Hurricane Earl exposed a potentially dangerous law in North Carolina, and may be lurking in your state as well. When North Carolina governor Beverly Perdue declared a state of emergency prior to the onset of Hurricane Earl, among other things it triggered general statute 14-288.7 which suspended the rights of lawful citizens to carry firearms outside their premises for protection of their life or property.
§ 14 288.7. 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).)
Given the fact that during a disaster we nearly always witness looting and criminal activity from the bottom dwellers of society looking to take advantage of the situation, this is the precise time when lawful citizens need to be on their guard to protect themselves, family, and property. It is absolutely astounding to me how a government body would willfully and purposefully strip a citizenry from their lawful right to protect themselves in this manner.
The criminal element of any society by very definition choose to not obey laws imposed upon them. Therefore, in this particular instance within North Carolina, the citizenry is placed under increased danger in an already dangerous situation when they need protection the most.
I realize that not everyone believes in gun ownership and I know that there are those that are simply afraid of guns in general, no matter who has them (criminals or law abiding citizens). Some people are purely pacifists by nature and are willing to succumb to a violent situation if encountered. They rest their hope of rescue on the authorities of government. This is their choice, one which I do not argue because people are who they are, and I respect that fact.
However, when analyzing the sanity of such a law as this North Carolina statute 14-288.7, the illogical nature of it is simply dumbfounding. A person who has legally obtained the permission to carry a firearm, suddenly cannot carry it, because there is a state-of-emergency? This is probably the precise time when it is extra important for that person to be carrying a firearm. Yes? For those opposed to firearms, just think about the logic for a moment. A citizen, trained and licensed to carry a firearm, who is considered safe to do so by the State, suddenly cannot do so… because something changes with that person during a state of emergency making it unsafe? Sorry but, I just don’t get it.
In any event, it struck me as an important notation for the survival minded community. You might want to find out if your state has a similar law during a declared state of emergency, which will affect you (if you are a gun owner) in a time of disaster.
Disasters bring out the best in people and also the worst. There will always be a bad element of society which will try and take advantage of those around them during opportunistic situations. It is your obligation as a human being to protect yourself and your life. What gives a government the right to strip you of your ability to protect yourself. Fortunately in the U.S. we have the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving its citizens the right to keep and bear Arms. The current North Carolina law is being challenged in court.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
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