North Carolina representatives are likely vote this week on a piece of legislation approved by a House judiciary committee last Wednesday, intended to allow people to carry concealed guns in places where they are currently able to carry in the open. House Bill 746 will abolish the need for concealed hang gun permits.
The current law, requires those who wish to obtain a concealed carry permit to completed classroom instruction, learn how to handle a handgun, clean a handgun, as well as submit their finger prints to the FBI database.
Anti-gun groups railed Monday against a bill up for vote this week in the North Carolina House that would allow anyone over the age of 18 to carry a concealed handgun almost anywhere without a permit.
Two anti-gun lobbying groups, “Moms Demand Action” and “Everytown for Gun Safety” paid for polls from SurveyUSA that showed opposition to the legislation, which has already passed through two House committees. Under the law, residents over 18 can carry concealed weapons virtually anywhere in the state. North Carolina currently requires that concealed carry permits only be granted to residents over the age of 21.
Republican Rep. Chris Millis calls the bill a “common sense” provision, given that open carry is already legal in the state without a permit.
The SurveyUSA poll found that 89 percent of the state’s voters are against the legislation. Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, also used Monday’s Orlando office shooting to advocate national gun control on Twitter.
Anti-gun advocates in the House are unlikely to pass the legislation without a fight, as some see it as a reduction of already lax gun laws.
“I think you have a right to carry a handgun and I am not challenging that, but to get away from the state screening process… I am very concerned about that,” said Rep. Garland Pierce, whose District 48 includes Scotland, Hoke, Richmond, and Robeson counties.
“Guns don’t kill people, but it is the person behind the gun,
I do understand that, but I am very concerned. There is going to be a long debate on that bill, I can tell you that.”
The NRA has already issued a statement supporting the bill and urging constituents to contact their representatives to lobby for its passage in the vote later this week.