Monday, February 8, 2010

Emergency Powers

This incident in North Carolina has brought an ugly secret lurking in that state's statutes into the light of day:
5. Areas of Emergency and Riot
It is also a
misdemeanor under North Carolina law for a person to transport or possess, off his or her own premises, a dangerous weapon in an area during a declared state of emergency, or in the vicinity of a riot. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-288.7 A concealed handgun permit does not allow a permittee to carry a weapon in these areas. N.C. Gen.
Stat. § 14-415.11(c)
So I decided to check the Nebraska statutes regarding emergency declarations:
(6) In addition to any other powers conferred upon the Governor by law, he or she may:
(a) Suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business or the orders, rules, or regulations of any state agency if strict compliance with the provisions of any statute, order, rule, or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the disaster, emergency, or civil defense emergency;
(b) Utilize all available resources of the state government and of each political subdivision of the state as are reasonably necessary to cope with the disaster, emergency, or civil defense emergency;
(c) Transfer the direction, personnel, or functions of state departments and agencies or units thereof for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency management; (d) Subject to any applicable requirements for compensation under section 81-829.57, commandeer or utilize any private property if he or she finds this necessary to cope with the disaster, emergency, or civil defense emergency;
(e) Direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened area within the state if he or she deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other emergency management;
(f) Prescribe routes, modes of transportation, and destinations in connection with evacuation;
(g) Control ingress and egress to and from a disaster area, the movement of persons within the area, and the occupancy of premises in the area;
(h) Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, and combustibles; and
(i) Make provisions for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing.
Well, at least this statute makes the firearm restrictions optional instead of mandatory. Big whoop.

Omaha, with its Bloomie-Buddy mayors and may-issue gun registration, goes even farther in defining what types of weapons can be prohibited at the mayor's whim:
Article IV. State Of Emergency Curfew
Sec. 8-85. Restriction of activities.
Whenever a state of emergency has been declared as provided for herein, the mayor is hereby authorized to take one or more of the following specified measures throughout the city or any part thereof:
(a) Prohibit or limit the number of persons who may gather or congregate upon the public highways or public sidewalks, or in any outdoor place, except persons who are awaiting transportation, engaging in recreational activities at a usual and customary place, or peaceably entering or leaving buildings.
(b) Establish a curfew limiting the hours when persons may go upon or travel the public streets.
(c) Require the closing of cocktail lounges, taverns and bars and prohibit the sale or service of alcoholic beverages in any hotel, restaurant, club or other establishment, and require the closing of all other business establishments.
(d) Prohibit or restrict the sale of gasoline or other inflammable liquids.
(e) Prohibit the sale, carrying or possession on the public street or public sidewalks, or in any public park or square, of weapons including, but not limited to, firearms, bows and arrows, air rifles, slingshots, knives, razors or missiles of any kind.
(f) To do any and all things and take such measures as are necessary to preserve the health, safety, and property of the citizens of this community.
(Code 1980, § 8-85)
Cross references: Liquors, ch. 15; weapons, § 20-191 et seq.; parades, processions and assemblies, § 20-291 et seq.
Looks like the desire to render the populace helpless in the face of dire circumstances is pretty much universal. I suppose some would say the absence of the word "confiscate" should comfort us, but be reminded that the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006 only addresses confiscation by an "officer or employee of the United States (including any member of the uniformed services), or person operating pursuant to or under color of Federal law, or receiving Federal funds, or under control of any Federal official, or providing services to such an officer, employee, or other person, while acting in support of relief from a major disaster or emergency," not state- or locally-declared emergencies.

Read your local laws, join your local grassroots firearm advocacy organizations, and make sure your local elected overlords officials can't leave you defenseless when you may need effective defense the most.

3 comments:

Greyhawk said...

An excellent suggestion! I haven't yet looked into Ohio's emergency powers act, but I will now.

Mike W. said...

Missles?! Who the hell writes these statutes?

Hecate said...

Technically, a thrown rock is a missile. Can't have prehistoric weapons available to people after you deny them more modern ones.