HB 937 with the Senate Judiciary I Committee substitute language comes up for its Second Reading vote in the North Carolina Senate today. The Senate goes into session today at 3pm so the vote should happen sometime this evening. I just sent my State Senator a note encouraging him to vote for it which I anticipate that he will.
This bill does many things as the alert from Grass Roots North Carolina outlines below (see also Sean's detailed analysis of the bill). Despite what the gun prohibitionists and some in the media might want you to believe this bill does not allow you to carry concealed on educational property and it doesn't allow you to carry concealed while drinking alcohol in a bar or restaurant. What it does do is allow you to store your firearm in a locked vehicle while on educational property and it allows you to enjoy a nice meal in a restaurant that serves alcohol while carrying concealed.
Senate improves on HB 937
House Bill 937 passed the NC Senate Judiciary I Committee today and will head for the Senate floor as early as tomorrow. Please see below for immediate actions required.
Due to the efforts of Senator Buck Newton (R- , GRNC ****), Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Guilford, Rockingham, ****) and Senate Rules Chair Tom Apodaca (R, Henderson, ****), the version passed by the committee was far stronger than what left the House.
Although debate was limited, when asked for public comment, the chief of security for the University of North Carolina, along with security heads from all 17 campuses stood, in uniform, to express "concerns" about the bill's campus provisions. Afterward, GRNC president Paul Valone addressed the committee by noting that UNC objections to campus carry on the premise that it would harm their ability to "protect" students rang false in light of the fact that violent crime on campuses across the state, plus attempts by two schools to suppress reports of violent crime, reveal that UNC is doing a poor job of "protecting" anyone.
GRNC wishes to thank Senate leadership for working with our organization to strengthen laws, better enabling lawful North Carolinians to protect themselves and their families.
Improvements to HB 937
In addition to restaurant carry, guns in locked vehicles in state-owned parking lots and a limited provision for guns in locked vehicles on state college campuses, all of which were in the House version of the bill, the Proposed Committee Substitute passed by the Senate:
- Expands the guns-in-locked-vehicles provision for concealed handgun permit-holders (CHP-holders) to include all campuses rather than simply institutions of higher learning. As before, employees of the institution living in detached dwellings could still transfer firearms to and from their homes, but also added is a limited measure for employees who do not have CHPs.
- Enables CHP-holders to carry at assemblies of people for which admission is charged and any establishment serving alcohol unless the person in control of the premises posts against firearms. As before, permit-holders would be prohibited from imbibing alcohol.
- Narrows and clarifies the definition of "recreational facilities" within parks where municipalities may still ban concealed carry in parks, specifically prohibiting bans when organized athletic events are not taking place, and prohibiting bans in greenways, biking and walking paths and other open areas.
- Removes handgun permits from public record, rendering them unavailable to the media.
- Repeals the current prohibition on firearms for CHP-holders at funerals and parades.
- Repeals NC's Jim Crow-era handgun purchase permit system in its entirety.
- Requires sheriffs to revoke CHPs from permit-holders convicted of disqualifying crimes.
- Expands hunting to include use of sound suppressors.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!
- CALL & EMAIL YOUR STATE SENATOR: Tell them to not only support HB 937, but to oppose all weakening amendments, particularly "poison pill" amendments to restaurant carry and any amendment which would weaken campus carry.
- SEND AN EMAIL TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE SENATE using the copy and paste list below.
- EMAIL THE UNC BOARD OF GOVERNORS: Even if you have already contacted them, email them again to ask whether 17 UNC security heads, in uniform, were lobbying against HB 937 at taxpayer expense.
