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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

NC House Votes To Expand Second Amendment Rights, Rapidly Report Mental Health, Increase Punishment

By Susan Duclos

The North Carolina House voted for House Bill 937, (76-38) which expands Second Amendment rights of legal gun owners, to allow concealed weapons on college campuses, state property, greenways, bike trails, at sporting events. The bill puts the onus on private property owners of establishments that serve alcohol to decide whether to allow people to carry concealed weapons in their establishments.

It also requires rapid reporting of mental health adjudications to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and increases the punishment for those using a gun in the commission of a crime.

Stiffening the punishments for crimes involving guns won the support of the North Carolina Sheriff's Association.

However, the proposal faced stiff opposition from University of North Carolina system officials.
Sponsor Rep. Justin Burr, R-Stanly, said recent reports of campus crime illustrate why students and faculty with concealed carry permits should be allowed to have firearms locked in their cars on campus.

"This doesn’t allow them to carry in the classroom," Burr said. "Please tell me why in the world we would want to prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves."

Private universities and schools could opt not to permit weapons on campus, but public schools and universities would have to comply.
 Common sense measures geared to reduce violence while protecting the Second Amendment rights of their constituents to bear arms.

Showing that local Democrats are no different than national Democrats, they attempted to offer some of the same amendments that were recently rejected in the U.S. Senate, which include background checks for firearms at gun shows in North Carolina, and they tried to restrict sales of large-capacity magazines.

Republicans who control the NC State House killed those amendments using a procedural motion.

The measure passed its first of two House votes, 76-38, on party lines. Its final House vote is scheduled for Tuesday. It then goes to the Senate.

On April 4, 2013, it was reported that this year, five states have passed seven laws that strengthen gun restrictions, while 10 states have passed 17 laws that weaken them, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which tracks and promotes gun-control laws.

Some examples:

Arkansas eliminated prohibitions on carrying firearms in churches and on college campuses. South Dakota authorized school boards to arm teachers. Tennessee passed a law allowing workers to bring guns to work and store them in their vehicles, even if their employer objects. Kentucky shortened the process for obtaining licenses to carry a concealed gun.

Adding to the pro-gun law gains, just days ago, the Texas House passed 12 addition gun friendly bills, one of which exempts the state from any future federal bans on assault rifles, high-capacity magazines or universal background checks.

In May alone,, along with North Carolina and Texas,  West Virginia, Alabama, Arizona, Montana, and Michigan have moved pro-gun legislation forward.

[Update] There has also been a number of states pushing legislation that would nullify any federal laws that violate the Second Amendment within their states' borders.

The list of those states with links to the laws' language, can be found at Sunlight Foundation.