Thursday Wrap: Guns 'n' executions

Posted July 23, 2015

— A Senate committee on Thursday approved both an omnibus gun bill and a measure designed to unknot some of the issues that have prevented North Carolina from executing any death row inmates for nine years.

Much of the more controversial provisions of the gun bill, which would loosen state restrictions on who can carry a concealed weapon and where they can be carried, were removed before it passed the House last month. Gun-control advocates asked senators not to reinsert any of those provisions, apparently resigning themselves to its passage.

Opponents of the death penalty bill didn't give in so easily, especially when the Senate version keeps secret the protocol for carrying out executions and the types of drugs used in the lethal injections. Public scrutiny is needed, opponents say, to ensure North Carolina doesn't have botched executions as has happened in other states.

The full Senate passed bills to establish insurance requirements and other regulations on ride-sharing services and to put charter schools under the oversight of the State Board of Education and not the Department of Public Instruction.

Meanwhile, the state Supreme Court upheld the Opportunity Scholarship school voucher program. The 4-3 decision overturned a lower court ruling that the program unconstitutionally turned taxpayer money over to private and religious schools.


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