
“The NCCCIA and Concealed Carry Handgun instructors of N.C. are anxious for an expedient resolution regarding state rule changes,” Rhonda Allen of Armed Angels Training said in a written statement to North State Journal. “We are committed to ensuring the dissemination of timely and affordable legal information to the citizens of this state.”
“It would be a tragedy for someone to successfully exercise their God given right to self-defense to be victimized twice. First by an assailant and then by the legal system for a lack of current information,” Allen said. “We are disappointed to experience another delay.”
During hearings last year, concealed carry instructors and firearms advocates had significant discussions with the CJET about the Red Book, including making the manual available to the public for free and putting it online for easy access and editing purposes.
Various advocates have questioned where the proceeds from the book sales go, as well as CJET claims that putting the book online is problematic because it is allegedly copyrighted.
Morse has pointed out that the annual sales of the book have been coming in around $375,000 annually. He and his organization also say multiple attempts to get CJET to substantiate the copyright claim have gone unanswered.