On Friday, Governor Roy Cooper vetoed Senate Bill 43, the bipartisan-supported bill to expand the ability of citizens to defend themselves and their loved ones while attending religious worship. This is not surprising, given that he vetoed similar legislation last year. Like last year, Gov. Cooper has erroneously claimed that the bill will allow guns in schools and threatens the safety of students and teachers. Instead, it only applies to churches that operate schools and simply allows parishioners to carry when the schools are not in session if the church wishes to opt-in. Gov. Cooper’s veto once again shows that he cares little about personal safety or private property rights.
Senate Bill 43 allows law-abiding citizens who hold a concealed handgun permit to carry a handgun to defend themselves and their loved ones when attending religious worship taking place on private property that is both a school and a place of worship if it does not prohibit firearms. This empowers private property owners to set their own security policy, rather than the state imposing a one-size-fits-all solution. In 2019, an armed citizen in Texas defended his church against an individual. This worshiper, Jack Wilson, was able to take action because of similar, NRA-backed legislation in Texas.