Unconstitutional gun ban pulled from calendar for ‘more time to review the issue’
Your voice is being heard: Now you must deliver a ‘no compromise’ message!
As you recall, House Bill 489, formerly dealing with mechanics’ liens, was stripped to replace its guts with “Dangerous Weapons Restrictions in Emergencies.” The bill is ostensibly intended to replace North Carolina’s ban on transportation of firearms and ammunition outside the home during declared states of emergency – which was declared unconstitutional under the Second Amendment in Bateman v. Perdue – with a law which would pass constitutional muster.
Unfortunately, the current proposal is worse than the original law, offering no significant protections but instead new restrictions which reach into your very home. Because the “Proposed Committee Substitute” won’t appear on the legislature’s web site until it is heard, you can see it at:http://grnc.org/documents/H489-CSSA-71.pdf
WHO IS BEHIND HB 489?
What is becoming clearer, however, is that this might be a case of inadequately supervised staffers running amok. When emergency management bill HB 843 went to the Senate Judiciary I Committee, it still contained the language found unconstitutional in Bateman. Committee chair Sen. Pete Brunstetter then reportedly gave it to staff to “fix.” But instead of simply repealing the now-unconstitutional gun ban, they apparently took it upon themselves to draft new gun bans. Equally clear is that although HB 489 was Rep. “Skip” Stam’s bill, Stam wasn’t even informed that his bill would be gutted before it was attempted.
What remains to be seen is whether Brunstetter and other Republicans will do the right thing and simply repeal the old ban. Right now, too many are still making noises about using gun bans to combat looting during natural or manmade disasters – once again falling for the old trap of targeting lawful guns instead of unlawful behavior.
Thanks to overwhelming input to the committee, it has been pulled from the calendar pending further review. Now it’s time to contact YOUR state senator and let them know that you will tolerate nothing less than the repeal of the unconstitutional gun ban, and that you will accept NO NEW BANS.
THE FLAWS IN HB 489
To give you the flavor of the bill, consider part of its long title: “An Act toAuthorize 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.” Freedom of speech, perhaps? Of religion?
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.
Immediate Action Required
- CALL & EMAIL YOUR NC STATE SENATOR: Find out who he or she is by going to:http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.html
The easiest way is to go to the bottom of the page and insert your 9-digit zip code (which can be found on your driver’s license). The site will give you links to the state senator in question, including email and phone information.
- 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
It is suggested you use the subject line: “No new ‘State of Emergency’ gun ban”
I strongly urge you to oppose the Proposed Committee Substitute for House Bill 489: “Dangerous Weapons Restrictions in Emergencies” (H489-CSSA-71 [v.4]). 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 under the Second Amendment 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.
Understand that I will accept NO NEW GUN BANS, but only the repeal of the state of emergency gun ban found unconstitutional in Bateman.
Please advise me of your position on this issue. I will be monitoring it via Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.