So long as Gov. Pat McCrory puts his pen to it, a bill allowing North Carolina residents to carry concealed handguns into bars and on playgrounds will soon be law, reports the AP. The Republican-backed bill was approved by both the House and Senate yesterday, and would give concealed-carry permit holders the right to take their gun into any place where alcohol is served—this includes restaurants—as long as the owner doesn't expressly forbid it. WRAL reports on two other expansions: Such weapons could also be kept in a locked car that's parked at a public school or university, and can be carried in funeral processions.
Republican Sen. Thom Goolsby pointed out that concealed handgun permit holders undergo additional training and background checks. "They're the people we don't have to worry about," he tells WRAL. On the flip side, the bill also beefs up the penalties levied on those who violate gun laws, and didn't include a contentious provision that would have repealed the need for gun purchasers to submit to a background check, notes ABC 11. (Read more North Carolina stories.)