- Associated Press - Monday, June 30, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A wide-ranging bill making changes to criminal justice laws has cleared the North Carolina House, but not before lawmakers would give appellate court judges the right to carry lawfully-permitted concealed weapons for their safety.

The House gave its final approval Monday night to the measure containing new and increased crimes for cellphones in prison. It also raises penalties for illegal operation of an amusement park ride and for spraying graffiti.

An amendment by Rep. Darren Jackson of Wake County would extend the ability of state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals members to carry a concealed weapon, as District and Superior Court judges and magistrates can now. The weapon must be stored otherwise in a locked compartment.

The Senate must now decide to accept the House’s version of the bill.