The Governor’s Office finally posted the Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency due to the heavy snow received. It was declared by Lt. Governor Walter Dalton on Christmas Day under the powers granted to him when the Governor is out of the state. It notes that he did this only after consulting Governor Bev Perdue.
Where this order declaring a State of Emergency gets interesting is that it is declared pursuant to the powers vested in the Governor under N.C. General Statutes Article 1 of Chapter 166A. This is the North Carolina Emergency Management Act of 1977. An emergency declared in this manner does not trigger the prohibition on the off-premises possession of firearms and ammunition unlike NCGS 14 § 288.15.
The Executive Order makes specific note that:
This order is adopted pursuant to my powers under Article 1 of Chapter 166A of the General Statutes and not under my authority under Article 36A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes. It does not trigger the limitations on weapons in G.S. § 14-288.7 or impose any limitation on the consumption, transportation, sale or purchase of alcoholic beverages.
The previous six States of Emergency declared by Governor Perdue were pursuant to both Chapter 166A (Emergency Management Act) and Article 36A (NCGS 14 § 288.15). The latter is what triggers the ban on firearms off-premises.
When Governor Perdue declared a State of Emergency prior to Hurricane Earl in Executive Order 62 on September 1st, she insisted that it did not impact the possession of firearms off-premises as that would have interfered with the start of dove season. The wording of the current Executive Order with specific references to Article 36A gives lie to that assertion.
In Executive Order 62, Governor Perdue delegated all powers and authority to the Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety that had been granted to her by Chapter 166A and Article 36A of Chapter 14. It did not specifically mention NCGS 14 § 288.15 but that would have been included under Article 36A of Chapter 14.
It looks like someone in Raleigh must finally be getting the message about gun bans during a state of emergency. One can only hope that the newly elected Republican majority in the North Carolina General Assembly will amend the law to prohibit gun bans during emergencies.