Raleigh, N.C. – Churches in North Carolina were denied 2nd amendment protections by House Democrats in the General Assembly this week who switched their votes to support the Governor’s veto after originally supporting the protections.
House Bill 652 Freedom to Worship Safely allows concealed carry permit holders to lawfully carry on the grounds of a place of worship that also serves as educational property, as long as such possession does not take place during any time of school curricular or extracurricular activities.
Six House Democrats who originally supported religious worshipers’ right to protect their congregations switched their votes to instead support the Governor’s veto, even though similar protections in Texas saved lives this year.
A law expanding 2nd amendment protections in places of worship that was approved by the Texas state legislature in 2017 allowed Jack Wilson, the hero of the West Freeway Church of Christ shooting in January, to lawfully carry the firearm he used to stop an active shooter who fatally wounded two congregants.
Wilson was awarded the Texas Governor’s Medal of Courage for the actions he took “when faced with an evil that few of us will ever comprehend…Jack Wilson responded with strength, bravery, and with love for those in the church that day.”
House Bill 652 drew bipartisan support from over a dozen House Democrats and five Senate Democrats, more than enough votes for a veto override if Democrats continued supporting the policy of letting churches protect their members.
Rep. Jay Adams (R-Catawba) said the legislation is essential to prevent bad actors from targeting religious communities in North Carolina.
“Where you do not have concealed carry, you create a target zone, a free fire zone – that’s why people go to schools and churches to create mayhem,” Rep. Adams said.“Concealed carry is a simple thing to do. No one has to carry a gun. But the mere fact that a law abiding person may be armed at the facility, is enough to deter bad actors in their calculations. This is about as commonsense as it gets.”
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore released the following statement in response to Governor Cooper’s veto of House Bill 652:
“This was not legislation where politics should come into play, and we are disappointed House Democrats prioritized their political leanings over the safety of church congregations by switching their votes after the veto,” Speaker Moore said.