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Thread: Legal questions regarding preemption

  1. #1
    State Researcher
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    North Carolina State law has almost complete preemption on gun laws, with a few exceptions, this being the main one:
    ...Nothing contained in this section prohibits municipalities or counties from application of their authority...including prohibiting the possession of firearms in public‑owned buildings, on the grounds or parking areas of those buildings, or in public parks or recreation areas, except nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a person from storing a firearm within a motor vehicle while the vehicle is on these grounds or areas...
    Now an example of a city exercising this authority is in New Bern's city ordinances, where it states that "It shall be unlawful for any person to possess any firearm within a recreational structure owned by the city, whether or not the same shall be concealed...". This clearly states that it is a crime to carry a firearm into a city own recreational structure.

    What I'm confused about is the City of Havelock's reference to the possession ofa firearm, or in this case, concealed handgun. The ordinance is as follows:
    ARTICLE XII. POSTING OF SIGNS PROHIBITING THE CARRYING OF CONCEALED WEAPONS ON CERTAIN MUNICIPAL PROPERTY

    Sec. 2-79. Posting of signs required.

    The city manager is hereby authorized and instructed to post conspicuous signage at appropriate locations on or within each park and each building or portion of a building owned, leased as lessee, operated, occupied, managed or controlled by the city, as well as the appurtenant premises to such buildings, indicating that carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited therein.

    (Ord. of 10-23-95(1), § 1)



    Sec. 2-80. Location of signs.

    Signs on buildings shall be visibly posted on the exterior of each entrance by which the general public can access the building. The city manager shall exercise discretion in determining the number and appropriate location of signs to be placed on or within appurtenant premises and parks.

    (Ord. of 10-23-95(1), § 2)



    Sec. 2-81. Municipal parking lots and driveways.

    Signs posted by the city manager pursuant to this article shall not be construed to prohibit carrying a concealed handgun upon parking lots and driveways owned, leased as lessee, operated, occupied, managed or controlled by the city; however, this provision shall not modify any other law regarding carrying a concealed handgun.

    (Ord. No. 99-02, § 1, 2-22-99)
    The problem here is that there is not a single ordinance that says it is "unlawful" to possess a firearm anywhere. I searched through every one of Havelock's ordinances for the firearm, handgun, gun, pistol, etc. There are ordinances restriction the discharge of firearms, and there is one that mirrors the State's restriction in reference to parades and funeral processions and such, but there's nothing else.

    So in reference to Havelocks ordinances, is it safe to assume that I can not be charged with a crime for carrying in a park or public building, and could only be charged with trespassing if I refuse to leave after being asked to disarm? Furthermore, does this ordinance not refer only to "concealed handguns", making the open carry of a handgun, or any long gun exempt from restriction?

  2. #2
    State Researcher
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    anyone????

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