HB 489: Replacement 'State of Emergency' bill provides no protections, but new restrictions


Reminding us why Mark Twain once said, "No man's life, liberty nor property is safe while the Legislature is in session," a plan is afoot in the NC Senate to replace the state's "state of emergency" gun ban - which was recently declared unconstitutional - with an even worse gun ban.




As you recall, Grass Roots North Carolina was a plaintiff in Bateman v. Perdue, the lawsuit filed against the state's ban on carrying firearms outside the home during declared states of emergency. Represented by Alan Gura (of D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago fame), we won: Federal District Court for the Eastern District of NC declared the statute an unconstitutional infringement on the Second Amendment right to bear arms outside the home.


The better news is that the state let the April 30 appeal deadline pass without filing an appeal, making the decision conclusive. Now, however, we might be seeing why Governor Perdue chose not to appeal...




The logical thing to do with a statute declared unconstitutional would be to simply repeal it, right? Alas, not in this august body. Instead of simply eliminating restrictions, the current proposal repeals the state's ability to ban guns during states of emergency, but replaces it with language enabling cities to impose gun bans arguably more expansive than those in current law.


Under House Bill 489, now in the Senate Judiciary I Committee, if a hurricane or act of terrorism forced you to take your family and flee your home, you would have no lawful right to take firearms with you for protection at the time you need them most.




It's not yet clear who drafted the bill, but what they did was to strip a bill formerly dealing with mechanics' liens, and replace its guts with "Dangerous Weapons Restrictions in Emergencies."


To give you the flavor of the bill, consider part of its long title: "An Act to Authorize the Possession, Storage, and Use of Dangerous Weapons During a State of Emergency for Self-Defense in a Person's Home..." [Emphasis added]


You read it right: Bureaucrats would "authorize" keeping firearms in the home, leading us to ask what other fundamental rights they might someday feel the need to "authorize."


But don't believe us. See it for yourself at: http://grnc.org/h489.html


Fundamental flaws in HB 489:

  • The bill still restricts firearms outside the home during emergencies: Although new language in G.S. 14-288.12(b)(4) purports to let cities restrict outside-the-home carry only "when necessary to preserve the public peace where there is an imminent risk of damage, injury, or loss of life or property," that language is so vague as to be meaningless. Virtually every state of emergency - be it hurricane, riot or snowstorm - carries these "imminent risks."
  • Regulations now reach into your home: Although the bill purports to forbid cities from regulating guns and ammunition in the home during emergencies, neither cities nor the state ever had the power to apply in-home bans during states of emergency. Translated, by stipulating what lawful gun-related activities you may do in the home, the bill tries to replace your unequivocal right to arms in the home with a restricted "right" to arms in the home.
  • HB 489 replaces an unconstitutional statute with another unconstitutional statute: But because laws are constitutional until proven otherwise, you'll have to go back to court to prove it.


  • Email AND call: ALL of the following members of the NC Senate Judiciary I Committee

  • Help GRNC kill this & other gun bans: By joining or, if you are already a member, contributing at: https://ssl4.westserver.net/grnc.org/join.html



Use this copy & paste to email Judiciary I members:

Peter.Brunstetter@ncleg.net, Thom.Goolsby@ncleg.net, Tom.Apodaca@ncleg.net, Harry.Brown@ncleg.net, Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net, Clark.Jenkins@ncleg.net, Eric.Mansfield@ncleg.net, Martin.Nesbitt@ncleg.net, Louis.Pate@ncleg.net, David.Rouzer@ncleg.net, Bob.Rucho@ncleg.net, Dan.Soucek@ncleg.net, Josh.Stein@ncleg.net, Richard.Stevens@ncleg.net, Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net, Michael.Walters@ncleg.net, Daniel.Clodfelter@ncleg.net


Full contact info for Senate Judiciary I Committee:

Peter S. Brunstetter, Phone: (919) 733-7850, Email: Peter.Brunstetter@ncleg.net

Thom Goolsby, Phone: (919) 715-2525, Email: Thom.Goolsby@ncleg.net

Tom Apodaca, Phone: (919) 733-5745, Email: Tom.Apodaca@ncleg.net

Harry Brown, Phone: (919) 715-3034, Email: Harry.Brown@ncleg.net

Daniel G. Clodfelter, Phone: (919) 715-8331, Email: Daniel.Clodfelter@ncleg.net

Kathy Harrington, Phone: (919) 733-5734, Email: Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net

