AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE ISSUANCE OF AN EXTREME RISK PROTECTION ORDER TO RESTRICT TEMPORARILY A PERSON'S ACCESS TO FIREARMS IF THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT THE PERSON POSES A DANGER OF PHYSICAL HARM TO SELF OR OTHERS; TO REQUIRE A PERMIT FOR THE PURCHASE OF AN ASSAULT WEAPON OR LONG GUN; TO PROHIBIT THE SALE OF AN ASSAULT WEAPON OR LONG GUN TO A PERSON UNDER A CERTAIN AGE; TO PROHIBIT THE SALE OR POSSESSION OF BUMP STOCKS, TRIGGER CRANKS, AND OTHER SIMILAR DEVICES OR INSTRUMENTS; TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO EXPAND THE USE OF THE ANONYMOUS TIP LINE MAINTAINED BY THE CENTER FOR SAFER SCHOOLS; AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR PUBLIC SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS, ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT PERSONNEL, AND ADDITIONAL SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS.
Titles the act "The Safer Schools, Healthier Kids Act."
Enacts new GS Chapter 50E, the Extreme Risk Protection Orders Act, providing a court procedure for concerned citizens and law enforcement to obtain an order temporarily restricting a person's access to firearms in situations where a person poses a significant danger of harming themselves or others by possessing a firearm. Includes related legislative findings. Sets out defined terms applicable to the Chapter.
Allows either a family or household member or a law enforcement officer or agency to file a verified petition in district court for an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) in any county authorized by the venue provisions set out in GS 1-82 (most commonly where the plaintiff or defendant resides). Defines family or household member to be (1) a person related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the respondent; (2) a dating partner of the respondent; (3) a person who has a child in common with the respondent; (4) a domestic partner of the respondent; (5) a person who has a biological or legal parent-child relationship with the respondent, including stepparents, stepchildren, grandparents, and grandchildren; and (6) a person who is acting or has acted as the respondent's legal guardian. Sets out information required in the petition, including: (1) a factual allegation that the respondent poses a danger of physical harm to self or others (and in the case of an ex parte ERPO, poses an imminent danger of physical harm to self or others) by having in his or her care, custody, possession, ownership, or control a firearm; (2) an identification of the number, types, and locations of firearms under the respondent's custody or control; (3) an identification of any existing protection order governing the respondent; and (4) an identification of any pending legal action between the petitioner and the respondent. Clarifies that a petition for an ERPO can be granted without delay regardless of whether there is pending action between the petitioner and the respondent. Provides for a petitioner to use the substitute address designated by the Address Confidentiality Program when filing documents required by new Chapter 50E. Prohibits the assessment of court costs or attorneys' fees for filing or service of an ERPO petition or service of any ERPOs, except for sanctions for violations regarding signing and verification of the pleadings under GS 1A-1, Rule 11. Authorizes electronic filing of all documents filed, issued, registered, or served in an action under new Chapter 50E.
Requires a summons be issued and served no later than five days prior to the date set for the full ERPO hearing, with the ERPO petition, any ex parte ERPO that has been issued and the notice of hearing on the ex parte ERPO, and a description of an ERPO attached. Directs the clerk of court to effect service through the appropriate law enforcement agency.
Sets forth the required information that must be included in an ERPO, including (1) a statement of the grounds supporting its issuance; (2) the date and time the ERPO was issued and when it expires; (3) whether a mental health or chemical dependency evaluation of the respondent is required; (4) the court's address where a responsive pleading can be filed; (5) a description of the relinquishment and retrieval requirements for firearms, ammunition and related permits of the respondent; (6) a description of the process for seeking termination of the ERPO; and (7) a statement that violation of the ERPO is a Class A1 misdemeanor.
Details the parameters of issuing an ex parte ERPO without service or notice. Requires the court to find by clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the respondent poses an imminent danger of causing physical injury to self or others by having in his or her custody a firearm before a judge or magistrate can issue an ex parte ERPO. Provides that the chief district court judge can designate for each county at least one judge or magistrate to be reasonably available to issue ex parte ERPOs when the court is not in session. Authorizes hearings to consider ex parte relief to be held by video conference.
