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UNC chief wants concealed weapons item out of bill

RALEIGH The head of the University of North Carolina system wants legislators to remove part of a bill that would allow concealed weapons permit holders to store their handguns in locked vehicles on the system’s 17 campuses.

UNC President Tom Ross says campus leaders and police chiefs are worried that allowing those weapons would increase public safety risks and hamper their ability to protect people on campus. Ross said Monday in a statement that vehicle break-ins are a leading crime at schools and guns could fall into the hands of the wrong people.

A House committee voted for a gun bill last week that contained the provision, which gun-rights advocates call a crime deterrent.

A floor vote previously scheduled for Tuesday has been delayed.

In a letter to the editor in the Observer, UNC Charlotte Chancellor Phil Dubois shared Ross’ concerns.

“(The bill) makes firearms more accessible, even if ‘locked away’ in automobiles,” he wrote. “That makes everyone less safe.”

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