The North Carolina House of Representatives has passed a bill that would allow concealed firearms to be carried at schools that hold religious services.
As reported by WRAL, House Bill 174 passed on a 82-34 vote Monday night after an amendment was added to exempt public schools from the measure.
Under the new legislation, guns would be allowed on school property if the school also has a building that is used as a place of worship. Gun owners with concealed carry permits would be able to carry guns into religious services as long as those services are held after school hours.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Rena Turner, said she wanted church-goers and security to be able to protect themselves and the rest of the congregation, especially after the 2015 massacre in a Charleston church.
Some fellow lawmakers noted the original bill might cause issues for public schools that host church services on weekends, so Turner added the amendment to exempt public schools.
The measure now heads to the Senate for consideration.