The Legal Eagle-House Bill 652 Action Needed!

The Legal Eagle-House Bill 652 Action Needed!

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: House Bill 652, addressing Concealed Carry laws

On June 25th, the North Carolina Senate voted 33-14 and the House of Representatives voted 77-38 to pass House Bill 652, the Second Amendment Preservation Act, to expand the ability of citizens to defend themselves and their loved ones while attending religious worship. After this bill stalled last year, the Senate took swift bipartisan action on June 19th of this year, sending it to the House. The House and Senate agreed in conference to extend the legislation beyond the freedom to worship safely, making it easier for individuals to renew their conceal handgun permit, as well as two minor exemptions for first responders.

House Bill 652 allows law-abiding citizens who hold a concealed handgun permit to carry a handgun to defend themselves and their loved ones when attending religious worship taking place on private property that is both a school and place of worship if it does not prohibit firearms. This empowers private property owners to set their own security policy rather than the state imposing a one-size-fits-all solution. Last year, an armed citizen defended his church against an individual in Texas. This worshiper, Jack Wilson, was able to take action because of similar NRA-backed legislation in Texas.

The final bill also requires sheriffs to accept a refresher training course rather than a full course for individuals who have let their conceal handgun permit lapse, so long as it is more than 60 days and less than 180​​. You can read the entire Bill here:

This bipartisan legislation now goes to Governor Roy Cooper for his signature. It is imperative that we let him know supporters of the 2nd Amendment want this bill passed. Grassroots NC posted the following alert on its website this week:

In its present form, 2nd Amendment Protection Act would allow concealed handgun permit-holders to carry firearms for self-protection in churches which are co-located with educational facilities, provided the property is not controlled by a board of education.

The act has several additional provisions listed below.   It has PASSED the House and the Senate and is on it’s way to Governor Cooper for his signature.

Although no law prohibits concealed carry in religious institutions, those which operate a school are considered to be “educational property,” even when no school is currently operated. As such, concealed firearms are currently prohibited.

Recent years have seen no fewer than three cases in which armed parishioners were able to stop murderous rampages by violent sociopaths: 

  • Colorado Springs, Colorado (12/9/07): Armed church volunteer security member Jeanne Assam shot and wounded rampage killer John Murray, who then committed suicide.
  • Sutherland Springs, TX: (11/5/17): Armed citizen Stephen Willeford used an AR-15 to exchange fire with murderer Devin Patrick Kelly, wounding him and stopping the rampage.
  • White Settlement, TX (12/29/19): At the West Freeway Church of Christ, volunteer church security member Jack Wilson stopped rampage killer Keith Thomas Kinnunen seconds after the killing started with a single shot to the head.

The 2nd Amendment Protection Act would:

  • Close a loophole in existing law to allow all churches and places of religious worship to provide for the safety of their congregants.
  • Close that loophole by adding a section into existing gun laws that says if a person is legally permitted to carry a concealed handgun, that person can carry a handgun on the property of a church or other place of religious worship provided: (1) It is private property; (2) No curricular or extracurricular educational activities are taking place; and (3) The person in control of the property has not posted a “no guns allowed” sign.
  • Allow all churches, whether or not they run a school, to offer the same level of protection to congregants.
  • Sheriffs will have to issue CHP renewals without retraining if applied for within 60 days of expiration
  • A refresher course will be available for those who renew 180 days out
  • EMS personnel, after training, will be allowed to carry
  • Additional “special” law enforcement employed personnel will be allowed to carry

They have posted the following easy link to send a message via text or email to Governor Cooper to voice your support:

Please take 3 minutes and make your voices heard on this important piece of legislation.

Thank you! Tami Hahn