For many years, North Carolina law and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools policy has banned all weapons on school property, unless they are carried by certified law enforcement officers or used for approved ceremonial purposes. The North Carolina legislature changed this law in July 2013. Effective October 1, 2013, handguns may be brought onto CMS school property, but only under very specific circumstances:
- the person must have a valid concealed handgun permit;
- the handgun must be kept in a closed compartment or container within the permit holder’s locked vehicle or in a locked container affixed securely to the vehicle (e.g. a locked tool box secured to a pick-up truck); and
- the vehicle must be locked except for when the person is entering or exiting the vehicle.
Where are handguns allowed on CMS property?
Only in the vehicle of the holder of the concealed handgun permit holder. The handgun must be kept in the vehicle in a closed container or compartment within the vehicle. It may also be stored in a locked container affixed to the outside of the vehicle. The vehicle must be locked except for when the permit holder unlocks the vehicle to get in or out, or to allow others to do so.
What is CMS property?
Board or school property is any school building, bus, school campus, grounds, recreational area, athletic field, or other property owned, used, or operated by the Board of Education.
Who can keep handguns in their locked vehicles?
Only people with valid concealed handgun permits.
Can I carry my weapon inside the school if I have a concealed handgun permit?
Am I allowed to carry my weapon into the school if it is in a closed or locked container?
No. Unless you are a law enforcement officer, under no circumstances are you (or anyone else) allowed to carry a weapon into schools, on school grounds, or at school events, even if you have a concealed handgun permit.
What type of weapon may I keep in my vehicle on school grounds if I have a concealed handgun permit?
Only a handgun.
CMS believes this law is not in the best interests of our students, employees or schools and will continue discussions with our legislature. If you have concerns about this law, contact your local state legislator to share your opinions. The safety of our students and staff is our top priority and we will continue to enforce with vigilance all of our campus safety procedures. Parents may contact their child’s principal or learning community if they have further questions.