Under the bill, gun owners would still need a permit to purchase a gun, but they would not need a conceal-carry permit to bring a hidden gun into places where open carry is already allowed. The bill will now go to the Senate.
"It is reasonable to allow law-abiding citizens to hide carry in areas where open carry is now allowed", said Republican state Rep. Jon Hardister of Greensboro.
The primary bill passed 59 to 49 Wednesday while others passed on similar votes.
Supporters said it would extend constitutional rights to gun owners, while opponents argued it would endanger public safety without current rules required under the state's 17-year-old concealed carry law. The law would allow permitless concealed carry by any gun owner 18 and over.
To obtain a concealed-carry permit, North Carolina residents must complete an eight-hour safety class and pay $90 in non-refundable permit fees at their county sheriff's office. He, like Garrison, voiced particular concern about the reduction of the concealed carry age from 21 to 18. "Expanding concealed carry while removing training requirement is not sensible, risky and it's not good for our community". But, before you get the certificate - he has the final say.
Republican Rep. John Faircloth of High Point, a former police chief, said the lack of a training component bothers him as well. "And getting a permit's a good thing". The coverage leaves out a third party that unequivocally wants law abiding citizens to have a right to be armed, but supports policies to ensure those citizens demonstrate at least the same firearm skill and competency as neighborhood police officers who patrol our streets.
Royal thinks this will be a positive for gun owners.
"A record number of Americans carry a firearm for personal protection because it is increasingly evident that law enforcement can not always be there to protect us".
This is a common-sense reform that eliminates government over-reach to give honest, law-abiding people the freedom to exercise their right to carry a firearm for their personal protection without undue burdens, said Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield Township).
"We all know criminals are not paying fees, taking classes and waiting for approval to come in the mail before they begin carrying guns", MI state Representative Michele Hoitenga, sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. "Someone needs to know the limits and the responsibilities and the bounds in which they can use a weapon in that capacity for a civilian", he added.