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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — State lawmakers are trying to crack down on criminals who carry illegally concealed weapons. One state senator says the changes are thanks in part to suggestions from our area.

The idea is to make criminals think twice before carrying concealed weapons illegally.

Sen. Thom Goolsby (R-9th District) made the announcement about the possible changes on Twitter today. The legislation, if approved, would make carrying an illegally concealed weapon a higher class of felony or misdemeanor.

Goolsby says the idea here is to show, as he put it, “gangbangers” that illegal weapons are not tolerated in our cities. He says it’s a move both the Wilmington Police chief and members of Wilmington City Council asked for.

“‘Cause they keep finding gangbangers with concealed guns. What this allows us to do is put people in jail for the first offence of carrying a concealed weapon illegally,” Goolsby said in a phone interview from Raleigh this afternoon.

Goolsby made clear, though, he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and this bill would only impact non-law-abiding citizens.

If approved, the harsher punishments would go into effect Dec. 1.

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