Bill Summary for H 746 (2017-2018)

Summary date: 

May 31 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

House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

Amends the long title.

Part I

Amends proposed GS 14-415.35 (Carrying Handguns). Exempts licensed bail bondsmen performing their bondsman duties from the prohibition on carrying a handgun on posted private property. Amends the prohibition on consuming alcohol while carrying a handgun to make that prohibition only apply to the concealed carry of a handgun. Prohibits the carrying of a handgun by a person who is or has been discharged from the US Armed Forces under conditions other than honorable (was, by a person who has been dishonorably discharged). Deletes proposed GS 14-415.36, regarding carrying firearms into assemblies that charge a fee or into establishments where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed, when firearm prohibitions are posted.

Amends proposed GS 14-415.37, regarding the prohibition of firearms on the premises of the State Capitol, Executive Mansion, or Western Residence of the Governor. Exempts the Governor and the Governor's immediate family from the prohibition on carrying firearms on the Executive Mansion or the Western Residence of the Governor. Requires a person to hold a permit under GS Chapter 14, Article 54B (Concealed Handgun Permit), or to be exempt from obtaining a concealed handgun permit, to qualify for the exemption regarding firearms in closed compartment or containers within the person's locked vehicle. Makes violation of the statute an infraction (was, a Class 1 misdemeanor).

Amends proposed GS 14-415.38, regarding the prohibition of firearms in courthouses. Exempts persons exempted by new GS 14-415.41. Exempts judges with a valid concealed handgun permit who are in the courthouse to discharge the judge's official duties. Exempts magistrates, within all of the courthouse except the courtroom itself (unless the magistrate is presiding in the courtroom), who are in the building to discharge the magistrate's official duties, have a valid concealed handgun permit, have successfully completed a one-time weapons retention training as specified, and secure the weapon in a locked compartment when the weapon is not on the magistrate's person. Requires persons to have a valid concealed carry permit or be exempt from obtaining a permit to qualify for the exemption regarding firearms in closed compartments or containers within locked vehicles. Makes violation of the statute an infraction (was, a Class 1 misdemeanor).

Amends proposed GS 14-415.39, regarding the prohibition of firearms at picket lines and certain demonstrations. Deletes proposed prohibition on possessing firearms or dangerous weapons at parades and funeral processions. Further includes weapons specified in GS 14-415.35 within the definition ofdangerous weapon for the purpose of this statute. Makes conforming changes.

Amends proposed GS 14-415.41 (Exceptions to statutes restricting firearms and other weapons). Deletes provision that GS 14-415.40 (Unlawful to carry a handgun into certain areas) do not apply to the listed classes of individuals. Amends the list of classes of individuals to require the following classes of people to have a valid concealed handgun permit to qualify for the exemption under this statute: North Carolina National Guard members who have been designated in writing by the Adjutant General, State of North Carolina, district attorneys, assistant district attorneys, investigators employed by the office of a district attorney, district court judges, superior court judges, clerks of court, registers of deeds, Department of Public Safety employees designated in writing by the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety, and administrative law judges. Prohibits district attorneys' investigators from carrying a concealed weapon in a courtroom. Requires qualified retired law enforcement officers to meet any of three listed conditions, including holding a concealed handgun permit, to qualify for that class exemption. Requires off-duty state correctional officers to meet firearms training standards of the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety to qualify for that class exemption.

Recodifies GS 14-269.3, regarding the prohibition against carrying guns into assemblies where a fee was charged for admission, or into establishments serving alcoholic beverages, as GS 14-415.36 (1st edition repealed GS 14-269.3). Exempts persons listed under GS 14-415.41, and persons carrying a handgun with a valid concealed handgun permit from the statute.

Amends proposed GS 14-415.10A (Purpose). Expands upon the reasons that the State should continue to make concealed handgun permits available, notwithstanding the fact that it is lawful to carry a concealed handgun in the State without obtaining a concealed handgun permit.

Directs the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission to include all changes related to the possession and carrying of handguns enacted by this act into the general guidelines for approved firearms safety and training courses to ensure that changes in law in this area are included in those courses prior to December 1, 2017. Effective July 1, 2017.

