NC Gun Legislation Analysis
GRNC offers apologies that the intense activities surrounding state and national legislation have delayed our legislative update to members. In particular, we have been inundated with emails regarding SB 124: "Shoot Gun From Inside/To Harm or Incite Fear.” A more detailed analysis is below, but the short answer is that although the bill does not present a danger to Castle Doctrine or lawful self-defense, it is still a bad bill as written.
We have been working hard with sponsors and leadership of both chambers to introduce legislation which will:
(1) Expand concealed carry onto campuses more completely than any of the bills thus far introduced;
(2) Expand concealed carry into restaurants and other areas
(3) Put “teeth” into our statewide firearms preemption law, which local governments seem to think they are free to ignore;
(4) Clean up flaws in concealed handgun application procedures; and finally
(5) Two other significant advancements which we will not announce before introduction.
Several of the bills have been sent to drafting and will be filed next week. We will be asking you to contact your state House and Senate reps to encourage them to cosponsor the bills as they are filed, so please keep an eye on GRNC alerts.
SB 17: "Concealed Handgun Permits/Validity” (Bingham). This bill would stop non-resident permits from being recognized in NC. For example, a resident of Vermont, which has constitutional carry but does not issue CHPs, who gets a permit from Florida in order to carry in other states, would not be able to do so in NC.
Introduced by Sen. Stan Bingham in response to complaints by the sheriff of Davidson County that Virginia permits, issued via online procedures, were being used in his county, GRNC opposes the bill as potentially damaging our concealed handgun reciprocity agreements with other states. Additionally, while some procedures are accomplished online in Virginia, criminal background check requirements are being done.
We have met with Sen. Bingham, and he expressed that he was not interested in running a bill which would damage reciprocity, suggesting he will not push for a hearing on the bill. If it is scheduled for a hearing, we will issue appropriate alerts. Meanwhile, please contact Sen. Bingham (Stan.Bingham@ncleg.net ) and POLITELY express that unintended consequences mean this bill should be shelved.
SB 27: "Public School Protection/Firearm Amendments” (Bingham). Establishes a procedure for local school board to opt for armed “school safety marshals” who would apply and be trained under standards set by the school board. Due to the limited nature of the bill, GRNC takes no position at this time but could eventually support it if more extensive measures cannot be passed.
SB 28: "Gun Permit Information/No Publication"(Bingham). Removes concealed handgun permit and handgun purchase permit records from public record, preventing abuses of the information by media outlets such as those by the “Journal News,” WRAL-TV and “The New York Times.” GRNC supports the bill.
SB 59: "Armed Security Guards in K-12"(Rabin). Would establish statewide standards for armed security guards in schools. Due to its limited nature, GRNC takes no position on the bill at this time but could eventually support it if more extensive measures cannot be passed.
SB 124: "Shoot Gun From Inside/To Harm or Incite Fear" (Brunstetter). GRNC has received numerous emails from gun rights supporters opposing the bill. When it was introduced, we passed it to our “gun-friendly lawyer” network for review. Although a casual glance would suggest it undermines lawful self-defense, the “willfully and wantonly” language actually exempts such cases. For an analysis, go HERE. There are, however, serious problems with the bill which could criminalize otherwise lawful firearms activities. In its present form, GRNC opposes the bill.
As Sen. Brunstetter notes, the bill originated from an incident in which an individual shot televisions inside a Kernersville Wal-Mart, narrowly missing customers, but due to statutory peculiarities, could only be prosecuted under misdemeanor statutes. We had a cordial meeting with Brunstetter and staff on Wednesday to give him our requirements for the bill. He agreed to several immediately, and is reviewing others. We expect to have word this week. At that point, we will decide what further actions, if any, are necessary.
SB 146: "Private Schools/Firearms Amendments” (Brock, Bingham, Hise). Would enable governing bodies of private schools to authorize employees or volunteers who have concealed handgun permits and take an additional 8 hours of NRA training to carry firearms. Because this is a broader bill than the others so far introduced, GRNC supports the bill.
HB 17: "Gun Permits/Restaurants & Confidentiality" (Burr, Hager, Hollo, Bell). The restaurant carry language of the bill is identical to what GRNC drafted in HB 111, which failed to pass the Senate last year. The second section removes handgun purchase permit and concealed handgun permit information from public record. GRNC supports the bill.
HB 49: "Firearm in Locked Motor Vehicle/Parking Lot" (Shepard). This bill is identical to language drafted by GRNC and others which was stripped from HB 650 in the last session and would enable concealed handgun permit-holders to keep firearms in locked motor vehicles at places of employment. GRNC supports the bill.
This week will see the introduction of GRNC-initiated legislation, so please monitor alerts. Depending on Brunstetter’s changes to SB 124, we might also demand action on the bill.