A new gun law approved by both the North Carolina state house and senate yesterday greatly expands the areas where concealed-carry permit holders can legally take their handguns.
The new bill allows for firearms to be brought into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol unless the business owner expressly forbids it (although the state also prohibits those carrying concealed weapons from consuming alcohol). It also permits weapons to be carried in public recreation areas, parade grounds, and funeral processions.
Gun owners will be allowed to store their weapon in locked vehicles on public-school or university campuses and in any state-government parking lot. Police chiefs in the University of North Carolina system opposed the measure, citing the potential increase of gun violence and car break-ins on campuses.
Before passing the final law, the state legislature dismissed a controversial provision that aimed to repeal a law requiring a permit and background check from a county sheriff’s office for all handgun purchases. Governor Pat McCrory is expected to sign the bill now that licensing decisions have been left to the discretion of local law enforcement.