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N.C. Senate Passes Bill Closing Gun Law Loophole

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File photo of a person firing a gun. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

File photo of a person firing a gun. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — State senators have passed a bill closing a loophole in a North Carolina gun laws that allowed a man to avoid felony charges when he opened fire in a Kernersville Walmart last fall.

The full Senate unanimously approved a bill Wednesday that adds criminal penalties for anyone who fires a gun within an occupied building or other structure with the intention of inciting fear.

A Kernersville man set off a panic last October when he fired three times into televisions on display at a local Walmart. He was charged with misdemeanors when authorities determined existing criminal law applies only to shooting into enclosed structures from outside.

Sen. Peter Brunstetter of Lewisville said the bill closes that loophole.

The bill now heads to the House.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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