New gun, abortion laws go into effect today - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

New gun, abortion laws go into effect today

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

North Carolina concealed weapon permit holders now have more leeway to bring their handguns into bars and restaurants and onto school and university property.

Beginning today, people with concealed handgun permits can arm themselves in a restaurant where alcohol is served, provided they don't drink or enter an establishment that has a sign up prohibiting weapons.

Permit holders are now allowed to store their handguns in a closed compartment in a locked car in parking lots owned or leased by state government or at lots in any school from kindergarten through college.

Gun rights advocates within the General Assembly and outside say Tuesday's changes, which also include longer punishments for people who use or display guns while committing felonies, will deter violent crime, not augment it as critics contend.

"We expect to see exactly what's happened in other states — nothing, absolutely nothing," said Paul Valone, leader of Grass Roots North Carolina, which sought the eased concealed weapon restrictions. "Concealed-carry weapon holders have always been responsible."

Private colleges and boarding schools can more narrowly limit who can have guns and where, but public schools and UNC system schools can't. Police chiefs on the system's 17 campuses, who unsuccessfully sought to remove universities from the list of new places where weapons can be stored in the final bill, are worried about the new law.

Although permit holders must be at least 21 years old, the law creates more potential for accidental shootings and suicide attempts, UNC-Chapel Hill Police Chief Jeff McCracken said Monday. It also may encourage violence against others, he said.

"People who are ordinarily law-abiding folks who are doing what the new law says may take action to address a dangerous situation on campus and thereby putting themselves and others in jeopardy," he said.

Valone said his organization is assembling an online list of what it calls "high-risk" restaurants posting signs and refusing to allow permit holders to enter with their concealed weapon. Grass Roots NC will encourage its members to boycott those establishments.

The new abortion law, like the gun law signed by Gov. Pat McCrory in the summer, makes it illegal starting Tuesday to carry out abortions on the basis of the baby's gender and limits abortion coverage in insurance plans offered by cities and counties to case involving rape, incest or danger to the mother's life.

Doctors performing surgical abortions must be physically present for the entire procedure and in the same room when a patient receives the first drug for a chemically induced abortion.

Abortion-rights groups are most displeased with a portion of the law that won't occur Tuesday — a requirement that abortion clinics be regulated using similar standards as those for outpatient surgical centers. Those rules still have to be developed by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

Portions of another new law are designed to help patients and their families wade through medical bills. Hospitals and surgery centers must provide, when asked, itemized billing statements "in language comprehensible to an ordinary layperson." They would be unable in some situations to place a lien on someone's house to collect unpaid bills, and certain public hospitals would be barred from garnishing wages for similar debt.

Owners of boats also now have to pay higher one- or three-year fees to obtain their vessel's license number and higher new and transfer title fees. A large portion of the revenues will be transferred to a new dedicated fund to pay for dredging shallow navigation channels and lakes. The fund was developed as the federal government is moving away from paying for dredging projects.

Other new laws taking effect Oct. 1:

- prohibit civil actions against North Carolina companies that manufacture, advertise or distribute food on claims their products led to long-term consumption of food or drinks led to excessive weight gain and health problems. The "Commonsense Consumption Act" also makes clear local governments can't pass ordinances like one passed in New York City prohibiting the sale of large soft drinks.
    
- direct county social service offices to perform criminal background checks for Work First and food stamps applicants and recipients to ensure they are not parole violators or facing felony charges. The law was vetoed by Gov. Pat McCrory in large part due to another section related to drug testing for welfare applicants, but the legislature overrode the veto. McCrory has said he won't carry out the drug testing directed to begin next summer until lawmakers fund the program adequately.
    
- expand criminal punishments for prostitution, solicitation of prostitution and human trafficking, while providing immunity from prosecution for minors suspected or charged with the crime.
    
- require carbon monoxide detectors in hotel and motel rooms where fossil-fuel heaters or fireplaces are installed in enclosed rooms or very close by. The law is a response to the deaths of three people related to the poisonous gas in the same Boone hotel room.
    
