The House Committee on Judiciary Subcommittee A heard House Bill 17 yesterday. HB 17, introduced by state Representative Justin Burr (R-67), seeks to remove the prohibition on Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) holders carrying a concealed firearm into any establishment licensed to serve alcohol. In addition, this legislation would make information regarding permittees -- including those who have acquired a permit to purchase a handgun -- accessible only to law enforcement. Unfortunately, this Committee amended HB 17 to remove the Restaurant Carry provisions and then passed this bill with the CHP confidentiality provisions. HB 17 remains a pro-gun bill that NRA strongly supports, and it could be considered on the House floor any day.
Please contact your state Representative and urge her or him to support HB 17, as well as to support any efforts to make the bill even stronger.
The Restaurant Carry provisions were not removed from HB 17 because of opposition on the issue. This House committee action was intended, we believe, to encourage the North Carolina Senate to take action on Restaurant Carry, as the House passed similar legislation last session that the state Senate failed to address then. The House Republican leadership remains committed to passing a Restaurant Carry bill this session, and the NRA is working closely with pro-gun legislators to ensure that happens.
Fortunately, the state Senate does have a bill that contains the Restaurant Carry provisions. Senate Bill 342, introduced by state Senator Buck Newton (R-11), would remove the prohibition on CHP holders carrying a concealed firearm into any establishment licensed to serve alcohol. SB 342 also seeks to clarify the issue of local governments restricting CHP holders in parks under local control. Last year, legislation was enacted that removed the absolute ability of local governments to ban CHP holders from carrying a firearm for personal protection in local parks. It allowed for prohibitions at "recreational facilities," which was intended to include only the following: a playground, an athletic field, a swimming pool and an athletic facility. SB 342 clarifies this intent, in response to several local governments enacting anti-gun restrictions that far exceed the intended definition of "recreational facilities."
Please contact your state Senator and urge her or him to support SB 342, and to work to ensure this bill is acted on as soon as possible.