Clark Jenkins, Phone: (919) 715-3040, Email: Clark.Jenkins@ncleg.net

Eric Mansfield, Phone: (919) 733-9349, Email: Eric.Mansfield@ncleg.net

Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr., Phone: (919) 715-3001, Email: Martin.Nesbitt@ncleg.net

Louis Pate, Phone: (919) 733-5621, Email: Louis.Pate@ncleg.net

David Rouzer, Phone: (919) 733-5748, Email: David.Rouzer@ncleg.net

Bob Rucho, Phone: (919) 733-5655, Email: Bob.Rucho@ncleg.net

Dan Soucek, Phone: (919) 733-5742, Email: Dan.Soucek@ncleg.net

Josh Stein, Phone: (919) 715-6400, Email: Josh.Stein@ncleg.net

Richard Stevens, Phone: (919) 733-5653, Email: Richard.Stevens@ncleg.net

Jerry W. Tillman, Phone: (919) 733-5870, Email: Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net

Michael P. Walters, Phone: (919) 733-5651, Email: Michael.Walters@ncleg.net




Honorable Members of the Senate Judiciary I Committee:


Realizing that many of you -- especially chamber leadership -- have excellent voting records on gun issues, I am surprised you would give serious consideration to a bill such as House Bill 489: "Dangerous Weapons Restrictions in Emergencies." The bill would be more accurately titled: "Gun Rights Authorized by Bureaucrats."

North Carolina's existing ban on bearing arms outside the home was recently declared unconstitutional by a federal court in the case Bateman v. Perdue. But instead of simply repealing what is now a largely unenforceable statute, HB 489 would replace it with an even more insidious ban.


That HB 489's long title describes "authorizing" arms and ammunition in the home speaks volumes about the bill. Language purporting to restrict cities from banning guns outside the home is vague to the point of being useless; the bill is sloppily drafted; and worst of all, it stipulates for the first time which lawful firearm-related activities I may or may not exercise IN MY OWN HOME.


I strongly urge you to table HB 489 and do what both the letter and spirit of the Bateman decision require: Repeal the unconstitutional ban on carrying firearms outside the home during declared states of emergency.


Please advise me of your position on this issue. I will be monitoring its progress via Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.




Copyright Info


© 2012 GRNCFFE, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction and distribution is permitted provided full attribution is given and the item is reprinted in its entirety. Address questions to: President@GRNC.org


Find Your Representatives

NC STATE House & Senate: http://www.grnc.org/contact_ reps.htm

FEDERAL Congressman: http://www.house.gov/writerep/

FEDERAL Senators: http://www.senate.gov/

GRNC Sponsors

Support these PRO RKBA merchants who, as GRNC sponsors, are supporting your Second Amendment rights:

Hyatt Gun Shop, 3332 Wilkinson Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28208, 704-394-0387, www.hyattguns.com

C & E Gun Shows, 4225 Fortress Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060; Phone 540-953-0016 or 888-715-0606; http://www.cegunshows.com/

Dixie Gun and Knife Shows, PO Box 21049, Raleigh, NC 27619, ph: 919-781-1287, www.dixiegunandknifeshow.com/

Down South Ammo, Home of "SOUTHERN THUNDER" Exploding Targets, http://downsouthammo.com/

Duncan Gun & Pawn, 414 Second St., North Wilkesboro, NC 28659, 336-667-6303, www.duncangun.com

Shooter's Express, 2 Caldwell Dr., Belmont, NC 28012, 800-358-GUNS, www.shootersexpress.com

The Aisle Pawn Shop, 216 N. Main St., Mooresville, NC 28115, 704-663-5656

Gunner's Alley, LLC, 203 N. Harrison Ave., Ste. 130, Cary, NC 27513, www.gunnersalley.com, 919-388-1991, contact: Ed Guerriero, ed@gunnersalley.com

Lake Norman Firearms, Inc., 20823 N. Main Street, Cornelius, NC 28031, www.lknfirearms.com, 704-892-7839

Vanguard Security Consulting, LLC, 19135 W. Catawba Ave, Cornelius, NC 28031

DoubleD Media, 8300 Raintree Lane, Charlotte, NC 28277, ph: 704-650-5555, fx: 704-544-0326 donna@doubledme.com

Sterling Pistols, custom pistols, FFL transfers, general repairs, Glock enhancements, 704-840-7625