- set higher registration fees for state government lobbyists and the entities for which they lobby.
    
- raise penalties for a motorist who causes a motorcyclist to change lanes and get into a serious accident.
    
- requires that all prisoners in the state adult correction system be tested for HIV. 

  • North Carolina NewsMore>>

  • NC GOP Senate candidates face off as early voting begins

    NC GOP Senate candidates face off as early voting begins

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:15:49 GMT
    The four top-polling Republican Senate candidates, vying to unseat Democrat Kay Hagan, debated on Wednesday night in Raleigh, the night before early voting was set to begin. The primary is May 6, but voters can start heading to the polls on Thursday.During the half hour televised debate, State House of Representatives Speaker Thom Tillis of Charlotte said he was leading a conservative revolution in Raleigh, cutting regulations and taking credit for falling unemployment numbers. Tillis faces c...
    The four top-polling Republican Senate candidates, vying to unseat Democrat Kay Hagan, debated on Wednesday night in Raleigh, the night before early voting was set to begin. The primary is May 6, but voters can start heading to the polls on Thursday.During the half hour televised debate, State House of Representatives Speaker Thom Tillis of Charlotte said he was leading a conservative revolution in Raleigh, cutting regulations and taking credit for falling unemployment numbers. Tillis faces c...
  • NC judge to rule against teacher tenure state law

    NC judge to rule against teacher tenure state law

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:18 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:18:26 GMT
    A Guilford County judge is backing two school districts fighting a North Carolina law that phases out job protections for public school teachers in favor of employment contracts.
    A Guilford County judge is backing two school districts fighting a North Carolina law that phases out job protections for public school teachers in favor of employment contracts.
  • Committee proposes rules for drone use in NC

    Committee proposes rules for drone use in NC

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:58 PM EDT2014-04-23 20:58:27 GMT
    A legislative committee approved a set of regulations that it hopes will calm people's fears about the use of drones while allowing the industry to flourish.
    A legislative committee approved a set of regulations that it hopes will calm people's fears about the use of drones while allowing the industry to flourish.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Squatters Move Into Soldier's Home and Refuse to Leave

    Squatters Move Into Soldier's Home and Refuse to Leave

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 2:25 PM EDT2014-04-23 18:25:50 GMT
    Alleged SquatterAlleged Squatter
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house.
  • April Mugshots

    April Mugshots

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:42 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:42:32 GMT
    Thomas Allen WinstonThomas Allen Winston
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.
  • MUGS: 36 Arrests In Greenville Prostitution Sting

    MUGS: 36 Arrests In Greenville Prostitution Sting

    Wednesday, February 26 2014 12:58 PM EST2014-02-26 17:58:17 GMT
    The Greenville County Sheriff's Office, along with 26 other agencies throughout 15 states, participated in the event during National Day of Johns Arrest.The Greenville County Sheriff's Office, along with 26 other agencies throughout 15 states, participated in the event during National Day of Johns Arrest.
    The Greenville County Sheriff's Office, along with 26 other agencies throughout 15 states, participated in the event during National Day of Johns Arrest.
    The Greenville County Sheriff's Office, along with 26 other agencies throughout 15 states, participated in the event during National Day of Johns Arrest.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Mom wins lawsuit against TSA after breast milk screening problems

    Mom wins lawsuit against TSA after breast milk screening problems

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:40 PM EDT2014-04-23 20:40:54 GMT
    A Southern California woman who was held at a Phoenix airport four years ago after refusing to have her breast milk X-rayed has reached a settlement with the Transportation Security Administration. Stacey
    A Southern California woman who was held at a Phoenix airport four years ago after refusing to have her breast milk X-rayed has reached a settlement with the Transportation Security Administration. Stacey
  • Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Monday, April 14 2014 4:07 PM EDT2014-04-14 20:07:04 GMT
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.