Part II

Amends GS 14-269 (Carrying concealed weapons) to add guns to the list of weapons that may not be carried in a concealed way except on the person's own premises. Excludes handguns, as defined in GS 14-415.35, from that prohibition. Amends the list of classes of people exempt from this prohibition. Clarifies that the following classes of people to have a valid concealed handgun permit under GS Chapter 14, Article 54B (was, they had to have a concealed handgun permit issued in accordance with the Article or considered valid under GS 14-415.24) to qualify for the class: designated National Guard members, district attorneys, assistant district attorneys, investigator employed by the office of a district attorney, superior and district court judges, magistrates, clerks of court, registers of deeds, Department of Public Safety employees designated in writing by the Secretary, administrative law judges, and off-duty state correctional officers. Deletes the prohibition on district attorneys and assistant district attorneys carrying concealed weapons in a courtroom, and prohibits district attorneys' investigators from carrying concealed weapons in a courtroom. Deletes proposed repeal of the exemption for qualified retired law enforcement officers. Makes a conforming change by deleting language regarding compliance by off-duty state correctional officers with firearms training standards (which is now addressed in GS 14-415.41. Amends the defense to prosecution under this statute to include the element that the weapon was not a handgun (Current law: the weapon was not a fierearm. 1st edition deleted this element).

Amends GS 14-269.2 (Weapons on campus or other educational property). Deletes proposed amendments to subsections (i), (j), and (k) (regarding exemptions for employees of institutions of higher education or public or nonpublic schools, who resided on the campus of the school, and for persons with concealed handgun permits).

Amends GS 14-401.24 (Unlawful possession and use of unmanned aircraft systems) by amending the definition of weapon to also include those specified in GS 14-415.35.

Amends GS 14-415.11 (Permit to carry a concealed handgun; scope of permit). Deletes proposed repeal of provisions regarding military permittees whose permit has expired during deployment. Repeals provisions authorizing persons with concealed handgun permits on the grounds or waters of State Parks, prohibiting concealed carry of a handgun while consuming alcohol, and authorizing concealed carry of a handgun at State owned rest areas.

Amends GS 14-415.12 (Criteria to qualify for the issuance of a permit). Deletes proposed amendments to provisions requiring the sheriff to deny a permit to applicants who are a danger to themselves, or who were dishonorably discharged from the US Armed Services.

Amends GS 106-503.2 (Regulation of firearms at State Fair). Amends the exception to now refer to those classes named in GS 14-415.41 instead of GS 14-269 and further exempts persons exempted by GS 14-415.41(11) (sworn law enforcement officers whether on or off duty).

No longer repeals GS 14-402 through GS 14-405 and GS 14-407.1

Part III

Amends GS 14-415.10 to revise the definitions ofqualified former sworn law enforcement officer,qualified retired correctional officer, andqualified retired probation or parole certified officerto include individuals retired from service in those positions who have been retired for five years or less (was, two years or less).

Amends GS 14-415.12 by amending the criteria that must be met before a sheriff can issue a concealed handgun permit to require that the applicant not suffer from a currently diagnosed and ongoing mental disorder the sheriff determines would reasonably prevent the safe handling of a handgun (was, does not suffer from a physical or mental infirmary that prevents the safe handling of a handgun). Specifies that previous treatment for transient disorders is not disqualifying. Requires the sheriff to deny a permit to an applicant who is currently, or has been previously, adjudicated by a court to be a danger to self or others due to mental illness or lack of mental capacity (was, adjudicated by a court or administratively determined by a governmental agency whose decision is subject to judicial review to be lacking mental capacity or mentally ill).

Amends GS 14-415.13 to add that a sheriff may schedule appointments for concealed handgun applications if they are scheduled for 15 business days or less from the date on which the applicant informs the sheriff that the applicant possesses all necessary documentation. Also amends the type of mental health and capacity records an applicant must allow to be disclosed to the sheriff.

Amends GS 14-415.15 by requiring the sheriff to issue or deny the concealed handgun permit within 90 days after receiving the items required in GS 14-415.13 from an applicant. Requires that, if the sheriff has not received the required mental health or capacity records after 45 days, that the sheriff request the records again.

Amends GS 14-415.19 to increase the application fee from $80 to $81 and requires that $46 (was, $45) of the fee be remitted to the Department of Public Safety for the costs of performing the criminal record checks.

Part III is effective October 1, 2017, and applies to permit applications submitted on or after that date.

Part IV

Amends GS 120-32.1 to add that legislators, legislative employees, and qualified former sworn law enforcement officers with concealed handgun permits are authorized to carry a concealed handgun on the premises of the State legislative buildings and grounds, notwithstanding any rule by the Legislative Services Commission (Commission). Authorizes the Commission to adopt a rule requiring the legislator, legislative employee, or qualified current or former sworn law enforcement officer to provide notice to the Chief of the General Assembly Special Police before carrying the handgun on the premises. Authorizes the Legislative Services Commission to adopt a rule prohibiting the carrying of a firearm in the gallery of the State legislative building. Makes conforming changes to GS 14-415.11. Effective December 1, 2017.