Details the parameters of issuing a full ERPO, including a hearing on the petition no later than 10 days from either the date an ex parte ERPO was issued, if applicable, or the date the petition was filed. Allows for one continuance of no more than 10 days unless all parties consent or good cause is shown. Permits issuance of a full ERPO when (1) the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the respondent poses a danger of causing physical injury to self or others by having in his or her custody a firearm, (2) process was proper, and (3) notice of hearing was proper.
Requires the respondent to immediately surrender to the sheriff possession of all firearms, ammunition, and permits in the custody or control of the respondent upon service of an ERPO, or within 24 hours of service at a time and place specified by the sheriff in the event weapons cannot be surrendered at the time the ERPO is served. Requires the sheriff to issue receipt at the time of surrender or seizure, and file receipt with the court within 48 hours after issuing the receipt. Provides for a warrant to be issued for failure to surrender firearms. Allows the sheriff to charge the respondent a reasonable fee for the storage of any firearms and ammunition taken pursuant to an ERPO. Provides for retrieval if the ex parte ERPO expires and the court does not enter a full ERPO. Otherwise, requires the respondent to file a motion for retrieval within 90 days after an ERPO expires, whereby surrendered firearms, ammunition, and permits must be returned to the respondent within 30 days of the motion unless the court finds the respondent is otherwise precluded from owning or possessing a firearm pursuant to state or federal law. Provides for motion for return by a third party. Authorizes disposal of surrendered firearms that have not been or cannot be returned as specified.
Sets the duration of an ex parte ERPO to be from its effective date to the date the hearing is held, or if a hearing is not held or a continuance not granted, no more than 10 days from its issuance. Requires a full ERPO to be effective for a fixed period of time not to exceed one year. Provides for renewal of any ERPO by the petitioner one or more times prior to its expiration, providing the initial requirements are satisfied and there has been no material change in the circumstances since its issuance. Limits the granting of renewals to open court.
Details the process of terminating an ERPO, with the respondent limited to submitting one motion for termination for every 12-month period the full ERPO is in effect. Requires the court to set a hearing no sooner than 14 days and no later than 30 days from the date of service upon the petitioner. Requires the respondent to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she does not pose a danger of causing physical injury to self or others by having a firearm in his or her custody or care.
Requires the clerk to provide same day notice of ERPO issuance to the sheriff. Requires the sheriff to promptly enter the ERPO into the National Crime Information Center registry; update the orders in the registry upon modification, termination, renewal, or dismissal; and to provide 24/7 access to the orders to the courts. Also requires a copy of the ERPO be issued promptly to and retained by the municipal police department. Provides for notice to the respondent if he or she was not present when the ERPO was issued, and for notice to third parties where applicable.
Makes it a Class A1 misdemeanor for any person to possess, purchase, or receive, or attempt to possess, purchase, or receive, a firearm, ammunition, or permits to purchase or carry concealed firearms for so long as an effective ERPO is entered against that person.
Makes it a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person to knowingly make a false statement when petitioning for an ERPO, and for any person to knowingly make a false statement to law enforcement that an ERPO remains in effect.
Clarifies that the remedies provided in new GS Chapter 50E are not exclusive, and that the Chapter does not affect the ability of law enforcement to remove a firearm or permit from any person, or conduct any search and seizure for firearms, pursuant to other lawful authority.
Specifies that Chapter 50E does not impose any criminal or civil liability on any person or entity for acts or omissions related to obtaining an ERPO.
Amends GS Chapter 15C, providing for the inclusion of petitioners for an ERPO in the Address Confidentiality Program. Makes conforming changes.
Directs the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to develop the appropriate forms to implement the processes set out in new GS Chapter 50E.
Effective December 1, 2018.
Appropriates $20,000 in nonrecurring funds for the 2018-19 fiscal year to AOC to be used for the training of district court magistrates and judges, clerks of superior court, and law enforcement officers in the implementation and enforcement of new GS Chapter 50E. Effective July 1, 2018.
