Bill Summary for H 746 (2017-2018)

Summary date: 

Apr 12 2017

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
House Bill 746 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 11, 2017
AN ACT TO MAKE MULTIPLE CHANGES TO THE STATE LAWS REGARDING FIREARMS.
Intro. by Millis, Pittman, Burr, Speciale.

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Bill summary

Amends GS 14-269, which prohibits carrying concealed weapons, to establish that the term "weapon" does not include a firearm for purposes of the statute. Makes conforming changes to eliminate subsections (a1) and (a2) pertaining to carrying a concealed handgun with a permit and the punishments set out for violations of those subsections in subsection (c). Makes further conforming changes to eliminate related requirements in the exceptions and defenses to prosecution under this statute. Makes technical changes.

Repeals GS 14-269.3 (Carrying weapons into assemblies and establishments where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed), GS 14-269.4 (Weapons on certain State property and in courthouses), and GS 277.2 (Weapons at parades, etc., prohibited).

Adds new Article 54C to GS Chapter 14, Carrying Handguns and Restrictions on Carrying Weapons in Certain Locations.

Enacts GS 14-415.35 to allow any person who is a citizen of the United States and at least 18 years old to carry a handgun in this state, openly or concealed and without a concealed handgun permit, unless provided otherwise by State law or by 18 USC 922 or any other federal law. Defines handgun to mean a firearm that has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand.

Prohibits anyone from carrying a handgun on another person's private property if notice of the prohibition is given by posting a conspicuous notice or statement by the person in legal possession or control of the premises. Exempts from this prohibition law enforcement officers discharging their official duties. Makes a violation of this provision an infraction and establishes that a person found responsible for the infraction can be required to pay a fine of up to $500.

Prohibits carrying a handgun while consuming alcohol, or at any time while the person has alcohol remaining in the person's body, or in the person's blood a controlled substance previously consumed. Exempts from this prohibition (1) a person who has a controlled substance in the person's blood that was lawfully obtained and taken in therapeutically appropriate amounts or (2) a person that is on the person's own property. Makes any violations of this provision a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Makes it unlawful for a person who meets any of the 14 specified criteria to carry a handgun, including a person who is under indictment or against whom a finding of probable cause exists for a felony or who is or has been adjudicated to be a danger to self or others due to mental illness or lack of mental capacity. Make a violation of this prohibition a Class 2 misdemeanor for a first offense, and a Class H felony for a second or subsequent offense.

Requires a person to carry valid identification when carrying a concealed weapon. Further, requires a person to disclose to any law enforcement officer that the person is carrying a concealed handgun when approached or addressed by the officer, and to display the proper identification upon the officer's request. Makes a violation of this subsection an infraction punishable in accordance with GS 14-3.1 (setting a penalty not to exceed $100).

Enacts GS 14-415.36 making it a Class 1 misdemeanor for a person to carry a firearm, either openly or concealed, into any assembly where a fee is charged for admission if notice of the prohibition is given by either a conspicuous posting or statement by the person in legal possession or control of the premises. Also makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor to carry a firearm, either openly or concealed, into any establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed if notice of the prohibition is given either by posting a conspicuous notice or by statement by the person in legal possession or control of the premises. Exempts from both of the prohibitions (1) the owner or lessee of the premises or business establishment; (2) a person participating in the event if the person is carrying a firearm with the permission of the owner, lessee, or person or organization sponsoring the event; (3) a person registered or hired as a security guard by the owner, lessee, or person or organization sponsoring the event; and (4) any person exempted by GS 14-415.41 (enacted below, consisting of 15 specified exemptions).

Enacts GS 14-415.37 making it a Class 1 misdemeanor to possess or carry, openly or concealed, a firearm or any other deadly weapon not used solely for instructional or officially sanctioned ceremonial purposes in the State Capitol Building, the Executive Mansion, the Western Residence of the Governor, or on the grounds of any of these buildings. Excludes an ordinary pocket knife in a closed position, as defined in GS 14-269(d), from the meaning of the term "deadly weapon." Exempts persons exempted by GS 14-415.41 from this prohibition.

Enacts GS 14-415.38 to make it a Class 1 misdemeanor to possess or carry, openly or concealed, a firearm or any other deadly weapon not used solely for instructional or officially sanctioned ceremonial purposes in any building housing any court of the General Court of Justice, or any part of a building used for court purposes. Exempts from this prohibition (1) persons exempt by GS 14-415.41; (2) any person in possession of a weapon for evidentiary purposes, to deliver it to a law enforcement agency, or for purposes of registration; (3) firearms carried by detention officers employed and authorized by the sheriff to carry firearms; and (4) a person who has a firearm in a closed compartment or container within the person's locked vehicle or in a locked container securely affixed to the person's vehicle.

