Gov. Beverly Perdue (D-NC) issued Executive Order Number 103 today which declares a state of emergency for 39 eastern North Carolina counties due to the approach of Hurricane Irene. The counties are:
Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gates, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Tyrrell, Washington, Wayne, Wilson
As Bob Owens notes, these are essentially all the counties east of Interstate 95. He is also correct in asserting that it invokes a ban on off-premises carry of a firearm in the affected counties due to the provisions of NCGS 14-288.7 which goes into effect when a state of emergency is declared under Article 36A of Chapter 14. I must correct his assumption that it is only that part of a county on the east side of I-95 that is impacted. As the order above states, it is the whole county and not just part of it.
Gov. Perdue invoked the State of Emergency using both sections of the General Statues that deal with emergency management and states of emergency.
This order is adopted pursuant to my powers under Article 1 of Chapter 166A of the General Statutes and 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.
Bev Perdue is incorrect in her assertions that the declaration of the State of Emergency does not trigger firearm restrictions. As I noted last year when she invoked a State of Emergency in the face of Hurricane Earl, if she uses Article 36A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes, it invokes G.S. § 14-288.7 which states in part, “it is unlawful for any person to transport or possess off his own premises any dangerous weapon or substance in any area” if a state of emergency is declared. Just because she is the governor does not give Bev Perdue the authority to ignore plainly written state laws when it is politically inconvenient for her.
The relevant section on the declaration of an emergency under Article 36A is § 14‑288.15. This section grants the power to the governor to declare a state of emergency AND to impose further restrictions on firearms and alcohol as enumerated in § 14‑288.12(b) which include:
The ordinances authorized by this section may permit prohibitions and restrictions:
(1) Of movements of people in public places, including directing and compelling the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened area within the governing body’s jurisdiction, to prescribe routes, modes of transportation, and destinations in connection with evacuation; and to control ingress and egress of a disaster area, and the movement of persons within the area;
(2) Of the operation of offices, business establishments, and other places to or from which people may travel or at which they may congregate;
(3) Upon the possession, transportation, sale, purchase, and consumption of alcoholic beverages;
(4) Upon the possession, transportation, sale, purchase, storage, and use of dangerous weapons and substances, and gasoline; and
(5) Upon other activities or conditions the control of which may be reasonably necessary to maintain order and protect lives or property during the state of emergency.
I thought Gov. Perdue had learned her lesson giving the uproar over the State of Emergency at the start of last year’s dove season. Subsequent Executive Orders 75, 78, and 87 which declared states of emergency had this statement:
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.
Notice that these Executive Order explicitly noted that they were not adopted under Article 36A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes. By contrast Executive Order 103 was adopted “pursuant to my powers under Article 1 of Chapter 166A of the General Statutes and under Article 36A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes.”
I don’t know whether it was a drafting error in Executive Order 103 that included both Chapter 166A and Chapter 14 or not. I do know that legally – the Governor’s proclamation notwithstanding – that the method she chose to invoke her powers just triggered a ban on the off-premises possession of firearms in those counties named above.
And as we all know, this is the basis of the suit brought by the Second Amendment Foundation and Grass Roots North Carolina against Governor Perdue and Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety Young. Bateman et al v. Perdue et al is still proceeding albeit too slowly for my tastes!