North Carolina law allows guns in churches, unless the church itself prohibits them.
State law forbids guns inside schools. But a bill that would have allowed people with concealed gun permits to take handguns into churches that meet in private schools passed the state House in March. Guns would be allowed in schools only when they’re not being used for classes or school-sponsored activities. The bill is in the Senate Rules Committee and is eligible for approval next year.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Rena Turner of Olin, said last March that a church in her district requested the law because it wanted a security team to be able to protect congregants in an emergency.
As state law stands, concealed permit holders can take guns onto public school campuses, but only if the guns are locked in vehicles.
Turner said the murder in 2015 of nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, helped motivate the request.