The North Carolina General Assembly returned to work on Aug. 3, with Second Amendment supporters eyeing the Senate for action on an omnibus gun bill which would include permitless concealed carry.
The bill, introduced by State Representative Chris Millis (R-for Onslow and Pender counties) would do a lot of things, but the issue that’s receiving lots of ink is that it would allow law-abiding adults to carry concealed handguns without a permit and with no training.
Permitless concealed carry for 18-year-olds worries some folks, including Gov. Roy Cooper.
But if the bill becomes law, carrying a concealed firearm without a permit would be allowed in North Carolina, where it has always been legal to carry openly without a permit.
North Carolinians could still apply for concealed-carry permits through sheriff’s offices to comply with reciprocity agreements while traveling to other states.
The debate has been ferocious. Pro-gun groups and Bloomberg poured lots of sweat equity into the fight, and that will undoubtedly continue, said Mark E. Edwards, U.S. Law Shield Independent Program Attorney at Edwards & Trenkle in Durham.
What are its chances in the Senate and beyond? That’s a good question, Edwards said. Support in the Senate is unclear, Edwards explained, adding that senators had yet to craft a companion bill.
Plus the Fraternal Order of Police in North Carolina doesn’t like the bill. According to a recent newsletter, the members worry that no permits mean no vetting of gun carriers for criminal backgrounds or mental illnesses, which, they added, could endanger cops on the beat.
Independent Program Attorney Edwards added that the House vote didn’t get enough “yeas” to override a veto from Gov. Cooper, who hasn’t said if he’d like to kill the bill, but who did say on Twitter that he considered it “troubling.”
But Edwards noted that it’s premature to say the bill is dead. Rep. Millis has ensured that a fiscal note is attached to the bill, so HB 764 is still in play. Therefore, the Senate could surely consider it in August or even in 2018, which would give more time to build support. — By Bill Miller, contributor, Texas & U.S. Law Shield blog