We came across some very useful information for North Carolina’s gun owners from Senator Thom Goolsby that we thought we’d share…
New Firearms Laws in North Carolina
With Gun-Friendly legislators in charge of the North Carolina House and Senate, various amendments to the State’s firearms laws have occurred over the last couple of years. Below is a list of the more interesting ones.
The legal changes have done the following:
- Authorizes a concealed carry permit holder to have a handgun in a locked vehicle on educational property.
- Authorizes hunting with a silencer.
- Authorizes certain employees who reside on the campus of a college, university, or boarding school to have a handgun on the premises of their residence.
- Authorizes a concealed carry permit holder to have a handgun at assemblies where admission is charged, establishments that serve alcohol, and at parades and funeral processions, unless a notice is posted prohibiting it.
- Modifies the law regarding permitting children under 12 years of age to use a firearm.
- Conforms the definition of “qualified retired law enforcement officer” with federal law.
- Creates the status offense of armed habitual felon.
- Clarifies that a concealed carry permit holder may have a handgun in a locked vehicle in a parking lot owned or leased by State government.
- Redefines the “recreational facilities” where local governments can regulate the possession of concealed handguns.
- Increases the sentencing enhancement for using, displaying, or threatening to use or display a firearm.
- Clarifies the law regarding which mental health determinations must be reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and requires transmission of those determinations within set time frames.
- Provides that records of concealed carry permit holders, pistol permit holders, and firearm dealer records are not public record.
- Increases the penalty for violating the conditions of a concealed carry permit by carrying on posted property or carrying while consuming alcohol or having alcohol in the person’s system.
- Makes modifications to the pistol permit process and requires revocation of pistol permits and concealed carry permits of persons who have had a disqualifying event.
- Exempts district court and superior court judges, magistrates, clerks of court, and registers of deeds with concealed carry permits from the general prohibitions against carrying concealed on certain premises or in certain circumstances.
This list is by no means exhaustive.
“Stand Your Ground” Law & Gun Owners in North Carolina
The “Stand Your Ground” Law (also known as the Castle Doctrine) creates a rebuttable presumption that a lawful occupant of the property using defensive force had a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm IF both of the following apply:
- The person using defensive force knew, or had reason to believe, that an unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.
- An intruder was unlawfully and forcibly entering the property or had unlawfully and forcibly entered the property, or the intruder was removing, or attempting to remove another person from the property.
The law provides a list of EXCEPTIONS to the presumption. Exceptions include the following circumstances:
- The person against whom defensive force was used is a lawful resident or occupant of the property, and there is no court order providing for non-contact by that person.
- The person being removed from the property is a child or grandchild of, or in the lawful custody of, the person against whom defensive force was used.
- The person using defensive force was furthering a criminal offense involving the use of force.
- The person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer or bail bondsman in performance of official duties, and the person properly identified himself or herself as an officer or bondsman.
- The person against whom force was used had discontinued efforts to unlawfully enter, and had exited the property.
A person who justifiably uses force as provided in the act is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action. An exception to this immunity is where the force was used against a law enforcement officer or bail bondsman acting in the performance of duties and who identified himself or herself, or the person using force knew, or reasonably should have known, that the person was a law enforcement officer or bail bondsman.
A person, wherever located, has no duty to retreat, and may use what force is necessary, except for deadly force, in defense of self or others. There is no presumption of reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm if the person is not located in the home, motor vehicle, or workplace. Further, deadly force may be used only if the person using force reasonably believed (objective standard) that such force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to self or others.
A person using defensive force as permitted by this act is immune from civil or criminal liability.
Defensive force is not justified if the person using the force was attempting to commit a crime, was escaping after the commission of a crime, or provoked the use of force. However, a person who initially provoked the use of force still may use defensive force if certain conditions are met.
Senator Goolsby served in the North Carolina General Assembly from 2010 to 2014 representing the Ninth Senatorial District (New Hanover County). He’s since returned to family life and his successful law practice in Wilmington after retiring from the Senate in August. Last week, Senator Goolsby was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest civilian honor. For more information, please visit his website at goolsbylaw.com.