The North Carolina House has just voted in favor of a new bill that would essentially allow handgun owners to conceal their guns in public without a permit.
House members voted 65-54 Wednesday in favor of the proposal.
The new bill defines a handgun as “a firearm that has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand.” Under HB 746, North Carolina residents who are 18 years or older would be able to carry a concealed handgun in any public or private location that doesn’t already have firearm restrictions.
It would still be against the law to concealed carry a bowie knife, dirk, dagger, sling shot, loaded cane, metal knuckles, razor, shuriken, stun gun or other deadly weapons except on a person’s private property.
The bill would also keep the concealed handgun permit process in place for anyone who needs a permit while traveling in other states.
NC Rep. Larry Pittman originally introduced House Bill 746, arguing that “A gun is a tool, it is only as good or bad as the intentions of the person carrying it. Concealed or open carry makes no difference, except that if we can carry concealed, criminals and terrorists have no idea which lawful citizens just might fight back. The government should not interfere with our freedom to do so.”
Critics of the new bill call the new legislation a “dangerous gun bill that threatened to eliminate some of the state’s common-sense public safety laws.”
HB 746 will still need to pass through the NC Senate before it could go to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk.
What do you think of the new bill?