Amends GS 14-402, making it a Class 2 misdemeanor to sell, transfer, purchase or receive assault weapons or long guns in the State unless the purchaser or receiver holds a license or permit issued under Article 52A (sale permits) from the county sheriff where the purchaser or receiver resides, or the purchaser or receiver holds a valid NC concealed handgun permit issued under Article 54B and is an NC resident at the time of purchase. Makes it a Class 2 misdemeanor to receive assault weapons or long guns from various federal, state or local mail carriers or agents, railroad agents or employees within the State without having, possessing, and exhibiting the purchase permit issued by the sheriff in GS 14-403. Defines assault weapon to mean: (1) any selective-fire firearm capable of semiautomatic or burst fire at the option of the user, including 37 specifically identified semiautomatic firearms; (2) 49 specifically identified semiautomatic centerfire rifles, or copies or duplicates with the capability of the rifles; (3) 22 specifically identified semiautomatic centerfire pistols, or copies or duplicates with the capability of the pistols; (4) all IZHMASH Saiga 12 Shotguns, or copies or duplicates with the capability of the shotguns; and (5) all semiautomatic firearms that meet any of 8 detailed specifications, including a semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the ability to accept more than 10 rounds, and a shotgun with a revolving cylinder. Defines long guns to mean a shotgun or rifle that is not considered an antique firearm or assault weapon, as currently defined by the statute. Currently, the prohibitions set out in GS 14-402 apply to the sale, transfer, purchase, or receipt of pistols only. Makes conforming changes to GS 14-403, setting out the standard form of the purchase permit issued by the county sheriff,\; and GS 14-404, providing for the issuance of permits to persons with felony convictions who are later pardoned or whose firearm rights have been restored. Amends GS 14-408.1 to include assault weapons in the term firearm as it is applies to the statute's provisions regarding soliciting unlawful purchases of firearms and unlawfully providing materially false information regarding the legality of firearms or ammunition transfer.
Effective December 1, 2018, and applies to the sale, giving away, transfer, purchase, or receiving of an assault weapon or long gun on or after that date.
Amends GS 14-269.7, making it a Class 1 misdemeanor for any minor under 18 to possess or carry a long gun, and for any minor under 21 to possess or carry an assault weapon. Defines long gun and assault weapon as set out in GS 14-402 as amended above. Currently, GS 14-269.7 only applies to minors under the age of 18 who possess or carry a handgun. Extends the current exceptions set out for minors' possession of handguns for certain purposes, such as the discharge of official duties as Armed Forces officers or personnel, to also include possession of a long gun or assault weapon in the same manner.
Amends GS 14-315, also making it a Class H felony for a person to sell, offer for sale, give, or transfer in any way a long gun or assault weapon to a minor (currently, the prohibition only applies to handguns). Extends the current exceptions set out for certain circumstances for handguns to also apply for long guns and assault weapons.
Effective December 1, 2018, and applies to the possession, carrying, sale, offer for sale, giving, or transfer of an assault weapon or long gun on or after that date.
Enacts new GS 14-409A, making it a Class I felony for any person, firm, or corporation to manufacture, sell, give away, transfer, use, or possess bump stocks, trigger cranks, or any other similar device or instrument added to a firearm by a person other than the manufacturer that is designed to increase the rate of fire achievable by the firearm. Defines bump stock to mean any device or instrument for a firearm that increases the rate of fire achievable with the firearm by using energy from the recoil of the firearm to generate a reciprocating action that facilitates repeated activation of the trigger. Defines trigger crank to mean any device or instrument to be attached to a firearm that repeatedly activates the trigger of the firearm through the use of a lever or other part that is turned in a circular motion, but does not include any weapon initially designed or manufactured to fire through the use of a crank or lever. Defines firearm to be as the term is defined in GS 14-409.39, defining the term to mean handgun, shotgun, or rifle which expels a projectile by action of an explosion (and does not include assault weapons, as included in firearm defined in GS 14-408.1 as amended). Effective December 1, 2018, and applies to the sale, giving away, transfer, use, or possession of bump stocks, trigger cranks, or other similar devices and instruments added to a firearm by a person other than the manufacturer that is designed to increase the rate of fire achievable by the firearm on or after that date.
