On Tuesday, the North Carolina House approved a couple of 2nd Amendment protections and a safe storage initiative in the Judiciary 3 committee.

“Our Second Amendment rights are non-negotiable,” bill sponsor Sen. Danny Britt, R-Robeson, said. “These are commonsense laws to ensure that the rights of law-abiding citizens are not being infringed.” 

The first component of Senate Bill 41 (S.B. 41) eliminates a barrier regarding where and when guns can be legally carried.

In most North Carolina churches and places of religious worship, the congregations can decide whether firearms are allowed on their private property and what security measures they will have in place to protect their congregations. However, if a church or other place of religious worship is also the site of a private school, then that option is not available to the congregation.

S.B. 41 closes that loophole so a person who is legally registered to carry a concealed handgun can do so on the property of a church or other place of religious worship provided that:

  • It is located on private property.
  • It is not during school hours.
  • No students are present for curricular or extracurricular activities at the time.
  • The person in control of the property has not posted a “no guns allowed” sign.

The second part of the bill repeals North Carolina’s Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit law.

After the Civil War, North Carolina’s Democratic-controlled legislature enacted a permit system to prevent black residents from owning guns, according to The North Carolina Law Review, which reports that “the permit system’s intention was to keep minorities from possessing handguns.”

Now, a century later, the report finds that “Black applicants [are] experiencing a rejection rate of approximately three times the rate of White applicants” for pistol permits at the Wake County Sheriff’s Office.

North Carolina is the only state in the South that has kept this law. Federal law already requires background checks for pistols purchased through licensed dealers.

S.B. 41 now heads to House Rules and, if it reports favorably, will head to the House floor for a vote.