September 2, 2010
|If Hurricane Earl seriously wallops North Carolina and looting and chaos ensues, it is entirely possible firearms will be confiscated.|
On September 1, North Carolina’s governor, Bev Perdue, declared a state of emergency by executive order as Hurricane Earl approaches.
“The declaration calls for all state and local governments to cooperate in the North Carolina Emergency Operations Plan,” reports WECT News 6 in Wilmington. Perdue said the National Guard is standing by and ready to respond if the storm hits the state.
Earlier today, the National Hurricane Center estimated that Hurricane Earl is approximately 300 miles south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. It is a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 140 mph.
Blogger John Jacob notes a possible sinister side to North Carolina’s declared state of emergency — citizens will not be allowed to carry weapons. In other words, the governor has in effect suspended the Second Amendment at a time when crime will almost certainly increase.
Section 3 of the executive order, notes the No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money blog, delegates Perdue power under Article 36A of Chapter 14 of the NC General Statues to the Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety “to such further action as is necessary to promote and secure the safety of populace in North Carolina.”
NC Gen. Statues Section 14-288-7 bans transportation stipulates:
Transporting dangerous weapon or substance during emergency; possessing off premises; exceptions.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, it is unlawful for any person to transport or possess off his own premises any dangerous weapon or substance in any area:
(1) In which a declared state of emergency exists; or
(2) Within the immediate vicinity of which a riot is occurring.
(b) This section does not apply to persons exempted from the provisions of G.S. 14-269 with respect to any activities lawfully engaged in while carrying out their duties.
(c) Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. (1969, c. 869, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 192; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)
The No Lawyers blog explains:
G.S. 14-269 deals with the carrying of concealed weapons. The only exemptions it provides to those “carrying out their duties” involve law enforcement and military personnel. The holder of a NC Concealed Handgun Permit does not have “duties” and therefore could not be considered an “exempted person” under G.S. 14-288-7.
G.S. 14-288-7 makes no exemptions for recreational shooting, it makes no exemptions for hunting, and it makes no exemption for concealed carry permit holders. If you possess or transport a firearm off your premises during the state of emergency, you will have committed an offense that the state considers a Class 1 misdemeanor. It does not matter that you live in an area that has received no rain, no wind, and no damage from Hurricane Earl.
In February, North Carolina outlawed carrying weapons in public during a snow emergency. North Carolina, however, is not alone — Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act outlaws possession of firearms during a government declared emergency and Colorado also considered enacting similar legislation. Georgia followed suit.
“Personally, I think [North Carolina's] law is unconstitutional to start with and stupid public policy,” Alan Gottlieb, founder of Second Amendment Foundation, told WorldNetDaily on February 16, 2010. “It reminded me of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when New Orleans confiscated guns.”
On September 8, 2005, P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police for New Orleans, declared no civilians would be allowed to carry firearms in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. “Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons,” he said.
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said the Second Amendment would not be tolerated in New Orleans and soon police, the National Guard, the Oklahoma National Guard, and U.S. Marshals began going house-to-house taking weapons away from citizens.
“A disaster can bring out predators ready to loot, rampage, and pillage the moment that they have the opportunity,” David B. Kopel wrote for Reason on September 10, 2005. “Now we are seeing another awful truth: There is no shortage of police officers and National Guardsmen who will obey illegal orders to threaten peaceful citizens at gunpoint and confiscate their firearms.”
For now, North Carolina has banned residents from carrying weapons outside their homes. But if Hurricane Earl seriously wallops the state and looting and chaos ensues, it is entirely possible police and National Guard will be dispatched, as they were in New Orleans, and will deny citizens their right to possess firearms, as guaranteed under the Second Amendment, and protect themselves from criminals and predators.