Enacts GS 14-415.39 making it a a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person participating in, affiliated with, or present as a spectator at any parade or funeral procession to willfully or intentionally possess or have immediate access to a firearm or any other dangerous weapon if notice of the prohibition is given by either a conspicuous posting or statement by the person in legal possession or control of the premises. Establishes that it is presumed that any rifle or gun carried on a rack in a pickup truck at a holiday parade or a funeral possession does not violate this prohibition. Also, makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person participating in, affiliated with, or present as a spectator at any picket line or demonstration upon any private health care facility or upon any public place owned or controlled by the state or any of its political subdivisions to willfully or intentionally possess or have immediate access to a firearm or any other dangerous weapon. Exempts from both of the prohibitions (1) persons exempted by GS 14-415.41; (2) any person authorized by state or federal law to carry dangerous weapons in the performance of his or her duties; and (3) any person who obtains a permit to carry a dangerous weapon at a parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration from the sheriff or police chief of the locality where the parade, funeral procession, picket line or demonstration is to take place. Defines dangerous weapon to include those weapons specified in GS 14-269, GS 14-269.2, GS 14-284.1, or GS 14-288.1 or any other object capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death when used as a weapon.

Enacts new GS 14-415.40 to make it a Class 1 misdemeanor to carry a concealed handgun into the following (unless provided otherwise by law): (1) an area prohibited by rule adopted under GS 120-32.1, (2) any area prohibited by 18 USC Sec. 922 or any other federal law, and (3) in a law enforcement or correctional facility. Specifies that the statute does not apply to any person exempted by new GS 14-415.41.

Enacts new GS 14-415.41, which exempts 15 classes of individuals from new GS 14-415.36 (prohibiting firearms into any assembly that charges a fee or an establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed), GS 14-415.37 (prohibiting firearms or weapons on the premises of the State Capitol, Executive Mansion, or Western Residence of the Governor), new GS 14-415.38 (prohibiting firearms or weapons in courthouses or buildings housing any court), new GS 14-415.39 (prohibiting firearms and weapons at parades, funeral processions, picket lines and certain demonstrations), and new GS 14-415.40 (making it unlawful to carry a concealed handgun into specified areas). The 15 classes of individuals granted the exception are: (1) officers and enlisted personnel of the US Armed Forces of the United States when in discharge of their official duties as such and acting under orders requiring them to carry arms and weapons; (2) civil and law enforcement officers of the United States; (3) officers and soldiers of the militia and the National Guard when called into actual service; (4) a member of the North Carolina National Guard who has been designated in writing by the Adjutant General, State of North Carolina, and is acting in the discharge of his or her official duties; (5) officers of the State, or of any county, city, town, or company police agency charged with the execution of the laws of the State, when acting in the discharge of their official duties; (6) any person who is a district attorney, an assistant district attorney, or an investigator employed by the office of a district attorney in this state. Requires the district attorney, assistant district attorney, or investigator to secure the weapon in a locked compartment when the weapon is not on the person. Allows a district attorney to carry a concealed weapon while in a courtroom; (7) any person who is a qualified retired law enforcement officer; (8) detention personnel or correctional officers employed by the State or a unit of local government who park a vehicle in a space that is authorized for their use in the course of their duties may transport a firearm to the parking space and store that firearm in the vehicle parked in the parking space, if specified conditions are met; (9) a North Carolina district court judge, North Carolina superior court judge, or a North Carolina magistrate. Requires the judge or magistrate to secure the weapon in a locked compartment when the weapon is not on the person of the judge or magistrate; (10) a clerk of court or a register of deeds. Requires the clerk of court or register of deeds to secure the weapon in a locked compartment when the weapon is not on the person of the clerk of court or register of deeds. Specifies that this subdivision does not apply to assistants, deputies, or other employees of the clerk of court or register of deeds; (11) sworn law enforcement officers; (12) state probation or parole certified officers, when off‑duty; (13) a person employed by the Department of Public Safety who has been designated in writing by the Secretary of the Department and has in the person's possession written proof of the designation by the Secretary of the Department; (14) an administrative law judge; and (15) state correctional officers, when off‑duty; however, the correctional officer is required to meet the firearms training standards of the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety.

Enacts new GS 14-415.42, authorizing any person who can legally carry a handgun under new GS 14-415.35 to carry any firearm openly or concealed at any state-owned rest area, at any state-owned rest stop along the highways, and at any state-owned hunting and fishing reservation. Additionally authorizes any person who can legally carry a handgun under GS 14-415.35 to carry a handgun, openly or concealed, on the grounds or waters of a park within the State Parks System as defined in GS 143B-269.1.

Amends GS 14-269.1 to include convictions under new GS 14-415.35 to the convicted offenses for which the presiding trial judge must order the confiscation and disposal of the deadly weapon referenced in the conviction, in the judge's discretion as specified. Also establishes that this provision applies to a conviction of any offense in addition to those specified involving the use of a firearm or other deadly weapon.

