By Katherine Ayers
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
A bill that would allow guns on college campuses provided they are kept in a locked vehicle passed its third reading in the state House on Tuesday and now will be sent to the Senate for consideration.
House Bill 937, co-sponsored by Reps. Brian Brown, R-Pitt, and Susan Martin, R-Wilson, would allow people with a valid concealed handgun permit to keep a handgun “in a locked compartment in a vehicle on the premises of a community college or public or private university.”
Martin said the legislation is an effort to protect those who abide by gun laws.
“The bill has wide support from the law enforcement community, public safety officials and second amendment advocates,” she said in an emailed statement. “This well-balanced bill will crack down on gun criminals and shore up the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
“We are glad this legislation has passed the House and look forward to seeing it move through the process and become law.”
UNC system President Tom Ross, East Carolina University Chancellor Steve Ballard, N.C. Community College System President Scott Ralls and Pitt Community College President Dennis Massey all have denounced the legislation.
The bill could have “a direct and negative impact to the safety of our campus,” Ballard said in a statement released Friday.
“I feel the need to state publicly my opposition to certain provisions included in House Bill 937 that would allow concealed-carry permit holders to keep their weapons in locked vehicles on college campuses.”
The UNC Faculty Assembly — representing 15,000 faculty from across the system — passed a resolution against the bill on May 3. The ECU staff and faculty senate issued separate local resolutions against the bill.
“The faculty officers of East Carolina University oppose any legislation that would allow concealed weapons on our campus,” the faculty’s statement read. “We believe that the presence of weapons on our campus could potentially result in a dangerous situation for all members of the campus community (and) we encourage the General Assembly not to pass any provision allowing weapons onto our campus.”
The legislation also would let permit-holders to arm themselves in a restaurant where alcohol is served unless the establishment expressly forbids it. It also makes clear that local bans of concealed weapons don’t apply to greenways and walking paths.
Other provisions of the bill include:
Allowing motorists with concealed weapons permits to store guns in their cars in state government parking lots.
Letting authorities charge any adult who permits a child younger than 12 to use a gun without supervision.
Requiring court clerks to enter quickly into a national criminal background databases whether a criminal suspect or someone else has been adjudicated related to a mental health issue.
If passed, the bill would become effective on Oct. 1.
Contact Katherine Ayers at firstname.lastname@example.org and 252-329-9567. Follow her on Twitter @KatieAyersGDR.
via The Daily Reflector.