Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online.More >>
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online. Friends and family of a Pascagoula kindergarten student have created a Facebook page and GoFundMe.com account claiming the girl was attacked on the playground this week by another student.More >>
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/WECT) - The state House gave final approval Tuesday to Republican bill that expands where concealed weapon permit holders can carry or store their pistols, while extending penalties for crimes committed with a gun.
The chamber voted 78-42 Tuesday afternoon on the bill endorsed by gun-rights groups but opposed strongly by University of North Carolina leaders.
Concealed weapon permit-holders would be allowed to store a gun in a locked car on a public college campus and give that option to private colleges if administrators agree. The proposal also would let permit holders arm themselves in a restaurant where alcohol is served unless the establishment expressly forbids it.
Democrats were angry because Republicans used parliamentary maneuvers to block votes on amendments.
The bill toughens penalties for crimes in which a firearm is used, or threatened for use. It also allows "a person who has a valid concealed handgun permit…..to have a concealed handgun in a locked compartment in a vehicle on the premises of a community college, or public or private college or university".
In an email statement, University of North Carolina President Tom Ross expressed several of his concerns about the language of the bill.
"We have an obligation to provide a safe environment for our students and employees, and every UNC campus has a trained police force charged with promoting the safety of all people who come onto our campuses. All UNC Chancellors and Chiefs of Police believe allowing guns on campus would increase the risk to public safety and hamper our ability to protect not only our students, staff ,and faculty, but also campus visitors, including parents, siblings of students, and summer camp participants. Vehicle break-ins are one of the leading crimes on college campuses, and even guns brought lawfully onto campus, as contemplated by this bill, could fall into the wrong hands and result in serious injury or death.
"In addition, a number of UNC campuses house early college high schools, middle schools, or summer camps for younger children. The presence of these young people further heightens our concerns about the safety risks that come with guns getting into the wrong hands. Moreover, when responding to an armed robbery or active shooter incident, our officers would often be hard pressed to distinguish between a criminal suspect and well-intentioned bystanders with weapons drawn, particularly in the heat of the moment. The potential for tragedy far outweighs any potential benefit or convenience to concealed-carry permit holders. We encourage the General Assembly to remove the provision that would allow guns to be brought onto UNC and other college and university campuses."
-University of North Carolina President Tom Ross
UNCW Chancellor Gary L. Miller also raised similar concerns about HB 937.
Miller issued the following statement in response to the bill:
"Many members of the campus community, including our police officers, share the concerns expressed by President Ross that the passage of House Bill 937 would create additional and unnecessary risks to the safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors. The potential increase in gun-related incidents on campus is simply not worth the minimal convenience this bill would offer concealed-carry permit holders. Allowing people to store weapons in their cars does not in any way benefit their personal safety while on campus; the idea of people having the time and capacity to retreat to their vehicles to arm themselves during a threat has very little chance of occurring. The realities, however, are much more harsh. We will face the possibility of guns being stolen from vehicles by people who are already demonstrating a disregard for the law by breaking into cars – and now could be armed with stolen handguns. We could also experience injuries due to the accidental discharge of weapons.
"The legislation, in its current form, recognizes the need to restrict guns from large gatherings like athletic and special events. What should be more clearly recognized is that university campuses host large gatherings beyond those athletic and special events on a routine and regular basis. Approximately 10,000 individuals enter and leave our campus daily. We would be compromising our police force's ability to protect not only students and employees, but campus visitors, including the countless children and young people who come to UNCW for various programs each year. When measuring risk versus reward, the case against this bill is undeniably strong. The fact that 21 states ban weapons on public university campuses and 23 states leave the decision to campus authorities suggests that our current laws are justified and appropriate. We need to take this opportunity to plant ourselves firmly on the right side of this issue. It's truly a matter of public safety, which we should be protecting at every turn."
Monday, September 1 2014 11:52 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:52:38 GMT
Retiring Seventh District Congressman Mike McIntyre was inducted into The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor bestowed in the state of North Carolina. McIntyre received a certificateMore >>
Rep. Mike McIntyre has received the highest honor given by the state of North Carolina, induction into the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine. The honor given to McIntyre for his 18 years of service to the people of North Carolina as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 7:30 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:30:47 GMT
Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) and Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-New Hanover) are spearheading an effort to get Gov. Pat McCrory to call a special session of the General Assembly to deal solely with economic developmentMore >>
Local lawmakers' request for a special session is being met with some opposition tonight. Reps. Ted Davis & Susi Hamilton of New Hanover County believe a session focused solely on economic development is needed. But one conservative group is opposing the need for lawmakers to meet again to increase the JDIG program.More >>
Thursday, August 21 2014 7:37 AM EDT2014-08-21 11:37:34 GMT
Republican leaders in the General Assembly say they have reached a compromise deal on implementing new coal ash regulations, and forcing Duke Energy to close all 33 of its coal ash ponds across North Carolina. AccordingMore >>
House and senate lawmakers in the NC General Assembly passed a bill mandating cleanup of all Duke Energy coal ash ponds by the year 2029. The action follows a massive spill of coal ash into the Dan River in February from a company site in Eden. You can click on a link inside this story to see the specifics of the bill, which is now headed to the Governor's desk.More >>
Monday, August 18 2014 9:51 PM EDT2014-08-19 01:51:31 GMT
The Film and Entertainment Grant Fund proposal will go back in front of state lawmakers tomorrow and Wednesday, after House and Senate conferees made slight changes to the proposal already approved inMore >>
It appears lawmakers are moving forward with a grant fund that will replace the current Film Incentive Tax Credit that has been in place to lure film and television productions to North Carolina.More >>
Monday, August 18 2014 5:30 PM EDT2014-08-18 21:30:44 GMT
Governor Pat McCrory is appointing Senior Associate Justice Mark Martin as the new Chief Justice of North Carolina's Supreme Court. Judge Martin will replace the current Chief Justice, Sarah Parker, whoMore >>
Governor Pat McCrory's decision to elevate Senior Associate Justice Mark Martin to be the new Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court is being met with criticism from Judge Ola Lewis of Brunswick County, who is opposing Martin for the seat in the November General Election.More >>
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