Amends GS 14-269.2, which prohibits the carrying of weapons on any kind of educational property or to a curricular or extracurricular school-sponsored activity, as follows. Amends subsection (g), exempting from the prohibition persons exempted by the provisions of GS 14-415.41 (was, GS 14-269(b)). Amends subsection (i) to exempt employees who reside on the higher education institution or nonpublic post-secondary educational institution at which the person is employed, who in addition to meeting other specified qualifications, has a handgun on the premises of the employee's residence or in a closed compartment or container within the employee's locked vehicle located in a parking area of the property at which the person is employed and resides (previously, exempted persons carrying a concealed handgun with a valid permit or who is exempt from obtaining a permit under Article 54B of GS Chapter 14). Makes conforming changes to eliminate provisions concerning employees who are not authorized to carry a concealed handgun pursuant to Article 54B of GS Chapter 14. Makes identical changes to subsection (j) exempting employees of a public or nonpublic school who reside on the campus of the school at which the person is employed. Makes conforming changes to eliminate reference to concealed handgun permits in the exemption set out in subsection (k), which sets out parameters for how a handgun must be kept in a locked compartment within the person's locked vehicle. 

Makes conforming changes to GS 14-288.8.

Amends GS 14-401.24, which sets out the provisions for the unlawful possession and use of unmanned aircraft systems, to make a clarifying change to define the term weapon to include firearms.

Amends GS 14-409.40, which establishes the regulation of firearms as an issue of general statewide concern, to provide that nothing in this statute prohibits municipalities or counties from application of their authority under new GS 14-415.35, GS 14-415.36, GS 14-415.38, and GS 14-415.39. Makes conforming changes to delete references to authority granted under statutes repealed by the act.

Amends GS 14-415.4, which directs the court to deny the petition to restore the firearms rights of any petitioner if the court finds the petitioner is or has been adjudicated guilty of or received prayer for judgment continued or suspended sentence for one or more crimes of violence constituting a misdemeanor, as specified. Adds to the specified misdemeanors those provided under new GS 14-415.36, GS 14-415.37, GS 14-415.38, and GS 14-415.39. Makes conforming changes to delete references to misdemeanors set out under statutes repealed by the act. 

Enacts GS 14-415.10A to provide that the State of North Carolina is to continue to make a concealed handgun permit available, even though it is lawful to carry a concealed handgun without a permit under new GS 14-415.35, to any person who applies for and is eligible to receive a concealed handgun permit pursuant to Article 54B of GS Chapter 14, reasoning that a permit is convenient for purposes of reciprocity when traveling out of state and to make the purchase of a firearm. 

Amends GS 14-415.11(a) to eliminate the provision that allows a military concealed handgun permittee to carry a concealed handgun during the 90 days following the end of deployment when that permittee's permit has expired during deployment. Modifies and adds to the areas in which a permit does not authorize a person to carry a concealed handgun, except as provided in GS 14-415.27. Amends subdivision (c)(1) to prohibit carrying in areas prohibited by GS 14-462.2, new GS 14-415.36, and new GS 14-415.39. Amends subdivision (c)(2) to prohibit carrying in an area prohibited by new GS 14-415.37, except that a person can have a concealed handgun if it is in a closed compartment or container within the person's locked vehicle or in a locked container securely affixed to the person's vehicle. Adds new subdivision (c)(2a) to prohibit carrying in an area prohibited by new GS 14-415.38, except that a person can have a concealed handgun if it is in a closed compartment or container within the person's locked vehicle or in a locked container securely affixed to the person's vehicle. Further, makes conforming change to replace the statutory reference in subsection (c3) to now refer to new GS 14-415.42.

Amends GS 14-415.12 (Criteria to qualify for the issuance of a concealed handgun permit) to make conforming changes. 

Repeals GS 14-415.22 (the construction provisions of Article 54B of GS Chapter 14).

Amends GS 74E-6 to provide that company police officers have the authority to carry concealed weapons pursuant to and in conformity with new GS 14-415.35 in addition to GS 14-269(b)(4) and (5) if duly authorized by the superior officer in charge. Company police agencies can be a hospital, a state institution, or a corporation engaged in providing on-site police security personnel service for persons or property under GS 74E-2 that is certified by the Attorney General in accordance with The Company Police Act, GS Chapter 74E.

Amends GS 74G-6  to provide that campus police officers have the authority to carry concealed weapons pursuant to and in conformity with new GS 14-415.35 in addition to GS 14-269(b) if duly authorized by their campus police agency and by the sheriff of the county in which the campus police agency is located. Campus police agencies can be public educational institutions operating under the authority of the UNC Board of Governors or the State Board of Community Colleges and private educational institutions licensed by the UNC Board of Governors pursuant to GS 116-15 or that are exempt from licensure by the Board of Governors pursuant to GS 116-15(c) and certified by the Attorney General in accordance with The Campus Police Act, GS Chapter 74G.

Amends GS 113-136 to authorize inspectors and protectors of the Department of Environmental Quality to arrest for violations of new GS 14-415.35, subject to the direction of administrative superiors, relating to matters within the jurisdiction of the Department concerning the conservation of marine and estuarine resources and relating to matters within the jurisdiction of the Wildlife Resources Commission concerning boating and water safety, hunting and trapping, fishing, and activities in woodlands and on inland waters. 

Repeals GS 14-402 through GS 14-405 (prohibiting sale of certain weapons without permit, form and issuance or refusal of permit by sheriff and related record keeping) and GS 14-407.1 (sale of blank cartridge pistols).

Effective December 1, 2017, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

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