The North Carolina House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill that would allow state residents to carry concealed handguns without a permit. It now goes to the state Senate.

House Bill 746 would allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit only in the same places where they currently are allowed to carry handguns openly.

It passed its final of three votes in the House 64-51.

The latest measure features certain restrictions and applies to persons 18 or older and who aren't otherwise prohibited by law to carry a firearm.

Supporters argue that the bill would equalize concealed carry-open carry laws in the state, while opponents continue to raise concerns about safety and gun violence.

House Bill 746

RELATED: NC Bill Would Allow Concealed Guns Without Permit

The NRA released a statement on the legislation:

“A record number of Americans carry a firearm for personal protection because it is increasingly evident that law enforcement cannot always be there to protect us. This legislation simply expands self-defense options for law-abiding citizens. As Americans take more responsibility for their self-protection, we need common-sense laws that recognize it’s often more convenient and socially acceptable to carry discretely. Under this legislation, North Carolina’s current concealed handgun permitting scheme would remain intact." - Catherine Mortensen, NRA Spokesperson

The measure would still need the Senate's approval before it could go to Gov. Roy Cooper's desk.

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