The new emergency powers statute, passed in the North Carolina General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Bev Perdue (D) on June 11, takes effect on Monday, October 1.
House Bill 843 made substantial changes to the North Carolina Emergency Management Act by adding critical language to the section of North Carolina statute that deals with what restrictions may be imposed during a declared state of emergency.
Specifically, this new law states that the restrictions section “does not authorize prohibitions or restrictions on lawfully possessed firearms or ammunition.” This means that, if there is a declared state of emergency due to natural disasters or other problems that create a state of disarray and unrest that requires emergency procedures to be implemented by a government entity, the rights of law-abiding gun owners will no longer be subject to possible suspension. The state Senate added this critical language to HB 843 in the Senate Judiciary I Committee, and HB 843 as amended then passed in the full Senate on June 5 by a 49-0 vote. The House concurred with the Senate amendments on the following day by a 113 to 1 vote.