North Carolina’s emergency powers are under scrutiny in a recent lawsuit.
The Second Amendment Foundation filed suit late last month challenging a little-known provision of the state’s emergency powers that prohibits the sale and transportation of firearms during a declared state of emergency. According to a press release, the SAF believes that provision is unconstitutional.
The law came to public ire back in February when a state of emergency was declaed in the town of King. “Residents in King were fumed over the weekend after a state of emergency declaration restricted the sale of alcohol and the carrying of firearms in vehicles,” according to a local television station.
Grass Roots North Carolina, a gun rights organization, along with three private citizens have joined SAF in the lawsuit against the Tarheel State. Gov. Beverly Perdue Reuben Young (secretary of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety), Stokes County and the City of King are listed as defendants.
“Through this lawsuit in North Carolina,” we intend to show that state emergency powers statutes that allow government officials to suspend fundamental civil rights, including the right to bear arms, are unconstitutional and therefore should be nullified,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “Citizens do not surrender their civil rights just because of a natural or man-made disaster.”
GRNC President Paul Valone mirrors Gottlieb’s sentiments. “North Carolina’s legislature has chosen to infringe upon citizens’ ability to protect themselves and their families in times of need, he said in a statement. “When King, North Carolina banned guns and ammunition in response to pending snowfall, it clearly highlighted the unconstitutional restrictions endured by lawful North Carolinians.”
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