A measure broadening the places people can carry concealed firearms in North Carolina and repealing a requirement to get a license to buy a handgun has tentatively passed the North Carolina Senate.
The Senate gave initial approval to a bill Wednesday that allows concealed-carry permit holders to take or store guns in more places. The bill also adds new safeguards and toughens penalties.
The state attorney general opposes the repeal of the license requirement. Republicans argue it's a dated law.
Democrats argue the bill as a whole goes well beyond popular opinion and will encourage more gun violence. Republicans say the law targets illegal gun use while promoting responsible gun ownership.
The bill will likely return for a final vote Thursday. The House will have to approve the Senate's changes.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.)
The North Carolina Senate is expanding on a House bill that opens new areas for concealed-permit holders to carry or store weapons in the state.
A Senate judiciary committee endorsed a bill Tuesday that allows any permit holder to store a weapon in a locked car at any public school or university. The House version applies only to public universities.
The Senate's changes also allow permit holders to carry weapons at parades and funeral processions. Both bills would allow permit holders to carry weapons at restaurants.
University of North Carolina police chiefs and some senators questioned the wisdom of expanding guns to new areas. Supporters of the bill say concealed-carry holders are the most responsible gun owners.
The bill now heads to the full Senate.
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