It took a lot of work and the final bill is far from perfect, but the North Carolina Legislature agreed upon a significant expansion of North Carolina’s gun rights last night, sending the bill to Republican Governor Pat McCrory.
The Republican-backed bill approved by both the House and Senate on Tuesday allows concealed-carry permit holders to take firearms into bars and restaurants and other places where alcohol is served, parades, and funeral processions as long as owners or organizers don’t expressly forbid it.
The measure now heads to Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk.
The bill will also allow concealed-carry permit holders to store weapons in locked cars on the campus of any public school or university, or a state government parking lot. That measure was approved despite the opposition from the police chiefs at all 16 campus in the University of North Carolina system, who fear increased car break-ins and the potential proliferation of gun violence.
The bill also clarifies state law to say permit holders can carry their firearms on trails, to public recreation areas and playgrounds.
The bill establishes uniform state requirements for reporting information about mental health and substance abuse court findings to the national instant criminal background check system and conform these requirements with federal firearms laws.
The only failure of the bill is that a weakened version of the state’s Jim Crow pistol permitting system remains in place. North Carolina originally implemented the permitting system to keep blacks disarmed and the Ku Klux Klan safe, and it was the North Carolina Sheriffs Association and Attorney General Roy Cooper that fought to keep this archaic power. The permitting system has nothing to do with federal background checks, and instead allowed local sheriff’s to arbitrarily dictate who is allowed to have a handgun, based upon whim.
Welcome to the 21st Century, my fellow Tarheels.