Appropriates $1,666,489 in nonrecurring funds for the 2018-19 fiscal year from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to implement the SPK UP NC anonymous safety tip line application through the Center for Safer Schools on a statewide basis.
Appropriates $365,182 in recurring funds for the 2019-20 fiscal year from the General Fund to DPI to maintain the SPK UP NC anonymous safety tip line.
Appropriates the following in nonrecurring funds for the 2018-19 fiscal year from the General Fund for making public safety improvements: (1) $25 million to the State Board of Education (State Board) for grants to local school administrative units, regional schools, charter schools, and laboratory schools; (2) $20 million to the UNC Board of Governors (UNC BOG) for grants to constituent institutions; and (3) $20 million to the State Board of Community Colleges for grants to community colleges. Details the five types of public safety improvement projects the funds may be used for, including (1) the purchase of equipment to provide increased monitoring of facilities, notification to emergency responders, and improved response to life threatening events and (2) training of personnel regarding best practices and procedures for emergency response, public safety risk identification, and related items. Requires each grantor receiving the above appropriations to develop and use criteria and applications when granting funds. Directs the State Board to include need-based considerations as part of its criteria established for granting funds. Specifies that these appropriations are to be used to supplement and not supplant local, other state, and federal funds received for public safety improvements. Requires each entity receiving the appropriations to annually submit a report on or before May 1 to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations detailing the number, description, and cost of projects awarded and the number of applications for funding received and the basis upon which projects were evaluated.
Appropriates $7 million in recurring funds for the 2018-19 fiscal year from the General Fund to DPI to be allocated to local school administrative units in amounts sufficient to increase the allotment of funds for school resource officers in public high schools from approximately $38,000 to approximately $50,000.
Appropriates $3 million in recurring funds for the 2018-19 fiscal year from the General Fund to the State Board to use for grants in accordance with Section 8.36 of SL 2013-360 (Appropriations Act of 2013) to employ additional school resource officers in public elementary and middle schools.
Appropriates $40 million in recurring funds to DPI for the 2018-19 fiscal year from the General Fund to increase funding for the Instruction Support Personnel - Certified Allotment, specifically for use by local school administrative units and charter schools for certified school-based instructional support personnel, including nurses, counselors, school psychologists, and social workers. Directs the State Board to ensure at least one full-time employee is allotted to each local administrative unit, with the remaining additional positions allotted based on average daily membership. Provides that the legislature's intent is to employ (1) at least one school psychologist for every 700 students, (2) at least one school counselor for every 250 students, (3) at least one school nurse for every 750 students, and (4) at least one social worker for every 400 students.
Appropriates $7 million in recurring funds to DPI for the 2018-19 fiscal year from the General Fund to increase funding to the At-Risk Student Services Allotment, specifically to increase the sum allotted for school resource officers to $50,000 for each high school in a local education agency that receives a principal allotment. Specifies that these funds are to be used to supplement and not supplant local, other state, and federal funds received for costs related to school resource officers.
Appropriates $444,000 in recurring funds to DPI Fund for the 2018-19 fiscal year from the General Fund to be used as grants to local administrative units, regional schools, charter schools, and lab schools in accordance with Section 8.36 of SL 2013-360, which sets out ratios for matching funds from grants to units and schools for school resource officers in elementary and middle schools.
Amends Section 8.36 of SL 2013-360, providing for the matching of state funds to local funds based on the development tier in which the grantee is located, ranging from $4 in State funds for every $1 in local funds for grantees located in a development tier one area to $2 for every $1 in local funds for grantees located in a development tier three area. Also adds lab schools to those that may receive matching funds for school resource officer grants. Effective July 1, 2018, and applies to funds granted on or after that date.
Directs the Center for Safer Schools (Center) to conduct an annual census of school resource officers located in each local education agency and submit an annual report by March 1 summarizing the data compiled and analyzed to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee and the State Board. Details nine components the report must contain, including the total number of resource officers, the funding source of resource officers, and the weapons carried by each resource officer, if any.
Establishes that prosecutions for offenses committed before the effective date of the act are not abated or affected by the act, and statutes that would be applicable but for this act remain applicable to those prosecutions.
The act is effective July 1, 2018, unless otherwise provided.
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