Certified gun owners in North Carolina may soon have several new places to carry. A bill passed by the North Carolina Senate last week would allow concealed-carry permit holders to store weapons in a locked car on public school campuses.
The measure had students and teachers on edge in Elizabeth City.
“I just don’t think guns should be on campus, period,” says Melvenia Griffin, an ECSU senior.
“It scares me a little bit,” says Jody Hollis, a high school English teacher.
Though Hollis owns a gun, he says if passed, the legislation would only create more problems for educators.
“Even if they make the rule with the car, I’m just afraid people would bring it into the classroom,” Hollis says. “I just don’t feel comfortable as an educator having that as an extra burden with all the other pressure that we already have.”
Advocates of the bill argue that it would allow students and staff to defend themselves on campus. However, ECSU students tell NewsChannel 3 it would only encourage more gun violence.
“I wouldn’t want somebody to break in, take the weapon and go out and shoot somebody,” Griffin says.
Security on ECSU’s campus has been under a microscope over the past few months. Its chancellor and police chief now gone after more than 120 crimes reported by students were not properly investigated. However, students say guns on campus are not the right way to solve the school’s safety concerns.
“We should be able to live on campus and not have to feel threatened by people with guns, our own guns or anybody else’s guns,” says Darius Witherspoon, a sophomore at ECSU.
The bill also would also allow concealed-carry permit holders to take weapons into bars, restaurants, playgrounds and funeral processions.
The bill now heads to the House for approval.