New NC laws about protests, guns in church, workplace discussions on race, and dozens more are now in effect

New NC laws about protests, guns in church, workplace discussions on race, and dozens more are now in effect

Scores of new laws or sections of laws took effect in North Carolina one week ago on Dec. 1, and whether you knew about them or not, they will impact how we live our lives.

The new laws address everything from where people can now legally carry guns to how we’re allowed to protest and what topics we can discuss at work. 

One final section of Senate Bill 49 went into effect last week. Better known as the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” SB 49 restricts how LGBTQ+ topics can be discussed in schools. It also has provisions that would essentially require teachers to “out” LGBTQ+ kids to their parents if the student talks about their sexuality or tries changing their pronouns at school.

The section of SB 49 that just became law addresses parental consent for the medical treatment of minors. Health care practitioners must get documented parental consent before treating a minor or face a fine of up to $5,000.

One of the most impactful bills to become law last week is House Bill 40, a racist, anti-free speech bill disguised as an “anti-rioting” law. The law increases penalties for starting a riot or taking part in one, and it institutes mandatory jail time for protesters who get arrested. Protesters arrested at a demonstration will now be required to spend at least 24 hours in jail – a punishment that might deter some folks from showing up.

If you work for the State of North Carolina, take heed – now there are limits on how people can talk about race and gender in the workplace, including in hiring interviews. Senate Bill 364 bans state government workplaces from discussing – or using in training – specific concepts such as:

▪ Someone is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive because of their race or sex 

▪ Someone bears responsibility for past actions by those of the same race or sex

▪ “Any individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress.”

Senate Bill 41, which ended the requirement to get a handgun permit, went into effect months ago. One part of the bill that didn’t become law until last week is a provision addressing where a person can legally conceal carry a firearm. State law now says that concealed carry permit holders can bring their guns to places of worship with schools attached or on the same property.

There are dozens of other laws that also just went on the books. Click here for a list of legislation passed this year and its effective dates.

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Patrick Zarcone

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