NC: Bill to Protect Religious Meeting Places Presented to Governor Cooper

North Carolina Senate Bill 43 (Protect Religious Meeting Places) recently passed both chambers of the state legislature and a Senate concurrence vote, and today, June 10th, it has been presented to Governor Cooper for his signature.

Although if/when enacted, the provisions to lawfully carry a concealed handguns in allowed facilities do not take effect until December 1st, if Governor Cooper will sign the Bill, we can have the assurance that such protections WILL eventually be afforded to worshippers.

Currently, worshippers in churches without co-located school facilities enjoy such protections. However, worshippers in churches who educate school aged children during weekdays (AND NOT on Sundays or other times of scheduled worship) arbitrarily DO NOT have an ability to protect themselves. This bill merely corrects this injustice.

GOA ( volunteers, including NC GOA State Director Andy Stevens, along with volunteers from Grass Roots North Carolina ( were active throughout the legislative process and were on hand to testify to various committees in support of this bill. The bill received NO PUBLIC OPPOSITION in these public hearings.

We wish to acknowledge, because of our educational efforts, this bill received substantial BIPARTISAN SUPPORT in both chambers. There was enough support to over-ride a veto threat which is the last chance for gun banning organizations, such as Moms Demand Action and North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, to stop the bill.

We at GOA call upon Governor Cooper to sign this bill into law without delay and avoid an unnecessary special vote to over-ride his veto. After all, this bill merely provides certain churches protections MOST North Carolina churches presently enjoy. An additional provision also allows for certain non-sworn law enforcement personnel with valid concealed carry permits to carry in their places of employment, certainly a prudent and necessary measure.

Barring an immediate signature, Governor Cooper could merely let the bill reside on his desk and allow it to pass into law on June 20th.

What a wonderful Father’s Day gift this would be to worshippers across the state!