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 would allow concealed carry permit holders to lawfully carry a firearm 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.
Twelve House Democrats originally supported the bill which passes 77-38, more than enough votes for a veto override if Democrats continued supporting the policy of letting churches protect their members. Then, Governor Cooper vetoed the bill, claiming that such provisions would threaten the safety of students and teachers. When it came time to override six democrats switched their votes to support the Governor’s veto, the final vote tally was 66-48.
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.”
“This is a common sense bill to give churches 2nd amendment protections. It’s shameful that some Democrats who previously voted in favor of the bill switched their votes to “no”, presumably to stay in line with Governor Roy Cooper.”
Rep. Destin Hall
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.