NC lawmakers consider allowing people to carry concealed guns without permit

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) - North Carolina lawmakers are considering new legislation which would allow people ages 18 and older to carry a concealed gun without a permit.

Current law requires prospective gun owners to pass a safety and training course before getting a concealed carry permit. That involves practice firing handguns and understanding state gun laws. This bill would eliminate that.

The Republican legislator who introduced the Constitutional Carry Act said it would help lawful citizens protect themselves, yet opponents call it dangerous.

James Satterthwaite, a local concealed carry class instructor, said she worries about the consequences.

"I don't think it's a good idea," said Satterthwaite. "It's kind of strange that they would make it that you legally own a gun, and you can just conceal one and carry it in public with no training on the law and not knowing if you're capable of shooting what you're aiming at...It just sounds kind of dangerous to me."

Satterthwaite said the course covers state laws, the rights people have to defend themselves, handgun safety and actual practice firing a gun. He said training is crucial.

"If you have a driver's license, you can drive on the road, and you have to have some knowledge of traffic law, you know, for the citizens' safety," Satterthwaite said. "And I can't imagine them taking away the mandatory eight hours training and the short-range pistol course you have to shoot in order to obtain your concealed handgun,"

The proposed bill still makes it illegal to carry most concealed weapons including a razor, metal knuckles and even a slingshot.

Similar legislation was introduced last year but got no traction.

The bill passed its first reading and now goes to committees. If passed, the bill would make North Carolina the 12th state with a constitutional carry law.

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