The NC State House's Judiciary A Committee approved a measure this afternoon that would significantly expand gun rights in North Carolina. HB 937 would allow (among other things) concealed carry holders to have firearms on university and community college campuses so long as they were locked in their vehicles.
Representatives of the National Rifle Association, Grass Roots North Carolina and other gun owner rights groups endorsed the bill during the committee hearing, saying it granted changes long sought by gun owners.This is great news. Current law makes it a felony to have a firearm on university and community college campuses regardless of whether you hold a NC Concealed Handgun Permit or not.
"With respect to the campus provisions on this bill, frankly, it's more limited than we wanted," said Paul Valone, president of Grass Roots North Carolina, adding that his group still supported the bill. "The entire purpose of this is deterrence. We are looking at deterring violent sociopaths from crimes on campuses."
The campus provision applies to all public community college and university campuses in the state. Independent colleges and universities would have the choice of whether to allow firearms on campus but would have to post a prohibition.
The bill would also allow carry in restaurant and eating establishments that serve alcohol as well as clarify the General Assembly's intent on park carry.
I have more on this bill later this evening as I'm heading out to an appointment now.