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With the July 26 passage of HB937 ("gun omnibus" bill) and passage of HB589 ("VIVA/election reform" bill), the election circumstances in North Carolina have changed from omnibus to ominous.

HB937 expands the places where concealed-carry weapons (CCW) can be toted, including university and public-school campus grounds (locked inside a vehicle in public, municipal, and state-owned parking spots), restaurants and eateries that serve alcohol, any venue where tickets are sold (including movie theaters, amphitheaters, and concert sites), and many other locations.

One section of the bill includes a list of oddly specific venues where CCWs will be permitted: recreational facilities, funeral processions, and school gymnasiums.

What do these sites have in common? All are commonly used as polling places.

An earlier bill that didn't make it to the May crossover between House and Senate specified that CCWs would be permitted in churches, but that bill was met with such opposition that it was dropped. However, HB937 permits CCWs at funeral processions, which often take place in part at churches and on church grounds.

Combined with the new "vigilante voter" provision of HB589, this means that challengers (parties are permitted to appoint 10 challengers per precinct, plus any citizen can challenge any voter within his/her county) can approach voters in line outside these balloting areas or even inside these balloting areas to challenge their eligibility. And be permitted by state law to carry concealed weapons while doing so.

For several years, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) heralded its Public Safety and Elections Task Force, which put expansion of firearms "rights" together with in-person voting "reform." They were forced to disband this task force last year after a successful threat of a boycott of ALEC advertisers (McDonald's, Kraft, Coca-Cola, and others) caused several advertisers to discontinue their ALEC memberships.

And yet its legacy lives on now in North Carolina law.

Originally posted to MsSpentyouth on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 12:35 PM PDT.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE, DKos Asheville, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), and Shut Down the NRA.

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