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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — State law prohibits guns at schools, but a state senator from our area wants to make a slight change that law.

No guns in school is a no brainer, but what happens when your school is also a church? Sen. Thom Goolsby (R-9th District) hopes a new bill will help clarify.

“What this bill does is says you can have a gun at church which also serves as a school during worship services, as long as it does not coincide with a school function,” Goolsby said.

Concealed weapons are already allowed on church grounds. Goolsby created the bill after a church in New Hanover County told him members do not feel safe and wanted to make sure all their bases were covered so no one got in trouble.

The group North Carolinians Against Gun Violence says this bill is unnecessary.

“I always thought you had to trust in the lord, not on your gun,” activist Gail Neely said.

Neely says by allowing this, the problem may actually get worse.

“Fear perpetuates violence,” she said. “There are a lot of underlying causes that make people act in a way that is violent, and there are a lot of things that make people act in a way when they are fearful.”

The bill is still in committee in Raleigh. Goolsby says he thinks the bill will pass easily during the current legislative session.

We wanted to know which church inspired Senate Bill 924, but Sen. Goolsby did not want to share that information for privacy concerns.

We also tried to talk with Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous about expanding the law. He did not want to comment on pending legislation.

We could not reach Sheriff Ed McMahon for comment.


Comment on this Story

  • Guest45

    What everyone for got was the seperation of curch and state, the church schools do not fall under the state statutes for education, so there for they do not fall under any other. You can’t have it both ways.

  • Comic

    Maybe he should be more worried about the taxes the church is not paying to the county when they have a child care business as they put tax paying small businesses out of business because they cant compete with a non tax paying business.

  • Sean D Sorrentino

    Keep in mind that when Gail Neely talks about guns, she’s a paid anti-gun shill. She works for NCGV and gets paid $35K a year to fight against your right to keep and bear arms.

    Luckily NCGV is almost broke. They spent $42K more last year than they received, and they lost their Executive Director, probably because they didn’t have the money to pay her $40K a year any more.

    As for trusting in the Lord, the good Lord gave me good sense. He gave me the ability to take care of myself in most situations. My plan is to handle all of the situations that I can so that He doesn’t have to miracle me out of something that I should have handled myself.

  • Mary Kay Mason

    “I always thought you had to trust in the lord, not on your gun,” activist Gail Neely said.”


    Jesus told His disciplines to carry two knives on the night the Roman soldiers came to seize Him in the garden.

    It also says not to put the Lord to the test.

    Thanks Tom, God knows the most mentally deranged individuals have come into churches to attack Christians.

    Thanks for defending a Christian’s right to self protection from those who wish to persecute believers.

  • G. Weckel

    As usual, there is misunderstanding about this proposed law for some. This is not about packing the pews with pistols. Many churches across NC have schools and also hold mid-week services and Bible studies. If a man/woman comes straight from work to church and has a legally concealed weapon in his/her car but is on church/school grounds, they are in violation of the law even if it is summer time or well after school hours. The law is clear…it can not be a school function. In addition, many churches are becoming proactive about protecting their members and pastors. When you preach the gospel, you’re gonna make some enemies and unfortunately, recent history has shown us that there are nutheads out there that will come on church grounds and take aim at the pastor and members or continue a domestic dispute at church.
    There is nothing confrontational about this law. The NC Against Gun Violence group doesn’t want any gun anywhere, period. The statistics are clear…guns in the hands of law abiding citizens are safe. No increased gun violence and no innocent accidental shooting deaths.

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