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Guns now allowed in bars, on playgrounds in North Carolina

A man fires his handgun along a mountain range in Buckeye, Arizona January 20, 2013. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Reuters)
A man fires his handgun along a mountain range in Buckeye, Arizona January 20, 2013.

Really wish you could take a gun with you on your next visit to the public playground with your kids? Then you might want to consider a move to North Carolina.

Republicans who control the state legislature have passed a bill that allows concealed-carry permit holders to bring firearms to restaurants, bars and playgrounds. It also allows those same permit holders to bring guns onto school campuses as long as they keep them locked in their cars, a measure which police chiefs in the University of North Carolina system unanimously opposed last month.

The bill -- awaiting signature from Gov. Pat McCrory -- gives some autonomy to business owners, allowing them to keep firearms out of their establishments if they expressly forbid them, and allowing municipal governments to ban firearms from playgrounds under their control.

The legislation ultimately didn't include a controversial provision that would have ended a background check requirement.

A poll conducted in February by Elon University found a majority of North Carolinians favored stronger gun control regulations.

McCrory is expected to sign the bill, but when asked in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting whether he thought gun control should be expanded or limited in his state, he said he supported no changes at all.

"I just want to make sure that kids are safe," McCrory said in December, according to WRAL. "The long-term solution I think is not changing any current laws — we've got a lot of laws on the books — but taking care of those people who have some serious, serious problems in their minds. I think that's where a lot of the concentration needs to be. Because if you look at all these incidents throughout the nation, it's been these loners that have some serious, serious issues. I think that's the thing we've got to concentrate on."

Although perhaps the GOP in the Tar Heel state didn't go too far to please their voter base. According to a PPP Poll released Wednesday, 30% of Republicans want guns to be allowed on planes too.

The new gun legislation is one of many bills passed by Republicans this year after taking full control of the lawmaking process. Other legislation -- including abortion restrictions and a new voting law is expected to pass this week.