“I worked with the bill sponsor to pass an amendment to make it clear that the bill would only apply to places of worship,” Meyer said. “But would not allow public weapons on school grounds.”
Turner was not available to comment on the bill at this time.
N.C. Rep. Deb Butler, D-New Hanover, said the bill passed in the House because of the Republican super-majority. When voting districts are redrawn, she said Republicans will not be able to pass the same type of conservative bills.
“I think (Republicans) realized they are going to lose their stranglehold on the North Carolina General Assembly,” she said. “So it seems to me they are passing the most onerous, conservative, right-wing legislation that they could think of to get it done fast.”
Meyer said churches are already considered private property and can decide to allow concealed weapons.
“The bill has been misinterpreted when that’s already allowed,” he said.
N.C. Rep. William Brisson, D-Johnston, said he does not think the bill was necessary and having citizens carrying guns is a liability.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t think our state is that desperate,” Brisson said. “I know some things have happened at churches and schools, but we have plenty of law enforcement to enforce the laws.”
Meyer said he voted against the original version of the bill — until the amendment was added. He said the bill would pass without his vote regardless.
“The amendment makes it so that public schools cannot qualify for this bill,” Meyer said. “It’s only applicable to a place of worship that also has a school on its property.”
Butler said the state needs fewer guns, not more, and violence will not be solved with a proliferation of guns.
“I don’t think we should have guns in church, it just goes against my moral compass to think that people have to worship in the presence of instruments of death and destruction,” Butler said. “We have to have balance on this issue — I think there are places that are meant to be sacred and churches are just one of them.”
Meyer said in a statement on Facebook that the North Carolinians Against Gun Violence had a neutral position on the bill if the amendment were to be passed.
“Although I wouldn’t want guns at my church, I do believe that churches have private property rights which include the ability to decide whether to allow concealed weapons or not,” Meyer said.