Cooper’s veto means people can’t have concealed weapons on church properties that have schools

Published 12:10 am Friday, July 3, 2020

By Bryan Anderson

Associated Press/Report for America

RALEIGH (AP) — Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a bill on Thursday that would have allowed churchgoers in places with schools on the property to carry their concealed weapons.

“This bill allows guns on school property, which threatens the safety of students and teachers,” Cooper wrote in a veto message.

Emergency medical technicians who work with SWAT teams and administrative assistants working at the front desk of police departments who get permission from their police chief would also have been allowed carry a handgun while at work.
House Bill 652, which cleared the Republican-controlled House and Senate with bipartisan support, could still become law if it receives the necessary three-fifths support needed in each chamber to override Cooper’s veto.

D.J. Spiker, North Carolina state director for the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, accused Cooper of not reading the bill. He said the proposal had been narrowly tailored to apply to churches that also offered private schooling and wish to opt in to allow people with concealed permits to carry their handgun. If allowed, the permit holder would only have been able to carry the gun outside of the school’s operating hours.

“By vetoing HB 652, a bill that passed with bipartisan support, Cooper continues to demonstrate that his administration cares little about personal property rights while focusing on the belief that the people should only do as the government demands,” Spiker said in a statement.

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Anderson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.