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by Jordan Green

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Reynolds sues county over concealed guns at Tanglewood

The Forsyth County Commission’s vote on Oct. 14 to allow concealed-carry weapons in Tanglewood Park has instigated a lawsuit from Noah Reynolds, a former Democratic candidate for Winston-Salem City Council whose great-grand uncle donated the land to the county for the park in the early 1950s.

Gordon Watkins, an assistant county attorney, said the amendment to the county ordinance accords with the changes in state law made early this year by the NC General Assembly. Legislation passed this year by the Republican-controlled legislature struck language making it unlawful to carry a gun into an assembly where a fee is charged for admission or where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed. Those conditions apply at Tanglewood Park. In 2011, the General Assembly passed legislation to prevent local governments from banning concealed weapons in parks.

The lawsuit filed by Reynolds and a co-plaintiff, former Winston-Salem police officer Domingo Isasi, contends that the county ordinance violates their 2nd- and 14th-amendment rights because it allows concealed carry weapons while banning the open carrying of guns.

“Plaintiff Reynolds believes that to allow a concealed-carry permittee to carry a handgun into or onto the premises of a park, recreation facility or any other public property owned, leased or as a lessee, operated, managed, or controlled by the county creates a subclass of lawful gun owners, those without concealed carry permits, that cannot protect themselves as guaranteed by the Second Amendment,” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit, filed in Forsyth County Courts on Oct. 18, seeks an injunction to enjoin the county from enforcing the new ordinance.

Watkins said the county hasn’t been served yet, but the legal staff will review the lawsuit

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