New law allow guns in locked cars at schools

Wil Petty Staff Writer

September 9, 2013

Ashe County Public School officials are in discussions with attorneys to figure out what course of action to take following the state passing a new law allowing some to have firearms on school property.

“We’re looking at our current policies and are adjusting them as needed to align with the new state policy,” said Dr. Ernest ‘Todd’ Holden, superintendent of Ashe County Schools.

House Bill 937, which passed in July, greatly expands the rights of gun owners in the state. Those with concealed carry licenses are now allowed to store their guns in a locked vehicle on the campuses of public schools and universities.

Also, new laws will allow guns on athletic fields, swimming pools and bars unless the establishment’s owner expressly prohibits the firearms.

The “Amend various firearms laws” bill passed the House 73-41 and the Senate 32-14. The law is supposed to into full effect Oct. 1.

There is no word yet on if Ashe County faculty and staff will be allowed to have their firearms on school property.

“I want to make sure that whatever we do is in alignment to the new legislation,” Holden said.

Holden expressed concern about the new law.

“Obviously, I don’t want to have guns at our schools,” he said.

Since the law applies to those with concealed carry, students will not be directly affected by the new laws. In North Carolina, people have to be at least 21-years-old to purchase a handgun.

“(The changes) are not really that much of a student issue,” he said.

Holden said he hopes the General Assembly will reconsider their decision in the next short sessions.

“We have some legislation that could possibly change in the upcoming session,” he said. “I’m hoping this is something they look at possibly doing away with.”