Part V

Amends GS 14-269.2 (regulating weapons on campus or other educational property) as follows. Defines school operating hours as any times when curricular or extracurricular activities are taking place on the premises and any time when the premises are being used for educational, instructional, or school-sponsored activities. Adds that the restrictions on possessing a firearm when attending a school sponsored curricular or extracurricular activity do not apply if (1) the person is not a participant in, or chaperone or spectator of, the extracurricular activity and (2) the extracurricular activity is conducted in a public place. Adds that the statute does not apply to a person in a vehicle on a road not maintained by the school that crosses the educational property if the person has a weapon, including an open or concealed handgun, within the locked vehicle and the person stays in the vehicle while crossing the property and only unlocks the vehicle for the entrance or exit of someone else. Adds that the statute does not apply to a person with a valid concealed handgun permit, or who is exempt from obtaining a permit if all of the following apply: (1) the person possess and carries a handgun on educational property other than an institution of higher education or a nonpublic, post-secondary education institution; (2) the education property is the location of both a school and a building that is a place of religious worship; (3) the weapon is a handgun; and (4) the handgun is only possessed and carried on educational property outside of the school operating hours.

Part V is effective December 1, 2017, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

Part VI

Amends GS 14-404 as follows. Amends the information that an applicant for a pistol permit must submit to no longer require a signed release that authorizes and requires disclosure to the sheriff of any court orders concerning the applicantäó»s mental health or capacity. Instead, adds that the sheriff must request disclosure of any court orders concerning the applicantäó»s mental health or mental capacity. Specifies that this is not to be construed to increase the documentation an applicant is required to provide or to increase the time period. Requires that the permit application include a specified warning that the applicant is giving the sheriff authority to obtain criminal and mental health court orders. Makes conforming changes.

Amends GS 122C-54 by deleting (d2) concerning a sheriff's access to records of involuntary commitment reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Adds that when a sheriff gives the potential holder of a mental health order written notification that an individual has applied for a pistol purchase permit, the holder of any mental health or capacity court orders must release the orders concerning the applicant to the sheriff.

Part VI is effective August 1, 2017, and applies to applications for pistol purchases pending or submitted on or after that date.

Part VII

Amends GS 14-269.1 to clarify that weapons used in specified crimes must be returned to their rightful owners under specified conditions, unless the rightful owner is the convicted defendant, in which case the presiding judge may dispose of the weapon as specified at the judge's discretion. Adds that if the weapon is owned by the defendant and the defendant is not convicted as provided in the statute, then the presiding judge must order the weapon returned to the defendant.

Amends GS 15-11.1 (seizure, custody, and disposition of articles; exceptions) to provide that after a hearing, the judge must order the disposition of the firearm (which has been determined to no longer be necessary or useful as evidence in a criminal trial) by ordering that the firearm be returned to its rightful owner if the owner is someone other than the defendant and the court makes the required findings. Allows the firearm to be disposed of in the other listed ways if the defendant is the rightful owner.

Enacts new GS 14-277.6 (Going armed to the terror of the people). Creates a new Class 1 misdemeanor for persons who arm themselves with an unusual and dangerous weapon for the purpose of terrifying others, and go about on public highways in a manner to cause terror to the people. Provides that no person may be convicted of this crime based only upon the person's possession or carrying of a handgun, whether openly or concealed.

Part VII is effective December 1, 2017, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

Part VIII

Enacts new GS 115C-81.90 requiring the State Board of Education, in consultation with law enforcement agencies and firearms associations, to develop a firearm education course that can be offered as a high school elective. Specifies elements that must be included in the course, requires that it rely on input from law enforcement agencies and firearms associations as well as related scientific engineering and design-related educational sources, and prohibits the use of live ammunition in the course. Requires that the course be supervised by an adult approved by the school principal.

Enacts new GS 115C-81.95 requiring the State Board of Education, in consultation with the Wildlife Resources Commission, the Division of Marine Fisheries, and the Wildlife Management Institute, to develop a comprehensive course on the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation that can be offered as a high school elective.

Part VIII is effective when it becomes law and applies beginning with the 2018-19 school year.

Part IX

Makes section 9.1 (which includes only the effective date provisions) effective July 1. Specifies that unless otherwise provided, the remainder of the act is effective December 1, 2017.

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