The substitute has been pulled from the calendar to give the Judiciary I committee "more time to study the issue." As to why it was even proposed, GRNC speculates that it was legislative staff run amok.
What is becoming clearer, however, is that this might be a case of inadequately supervised staffers running amok. When emergency management bill HB 843 went to the Senate Judiciary I Committee, it still contained the language found unconstitutional in Bateman. Committee chair Sen. Pete Brunstetter then reportedly gave it to staff to “fix.” But instead of simply repealing the now-unconstitutional gun ban, they apparently took it upon themselves to draft new gun bans. Equally clear is that although HB 489 was Rep. “Skip” Stam’s bill, Stam wasn’t even informed that his bill would be gutted before it was attempted.GRNC is now asking that people contact their state senator (as opposed to the committee members) and make their displeasure known. You can find out your state senator (if you don't already know) by going to this link and putting in your ZIP+4. If you don't know your ZIP+4, you can find it on your driver's license or most any piece of mail coming to your home.
What remains to be seen is whether Brunstetter and other Republicans will do the right thing and simply repeal the old ban. Right now, too many are still making noises about using gun bans to combat looting during natural or manmade disasters – once again falling for the old trap of targeting lawful guns instead of unlawful behavior.
The suggested letter composed by GRNC reads:
Dear Senator:This is too important an issue to just let other people do it. If you live in North Carolina and you value your gun rights, get off your duff, copy and paste this message into an email, and send it.
I strongly urge you to oppose the Proposed Committee Substitute for House Bill 489: “Dangerous Weapons Restrictions in Emergencies” (H489-CSSA-71 [v.4]). The bill would be more accurately titled: “Gun Rights Authorized by Bureaucrats.”
North Carolina’s existing ban on bearing arms outside the home was recently declared unconstitutional under the Second Amendment by a federal court in the case Bateman v. Perdue. But instead of simply repealing what is now a largely unenforceable statute, HB 489 would replace it with an even more insidious ban.
That HB 489’s long title describes “authorizing” arms and ammunition in the home speaks volumes about the bill. Language purporting to restrict cities from banning guns outside the home is vague to the point of being useless; the bill is sloppily drafted; and worst of all, it stipulates for the first time which lawful firearm-related activities I may or may not exercise IN MY OWN HOME.
Understand that I will accept NO NEW GUN BANS, but only the repeal of the state of emergency gun ban found unconstitutional in Bateman.
Please advise me of your position on this issue. I will be monitoring it via Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.