A North Carolina gun law will allow weapons in bars. The law will loosen several restrictions on gun owners who are permitted to carry concealed guns.
The bill was approved by the House and Senate on Tuesday, following some debate about one of the provisions. As reported by CBS News, the original bill would have repealed a required background check.
As the provision was removed from the bill, background checks are still required. North Carolina residents wishing to purchase a handgun must apply for a permit through their local county sheriff.
Governor Pat McCrory is in favor of the changes, and is expected to sign the bill into law.
The North Carolina gun law will allow concealed handguns in bars, restaurants, and other facilities that serve alcohol. The facility’s owners will have the option to prohibit concealed weapons at their discretion.
Guns will be permitted on university and public school grounds. However, they must be left inside a locked vehicle.
Concealed weapons will be allowed in public parks, playgrounds, and recreation areas.
The law will also allow courthouse staff, including judges, to carry guns while working.
The provisions are only applicable to those who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
As reported by the Huffington Post, Senator Buck Newton explains that the law is about Constitutional rights:
“We’re here to enhance our Second Amendment rights, which have been too long restricted by the previous [Democratic] majority.”
Newton points out that residents with CCW permits are “by definition, law-abiding citizens.”
The bill was strongly criticized by the opposition. Micah Beasley, with North Carolina’s Democratic Party, explains the controversy:
“Republicans in the General Assembly have no concept of consequences… Guns and alcohol don’t mix. Guns at town parades or at playgrounds with our children is unacceptable.”
Despite Democratic opposition, the bill was approved by the House and Senate. The governor has expressed his intention of approving the North Carolina gun law.
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