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Guns, Ordinances, & Other Legal Stuff. NCEMA 2012 Fall Conference Norma Houston, UNC School of Government. House Bill 843 – Effective Oct. 1 st. Updated statutes should be published and available online in next 2-3 weeks. New Limitation on Gun Restrictions.

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Guns, Ordinances, & Other Legal Stuff

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Guns, Ordinances, & Other Legal Stuff

NCEMA 2012 Fall Conference

Norma Houston, UNC School of Government

House Bill 843 – Effective Oct. 1st

Updated statutes should be published and available online in next 2-3 weeks

New Limitation on Gun Restrictions

“Possession, transportation, sale, purchase, storage and use of dangerous weapons and gasoline”

Violations punishable as Class2 misdemeanor


What Does This Mean?

Still Can:

Now Can’t:

Apply weapons restrictions to lawfully possessed firearms (handguns, rifles, and shotguns)

Prohibit lawful sale of ammo for lawfully possessed firearms

Prohibit lawful concealed carrying

  • Restrict other “dangerous weapons and substances”

  • Enforce curfew or non-weapons restrictions against person even if lawfully possessing a firearm

  • Enforce other state gun laws (ex: concealed-carry permit)

  • Include gun stores among other business restrictions

HB 843 Changes Relevant to Local Governments

  • Local declarations expire when terminated

  • Local declarations apply in part or all of jurisdiction

  • Some or all of local restrictions can be applied

  • Mayor can extend county declaration into city

  • Specifically authorizes curfews and voluntary/mandatory evacuations

  • Increase penalty for violations to Class 2misd.

What Now?

  • Review changes with your local attorney, officials, law enforcement, etc.

  • Update local emergency ordinances (HB843 validates existing ordinances, but always best to be consistent with state law)

Criminal Penalty – Public Confusion?

Punishment for violation of a restriction or prohibition imposed under a local state of emergency declaration

Misdemeanor PenaltiesGS 15A-1340.23

Myth vs. Fact



Criminal penalty authorized in original 1969 legislation (SL 1969-869)

Penalty applies to ANY violation of a local declaration prohibition, such as curfews and limited reentry

  • Criminal penalty is new

  • Penalty only applies to evacuation orders

Myth vs. Fact



Criminal penalties can only be imposed after conviction; only the district attorney can prosecute criminal charges

Criminal penalties ONLY prosecuted at the discretion of the district attorney

  • Local EM coordinators can impose fines and put offenders in jail

  • Local governments are REQUIRED to impose criminal penalties

Myth vs. Fact



Only offenders with 5 or more prior convictions are eligible for jail time

Criminal penalty increased to be consistent with punishment level for violation of Gubernatorial restriction (also included in original 1969 legislation)

  • Offenders automatically receive jail time

  • Purpose of increase in criminal penalty was to scare residents into evacuating

Joint Legislative EM Oversight Committee

Sign-up for email meeting notices


Norma Houston

[email protected]

(919) 843-8930

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