Bill Summary for H 937 (2013-2014)

Summary date: 

Jun 12 2013

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2013-2014 Session
House Bill 937 (Public) Filed Thursday, April 11, 2013
AN ACT TO AMEND STATE FIREARMS LAWS.
Intro. by Schaffer, Burr, Faircloth, Cleveland.

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Bill summary

Senate amendment #1 makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.

Amends GS 14-369(b)(4e), providing that the subdivision applies to any person serving as a clerk of court or register of deeds (previously, applied to any person who was elected and serving as a clerk of court or register of deeds). Further provides that this subdivision does not apply to assistants, deputies, or other employees of the clerk of court or register of deeds.

Senate amendment #2

Changes the long title.

Adds a new Article 3D, Armed Habitual Felon, to GS Chapter 14. Defines the following terms as they apply in new Article 32: (1) convicted means a person judged guilty or who has pleaded guilty or no contest to a firearm-related felony, (2) firearm-related felony means a felony committed by a person using or displaying a firearm while committing the felony, and (3) status offender means a person who is an armed habitual felon as described in new GS 14-7.36.

Describes an armed habitual felon as a person who has been convicted of or pled guilty to one or more firearm-related felony offenses in any federal or state court in the United States. Provides that the person is guilty of the status offense of armed habitual felon and may be charged with that status offense under this Article. Provides exceptions when this Article does not apply. Also provides that this Article does not apply if the evidence of the use or display of the firearm is needed to prove an element of the firearm-related felony. Also provides that firearm-related felonies committed before the age of 18 will not constitute more than one firearm-related felony.

Requires that any person charged with a firearm-related felony who is also charged with being a status offender must, upon conviction, be sentenced and punished as a status offender under this Article.

Authorizes the district attorney to charge a person as a status offender under this Article at the district attorney's discretion. Provides that to sustain a conviction as a status offender, the person must be charged separately for the principal firearm-related felony and for the status offense of armed habitual felon. Requires that there be separate indictments for each charge. Specifies the required content of an indictment charging a person as a status offender.

Limits the record of prior conviction of a firearm-related felony as admissible in evidence in cases where a person is charged with being a status offender under this Article, only for the purpose of proving the prior conviction.

Specifies procedures for reaching a verdict and judgment and requires a finding by a jury that the defendant is a status offender for the judge to sentence the defendant under this Article. Provides that if the jury does not find the defendant to be a status offender, then the trial judge is to render judgment on the principal firearm-related felony offense as provided by law.

Includes specifications for the sentencing of a person convicted of a firearm-related felony and a status offense. Provides that a person convicted under this Article is to be sentenced as a Class C felon unless the felon has been sentenced as a Class A, B1, or B2 felon. Provides that the minimum term of imprisonment cannot be less than 120 months. Provides additional criteria regarding minimum time and maximum time to be served by a person sentenced under this new Article 3D.

Enacts new GS 15A-1340.12A , directing the presiding judge to determine, when a person is found guilty of a felony offense, whether the defendant used or displayed a firearm while committing the felony. If the the judge determines a firearm was used in the course of committing the felony, then the sentencing court must include in its judgment the fact that the defendant used or displayed a firearm while committing the felony.

Amends the enactment clause of the act, providing Sections 1 through 6, 14 through 18, 21, 23, 25, and 26 of this act become effective October 1, 2013, and apply to offenses committed on or after that date. Section 27 of this act becomes effective October 1, 2013, and applies to any judgment entered for a felony conviction on or after that date

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