The 2nd Amendment Protection Act, or House Bill 652, is legislation passed by the General Assembly on June 25 that closes a loophole that disallows concealed permit holders to carry their firearm in churches that are attached to or also act as “educational property.” Meaning if the school is not in session, the church or house of worship won’t be treated any differently than other congregations across the state.
Congregations, particularly smaller ones without hired security, often rely on trained concealed permit holders or firearm instructors to protect the flock from a potential deranged gunman. Hopefully, no more religious communities ever have to deal with anything like that but having a plan in place is a whole lot better and more effective than doing nothing.
Americans most recently saw the impact of how trained permit holders can save lives in White Settlement, Texas in 2019.
The legislation also eases some of the restrictions on concealed carry permit renewal and extends permits to EMT workers on the job and for some non-officers employed in law enforcement buildings.
The bill passed with a veto-proof majority in both chambers, so it will be interesting to see what Gov. Roy Cooper does with the legislation, given that his gun control positions have hardened significantly in recent years.
With the U.S. Supreme Court refusing to grant review this month for firearms cases in the wake of the Heller decision in 2008, there is now more onus on the people and legislatures to defend and expand the right to bear arms. North Carolina is no longer a leader nationally when it comes to expanding Second Amendment rights. However, let’s hope our state continues to move forward instead of backward when it comes to an inherent right protected by the plain meaning of the text in the Bill of Rights.