State v. Fennell
, 95 N.C.App. 140, 382 S.E.2d 231, N.C.App.,1989
"North Carolina decisions have interpreted our Constitution as guaranteeing the right to bear arms to the people in a collective sense-- similar to the concept of a militia--and also to individuals." State v. Dawson
, 272 N.C. 535, 546, 159 S.E.2d 1, 9 (1968). Yet, as the Supreme Court of this state also noted, "These decisions have ... consistently pointed out that the right of individuals to bear arms is not absolute, but is subject to regulation." Id. The regulation must be " 'reasonable and not prohibitive, and must bear a fair relation to the preservation of the public peace and safety.' " Id. at 547, 159 S.E.2d at 10
As the court stated in State v. Kerner t is ... a reasonable regulation ... to require that a pistol shall not be under a certain length, which, if reasonable, will prevent the use of pistols of small size, which are not borne as arms, but which are easily and ordinarily carried concealed. To exclude all pistols, however, is not a regulation, but a prohibition, of arms, which come under the designation of "arms" which the people are entitled to bear [emphasis added].
181 N.C. 574, 578, 107 S.E. 222, 225 (1921). Thus, the State can regulate the length of a particular firearm as long as there is a reasonable purpose for doing so. We are not convinced by Fennell's argument that such a restriction leads us down the "slippery slope" [emphasis added] and gives the legislature full license to restrict any and all firearms possessed by individuals. We overrule this assignment of error.
State v. Dawson, 272 N.C. 535, 159 S.E.2d 1 (1968)
"Any statute or construction of common-law rule which would amount to a destruction of right to bear arms would be unconstitutional. Const. art. 1, § 24."
State v. Kerner, 181 N.C. 574, 107 S.E. 222 (1921)
"The statute in this case, Public Local Laws 1919, c. 317, is especially objectionable in that it requires (section 2) that in order to carry a pistol off his own premises, even openly, and for a lawful purpose, the citizen must make application to the municipal court, if a resident of a town; or to the superior court, if not residing in town, describing the weapon and giving the time and purpose for which it may be carried off his premises and must pay to the clerk of the court the sum of $5 for each permit and must file a bond in the penalty of $500 that he will not carry the weapon except as so authorized. In the case of a riot or mob violence, or other emergency requiring the defense of public order, this would place law-abiding citizens entirely at the mercy of the lawless element. As a regulation even this is void because an unreasonable regulation, and, besides, it would be void because for all practical purposes it is prohibition of the constitutional right to bear arms."