RALEIGH New laws on guns and abortions take effect Tuesday, along with more than 50 other laws approved by the N.C. General Assembly earlier this year.
People with concealed handgun permits will be able to arm themselves in a restaurant where alcohol is served, provided they dont drink or enter an establishment that has a sign to prohibit weapons.
Permit holders will also be allowed to store their handguns in a closed compartment in a locked car at parking lots owned or leased by state government or at lots in any school from kindergarten through college.
Gun rights advocates say Tuesdays changes, which also include longer punishments for people who use or display guns while committing felonies, will deter violent crime. Others say they dont think the changes will deter crimes, and, indeed, could lead to more violence.
We expect to see exactly whats happened in other states nothing, absolutely nothing, said Paul Valone, leader of Grass Rights North Carolina, which sought the eased concealed weapon restrictions. Concealed-carry weapon holders have always been responsible.
Private colleges and boarding schools can more narrowly limit who can have guns and where, but public schools and UNC system schools cant. Police chiefs on the systems 17 campuses, who unsuccessfully sought to remove universities from the list of new places where weapons can be stored, are worried about the new law.
Although permit holders must be at least 21 years old, the law creates more potential for accidental shootings and suicide attempts, UNC-Chapel Hill police Chief Jeff McCracken said Monday. It also may encourage violence against others, he said.
People who are ordinarily law-abiding folks who are doing what the new law says may take action to address a dangerous situation on campus and thereby putting themselves and others in jeopardy, he said.
Valone said his organization is assembling an online list of what it calls high-risk restaurants posting signs and refusing to allow permit holders to enter with their concealed weapon. Grass Roots North Carolina will encourage its members to boycott those establishments.
The new abortion law makes it illegal starting Tuesday to carry out abortions on the basis of the babys gender and limits abortion coverage in insurance plans offered by cities and counties to cases involving rape, incest or danger to the mothers life.
Doctors performing surgical abortions must be physically present for the entire procedure. Doctors also must be in the same room when a patient receives the first drug for a chemically induced abortion.
Abortion-rights groups are most displeased with a portion of the law that wont occur Tuesday a requirement that abortion clinics be regulated using similar standards as those for outpatient surgical centers. Those rules still have to be developed by the state Department of Health and Human Services.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less