Gun Rights Supporters:

        On March 10, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a statewide state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, we have received numerous questions about restrictions to the right to keep and bear arms and the right to peacefully assemble, particularly as other states implement bans on gun sales.

Can you carry firearms during declared emergencies?

        First, thanks to the lawsuit filed by GRNC and the Second Amendment Foundation back in 2011 (Bateman v. Perdue), the right of North Carolinians to bear arms outside the home during declared states of emergency remains secure.

         GRNC and SAF sued over the previous blanket ban on carrying “dangerous substances” – including guns and ammunition – outside the home during any declared state of emergency. Happily, we won the lawsuit on Second Amendment grounds.

         Although the state chose not to appeal, meaning Bateman v. Perdue never became precedent-setting law from the Supreme Court, the following year GRNC went back and successfully repealed the unconstitutional state of emergency gun ban.

         Translated, you may now carry firearms for self-defense even during emergencies.

        The fact that civil unrest is beginning to increase due to panic-induced food shortages highlights the value of our legal and legislative victory in eliminating the state of emergency gun ban. For a discussion of the issue, check out John Richardson’s blog, “No lawyers, only guns and money.”

Ban on gun sales?

       As news organs begin to report runs on not only food and toilet paper, but also firearms, Internet articles circulated that Champaign, Illinois, had banned gun sales as part of its state of emergency. Although the report appears to have been inaccurate, we have started getting questions on whether NC could ban all gun sales.

        Although at one point NC could ban gun sales during declared emergencies, our repeal of the state of emergency gun ban removed that capability. Under present law, North Carolina officials can NOT restrict gun sales during emergencies.


Bans on public assemblies

        Like many other states, as part of our state of emergency, effective Sunday Gov. Cooper imposed a ban on assemblies of more than 100 people. In fact, the Hickory gun show was shut down mid-show.

       Although we obviously need to control the spread of COVID-19, we must also be vigilant on the extent of restrictions on civil liberties and whether they are reasonable given the conditions.

       By our reading, the governor's blanket ban on all assemblies of 100 persons or more is not authorized by the statute he cited as authorizing it -- that power is limited to public spaces and buildings.

        However, there is sufficient language elsewhere in the emergency powers statutes to arguably cover such authority. For example, G.S. 166A-19.30(b)(1) grants him the authority "to control ingress  and  egress  of an  emergency  area,  the  movement  of  persons  within the area, and the occupancy of premises therein."

         In sum, at the present time and under the present conditions, it does not appear that Cooper’s restrictions are unreasonable. However, we will continue to evaluate potential threats to civil liberties as the situation develops.


GRNC will continue guarding your freedom

        Just as GRNC and SAF sued over the state of emergency gun ban, we will continue to safeguard civil liberties in our state. Unfortunately, as people have become preoccupied with personal security, donations to organizations such as GRNC have largely dried up.

        Beyond even the present circumstances, GRNC continues to prepare for the November election, including Michael Bloomberg spending $60 million to hand control of your state to anti-gun Democrats.

Please help us defend your rights by donating at:

         As civil order becomes, at times, less uniform, we strongly recommend that lawful citizens be prepared to protect themselves and their families. The volunteers of GRNC are happy that our efforts have enhanced that capability, but we realize that eternal vigilance is indeed the price of liberty.


Armatissimi e liberissimi,


F. Paul Valone
President, Grass Roots North Carolina
Executive Director, Rights Watch International

Radio host, Guns, Politics and Freedom


P.S. Like many of you, my 401(k) is going south fast. The “coronavirus economy” is shrinking at a horrifying pace, and some people are out of work. But it is in times like these that we must be more vigilant than ever in defending liberty. A donation of $250, 100, $50, even $25 will help!