RALEIGH, N.C. — The ability to carry a concealed handgun on public school property while attending church services there is being considered in the North Carolina House.

House floor debate and voting was expected Thursday on House Bill 174, which would allow someone with a concealed weapons permit to be armed while at a public school where space is used for religious worship. Right now guns are barred on such school property, although people arriving with lawful handguns can store them securely in their carts.

The bill says a person could be armed on the property only when the school wasn’t holding classes, extracurricular activities or school-sponsored events. It’s common for new churches — especially in urban areas — to rent space in schools for services.

The bill cleared a House judiciary committee Wednesday.

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