Bill Summary for S 202 (2019-2020)

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Summary date: 

Jun 24 2020

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 202 (Public) Filed Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Intro. by Britt, McInnis, McKissick.

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Bill summary

House committee substitute deletes the content of the 1st edition and now provides the following.

Part I

Makes the following changes to GS Chapter 74C, Private Protective Services.

Section 1.1

Amends GS 74C-3 to include persons or other entities discovering, locating, or disengaging devices intended to block the transmission of electronic signals for valuable consideration, and individuals and other entities that for valuable consideration provide security measures to ensure the safety of business executives, public officials, celebrities, or other individuals with elevated personal risk, in the definition of private protective services profession. Provides that detection of deception examiner is limited to those persons who provide the service for a fee or other valuable consideration. Removes contracts for the protection of individuals from serious bodily harm or death from the definition of private detective or private investigator. Adds digital forensics examination and defines the term to mean any individual, firm, association, or corporation which, for a fee or other valuable consideration, provides or offers to provide examination of digitally stored data to recover, image, analyze, or examine the data by using software to determine responsibility or reconstruct usage of the data. Effective July 1, 2021, defines close personal protection to mean any person, firm, association or corporation which, for a fee or other valuable consideration, provides or offers to provide security measures to ensure the safety of specified individuals who may be exposed to elevated personal risk because of the individual's employment, statutes, wealth, associations, or geographical location. Removes persons engaged in computer or digital forensic services from those excluded from private protective services, and adds to the exclusion for persons engaged in network or system vulnerability testing to include routine service or repair. Excludes persons under contract or employed by an occupational licensing board while performing an investigation solely for that board from the definition of private protective services. Effective October 1, 2020, except as otherwise provided.

Section 1.1A

Amends GS 74C-2 by adding the requirement that a private investigator engaging in close personal protection possess a close personal protection endorsement. Establishes that, upon proof that a licensed NC private investigator or private investigator trainee has provided at least five years of services in protecting individuals from serious bodily harm or death within the five years prior to July 1, 2021, the detective or trainee is to be issued a close personal protection endorsement. Effective July 1, 2021.

Section 1.2 through 1.17

Amends GS 74C-5 to further authorize the Private Protective Services Board (Board) to do four additional listed things, including adopting and publishing a code of professional conduct for licensees, registrants, certificate holders, and permit holders, the violation of which is grounds to suspend or revoke a license, registration, or permit issued pursuant to GS 74C-12.

Amends GS 74C-7 to authorize the Secretary of Public Safety to investigate complaints, allegations, or suspicions of wrongdoing or violations of GS Chapter 74C involving unlicensed individuals, licensed individuals, or individuals to be licensed (currently, only individuals licensed and to be licensed). Authorizes the Secretary to enforce GS Chapter 74C and impose any authorized penalty against any individual or entity under investigation for and charged with a violation of the Chapter.

Amends GS 74C-8 to extend the time period which a business entity has to find a replacement qualifying agent from 30 to 90 days, and authorizes the Board to extend the 90-day period for an additional 30 days upon the filing of a petition by the business entity and a hearing by the Board. Authorizes the Board to require a late fee of $100 for missing the deadline. Requires filing of a certificate of liability insurance with the Board to issue a license. Requires applicants to pay the initial license fee and make the required contribution to the Fund within 90 days of the date the applicant receives notice of pending licensure approval unless the Board extends the period by an additional 30 days upon the filing of a petition by the applicant and a hearing by the Board. Also amends the criminal record check requirements and qualifications, adding that conviction of any crime involving the illegal use, carrying, or possession of a firearm or other deadly weapon, and the conviction of a crime involving assault (was, felonious assault) or an act of violence, are prima facie evidence that the applicant does not have good moral character or temperate habits as required by the statute.

Amends GS 74C-9 to cross-reference GS 74C-13 (concerning firearm registration permits for licensees) and to make conforming changes.

Amends GS 74C-10 to further require trainees supervised by licensees carrying a firearm while engaged in private protective services activities to obtain a liability insurance policy as specified. Authorizes a licensee to provide coverage for a trainee under the licensee's supervision, but failure to do so does not exempt the trainee from this statute. Makes technical and conforming changes.

Amends GS 74C-11 to authorize the deployment of a properly registered or licensed armed security guard from another state by a licensee during a State of Disaster or a State of Emergency declared by the Governor upon satisfaction of specified requirements, including completion of the four-hour training course mandated by specified law and rule, qualification by the Board-certified firearms instructor based on the firearms the armed security guard intends to use, and approval of the employment by the Director of the Board. Deems such qualification valid for a period of 12 months. Prohibits the duration of deployment from exceeding the declared State of Emergency or Disaster.

Amends GS 74C-12 to apply that statute to trainees, and to further authorize the Board to deny, suspend, or revoke a certification under that statute. Authorizes the Board to also take the disciplinary actions in that statute for violation of any State or federal firearms law and for fraudulently holding oneself out as employed or licensed by the Department of Public Safety (was, State Bureau of Investigation).

Amends GS 74C-13 to require proprietary employers to register individuals carrying a firearm within 30 days of employment. Directs a proprietary security organization employing an armed security guard to submit to the Board an application for license, and to renew its license every two years. Authorizes the Director of the Board to summarily suspend a firearm registration permit pending resolution of charges for any crime involving moral turpitude, offenses set out in GS 74C-12, or any crime set forth in GS 74C-8(d), as amended (previously, only for charges involving the illegal use, carrying, or possession of a firearm). Requires the firearms training program under subsection (h) to cover legal limitations on the use of, and range firing and safety procedures for, firearms (was, hand guns). Makes conforming changes.

Enacts new GS 74C-13.1. Exempts four listed classes of persons from the firearms training requirements of GS 74C-13(b), including persons who have successfully completed the North Carolina Basic Law Enforcement Training and completed the first year of probationary employment. Requires specified documentation from applicants claiming one of the exceptions. Directs the Board to deny exemptions if the applicant fails to provide documentation. Requires exempted applicants to qualify within the first three attempts on the required firearm qualification course. Failure to qualify on both courses requires the applicant to undergo the entire 20-hour course of instruction. Applicants claiming an exemption must still complete the legal instruction required in GS 74C-13(b)(1).

Amends GS 74C-17 to apply the civil penalty limit of $2,000 as a limit on each individual violation, instead of as a general limit. 

Amends GS 74C-23 to require companies, firms, or corporations licensed under this Chapter to provide the Director with notice of change of ownership within 10 days (was, 60 days) prior to the effective date of the transaction and a list of all registrants and licensees affected by the transaction. Requires notice to the Director within 60 days from the effective date of the transaction, written confirmation of the completion of any necessary changes for the acquiring party to comply with this Chapter and applicable Board rules.

Amends GS 14-269.3, regarding carrying weapons into assemblies and establishments serving alcoholic beverages, to provide that the statute does not apply to persons registered as a security guard, or hired by the owner, lessee, or person or organization sponsoring the event or a person employed by an entity licensed under GS 74C-2 who is hired by the owner, lessee, or person or organization sponsoring the event.

Further amends GS Chapter 74C, making language gender neutral throughout. 

The above provisions of Sections 1.2 through 1.17 are effective October 1, 2020.

Part II

Allows the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to begin to relocate the ALE headquarters and regional office as State-owned space if identified or recurring funds is secured. Until then, requires DPS to continue with the consolidation of ALE and SBE regions and regional offices so that district offices are co-located. Effective when the act becomes law.

Makes conforming changes to the act's titles.