Friday, September 27, 2013

Some school officials fret about N.C. law allowing concealed handguns in vehicles on school property

Next week it will be legal for people to keep guns in their vehicles in school parking lots throughout North Carolina. A state law allowing anyone with a concealed-handgun permit to have a handgun in a locked compartment in a vehicle on educational property goes into effect on Oct. 1. State House Bill 937 was signed into law in late July by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. Almost 40 percent of the state's population is rural, well above the national figure of 16 percent.

Photo illustration by the Daily Record
The new law has some law enforcement and school officials concerned, reports the Daily Record in Hickory, in the Appalachian foothills about 45 miles northwest of Charlotte. Walter Hart, superintendent of Hickory Public Schools, told the Record, "The potential for quick access to firearms on school campuses by anyone other than trained law enforcement officials raises concerns." And there's nothing schools can do to prevent licensed gun owners from leaving a firearm in their vehicle.

Crystal Davis, board attorney for Catawba County Schools, told the Record, “The school districts do not have the legal power to counteract the bill through personnel policies. Local school boards do not have the authority to adopt policies or maintain current policies prohibiting a person (employee or not) from bringing a firearm onto campus if the person is in compliance with House Bill 937." (Read more)

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