School officials disagree with gun laws
North Carolina’s new gun laws may have been popular with Republican legislators, but local school officials aren’t so sure.
A new state gun law went into effect on Tuesday that allows people with concealed handgun permits to have that handgun locked in a compartment in a locked car on public university and school parking lots.
Guilford County Schools board member Ed Price said he does not like the new law.
“School grounds are no place for guns, locked in a car or anything,” he said. “I can’t see why anyone would need a gun at a school. If something was going on, by the time they ran out to get (a gun), the damage is already done.”
Private colleges and boarding schools have more control over who can have guns and where, but public schools and UNC system schools don’t. According to The Associated Press, police chiefs on the system’s 17 campuses unsuccessfully sought to remove universities from the list of new places where weapons can be stored in the final bill.
Guilford County Board of Education member Rebecca Buffington said she sees where the General Assembly may have been going, but she’s unsure this law is the way to accomplish the goal.
“There’s never a reason to have a gun on a school campus,” she said. “I’m sure there were good intentions thinking there’s someone to protect the school if something happens, but think about how long it would take to get to the car (and) unlock the truck. They say the first few minutes of carnage are when everything happens.”
North Carolina residents must be at least 21 years old to apply for a concealed-carry permit. Permits are issued by the county sheriff’s office. Applicants must go through a background check making sure they do not suffer from a physical or mental infirmity that prevents the safe handling of a handgun; have successfully completed an approved firearms safety and training course and several other requirements before obtaining the permit.
The new law also allows permit holders to have handguns in a closed compartment in a locked car at parking lots owned or leased by state government; in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol as long as the permit holder does not drink or unless the weapon is prohibited by the owner.
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