Austin.Allran@ncleg.net, Tom.Apodaca@ncleg.net, Chad.Barefoot@ncleg.net, Tamara.Barringer@ncleg.net, Phil.Berger@ncleg.net, Stan.Bingham@ncleg.net, Dan.Blue@ncleg.net, Andrew.Brock@ncleg.net, Harry.Brown@ncleg.net, Peter.Brunstetter@ncleg.net, Angela.Bryant@ncleg.net, Ben.Clark@ncleg.net, Daniel.Clodfelter@ncleg.net, Bill.Cook@ncleg.net, David.Curtis@ncleg.net, Warren.Daniel@ncleg.net, Don.Davis@ncleg.net, Jim.Davis@ncleg.net, Joel.Ford@ncleg.net, Thom.Goolsby@ncleg.net, Malcolm.Graham@ncleg.net, Rick.Gunn@ncleg.net, Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net, Fletcher.Hartsell@ncleg.net, Ralph.Hise@ncleg.net, Neal.Hunt@ncleg.net, Brent.Jackson@ncleg.net, Clark.Jenkins@ncleg.net, Ellie.Kinnaird@ncleg.net, Floyd.McKissick@ncleg.net, Gene.McLaurin@ncleg.net, Wesley.Meredith@ncleg.net, Martin.Nesbitt@ncleg.net, Buck.Newton@ncleg.net, Earline.Parmon@ncleg.net, Louis.Pate@ncleg.net, Ron.Rabin@ncleg.net, Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net, Shirley.Randleman@ncleg.net, Gladys.Robinson@ncleg.net, Bob.Rucho@ncleg.net, Norman.Sanderson@ncleg.net, Dan.Soucek@ncleg.net, Josh.Stein@ncleg.net, Jeff.Tarte@ncleg.net, Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net, Tommy.Tucker@ncleg.net, Trudy.Wade@ncleg.net, Michael.Walters@ncleg.net, Mike.Woodard@ncleg.net
UNC BOARD OF GOVERNORS:
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DELIVER THIS MESSAGE
TO THE NC SENATE:
(Suggested subject: "Please pass HB 937 as is")
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your efforts in moving HB 937 through the Judiciary Committee today, clearing the way for a full vote on the Senate floor soon. Your commitment to the safety of all North Carolinians is to be commended. Each one of you, especially Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, Senate Rules Chairman Tom Apodaca and Senator Buck Newton has worked closely with Grass Roots North Carolina to insure that my safety should not be compromised due to pressure from several anti-gun organizations as well as their unfounded fears.
The North Carolina Sheriffs' Association opposes repeal of the archaic, redundant and arbitrary handgun purchase permit system which is, in fact, a leftover Jim Crow law. The facts are, however, that: (1) Background checks for handgun purchases will continue to be done, as they are in other states, via the National Instant Background Check System (NICS); and (2) Sheriffs currently impose a broad array of obstructions, including notarized character affidavits (3 in Orange County), limiting permits issued to as few as five per year, and extra checks (and fees) from local clerks of court. Worse, because there is no way of tracking permits once issued, people convicted of crimes after receiving a permit can use them to bypass NICS. This system is dangerous and needs to be repealed.
UNC President Tom Ross would have us believe that his safety record is sufficient to belay the fears of his staff and students, but when we take a closer look at his actual record, we find it severely lacking. Not only is he currently being investigated for covering up the actual number of attacks across many campuses across the state, he also sent 17 of his campus police units, in uniform at tax payer expense, to the NC General Assembly to oppose HB 937.
Despite the coordinated pressure against HB 937, you stood strong and carried out the heroic passage of true “common sense” legislation. I now look forward to HB 937 going to a full vote on the Senate floor soon, and having it passed as is without weakening it through amendments or procedure. I will continue to monitor this legislation via alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.
TO UNC BOARD OF GOVERNORS:
(Suggested subject: "Don't use my money to lobby against my rights”)
Members of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors:
Today, the North Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee approved HB 937 and it will soon be taken to the Senate floor for a full vote. I would like to ask each of you if UNC security chiefs were testifying, in uniform, while on the payroll, and therefore at taxpayer expense, while expressing their "concerns" about HB 937 to the Senate Judiciary I Committee. Is this the case?
I support higher education, but I cannot support a university system which fails to protect students from violent predators, actively hides the fact, and then opposes legislation which might deter such predation.
Accordingly, I will not contribute money to any UNC or supporting institution -- and will advise alumni and others to do the same -- until UNC withdraws its opposition to HB 937. Please advise me of your position on this issue.
We in North Carolina are very fortunate to see our gun rights expanding at a time when they are contracting like it is in places like California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Colorado, and New York. Bills like this and support for them don't happen overnight. Just like the Castle Doctrine, much of what is in this bill has taken years of patient effort by gun rights groups like GRNC to make it a reality. Since ammo is hard to find anyway, why not take the cost of a box of ammo and send them a donation. You may also want to send the NRA-ILA a little bit as well for their efforts at the Federal level.
UPDATE: According to the bill's record on the NC General Assembly website, three amendments were considered, two passed, and the amended bill passed its Second Reading. No roll call vote is recorded so it may be that they are late reporting it or that it passed on a voice vote. The amendments that passed came from the pro-gun side.