The North Carolina House Judiciary C Subcommittee will hold hearings on HB 650 – Amend Various Gun Laws – tomorrow. Sean at A NC Gun Blog has a section by section analysis of HB 650. As Sean says, “the bill is long and complicated.” Among the things this bill would do is recognize any other state’s concealed carry permit and it would prevent the banning of firearms during times of emergency.
Senate Bill 594 is also aimed at preventing the banning of firearms during times of declared emergencies. Both the provision concerning the banning of firearms during states of emergency contained in HB 650 and SB 594 could have the potential to moot the Bateman case which was brought against North Carolina by the Second Amendment Foundation and Grass Roots North Carolina. As much as I’d like to see the banning of firearms during declared emergencies done away with, I’m not so sure that having the Bateman case mooted is a good thing. As Alan Gura has noted many times in many venues, you only get one chance to get an opinion but you have numerous opportunities to pass legislation. So in terms of what is best for long-term Second Amendment rights, it may be best if the emergency ban issues are put on hold until after Bateman is decided. The case is now fully briefed.
The other firearms related bill is HB 582 – Amend Felony Firearms Act/Increase Penalties. This bill is scheduled for hearings tomorrow before the House Judiciary B Subcommittee. This bill would set the penalty for a felon in possession of a firearm as a Class G felony unless the offense was covered by a higher class of felony. HB 582 would also increase the penalty if the firearm was discharged, if an injury occurred, or if there was a serious bodily injury.