RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The bill that would make several changes to North Carolina gun laws has now cleared the House and is headed to the Senate.
But despite the House’s approval, some are questioning if the bill will still become law.
The House voted 64-51 Thursday to approve House Bill 746 that would eliminate the requirement in many cases that people have a permit to carry a concealed handgun. But if those numbers stay the same and it gets to Governor Cooper, he could veto it and, with the current vote total, the House may have a tough time overturning the veto. A veto override requires a three-fifths vote in both chambers. There are 120 members of the House of Representatives.
Also Thursday, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison spoke with Governor Cooper about the bill. Harrison is concerned about it.
“There’s a lot of things that can be done to make the system better,” said Harrison. “But I don’t think this is it.”
HB 746 would allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit in the same places where they are currently allowed to carry handguns openly. That law would apply to people 18 and older.
“We’re talking about giving 18-year-olds guns without any training,” said Harrison. “We’re talking about giving 18-year-olds guns that don’t know the law.”
“In no way, shape or form are we lowering the age in which one can carry a firearm,” said Rep. Chris Millis, (R) Pender County, the bill’s sponsor. “That is current law. That’s what we’re maintaining as we bring parity for the method of carrying.”
Millis said in areas where open carry is prohibited, the bill would still require concealed handgun holders have a permit.
“A lot of law enforcement’s opposition to this bill has been spurred solely on the aspects of not knowing what is exactly in the bill,” said Rep. Millis.
When asked, Gov. Cooper did not say whether he would veto the bill. He said he will wait and see if the bill even makes it out of the State Senate. He did voice several concerns with the legislation.
“I’m concerned that it’s going to give more access to guns to the wrong kinds of people,” said Gov. Cooper.