After lengthy debate and after rejecting numerous anti-gun amendments, the NC House Judiciary A Committee today passed House Bill 937. The bill will now head to the House floor for a vote, likely next week.
- In its present form, HB 937 would expand concealed carry into:
- Assemblies of people for which admission is charged;
- College campuses (provided firearms are kept in locked vehicles); and
- Parking lots of state office buildings.
HB 937 would also clean up flaws in the parks carry language passed in HB 650 under which municipalities continue to flout the law by banning guns in entire parks.
During sometimes rancorous debate, Representatives Darren Jackson (D-Wake , GRNC 0-star), Deborah Ross (D-Wake, 0-star) and others proposed amendments designed to be "poison pills" for the bill. All failed. Most surprising was an amendment by Rep. Bob Steinburg (R-Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell, ****) who supported the bill, but objected to provisions allowing concealed handgun permit-holders to keep firearms in locked vehicles on college campuses.
Sponsors Jacqueline Schaffer (R-Mecklenburg, ****), Justin Burr (R-Montgomery, Stanly, ****), John Faircloth (R-Guilford, ****), and George Cleveland (R-Onslow, ****) did an outstanding job of defending the bill. Addressing the committee in favor of the bill were GRNC president Paul Valone, Director of Development Josette Chmiel, and representatives for the NRA and NCRPA.
In testifying against the bill, North Carolinians "Against Gun Violence" director Gail Neely perjured herself to the committee by regurgitating a study which she claimed dealt with concealed handgun permit-holders, despite the fact that Valone had two weeks ago produced a copy of the study for her (and audience of an ACLU forum) demonstrating clearly that her claims were false.
Rep. Jackson introduced anti-gun amendment after anti-gun amendment in an attempt to "run the clock" on the bill until he was shut down by Committee Chair Rep. John Blust (R-Guilford, ****), who brought the bill to a vote.
Stay tuned for a detailed accounting of the committee action, including video.