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Thread: no weapons at furnal procession... clarification?

  1. #1
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    As we all know, NCGS 14-277.2 makes it illegal for anyone to carry a weapon in a funeral procession...




    § 14‑277.2. Weapons at parades, etc., prohibited.

    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person participating in, affiliated with, or present as a spectator at any parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration upon any private health care facility or upon any public place owned or under the control of the State or any of its political subdivisions to willfully or intentionally possess or have immediate access to any dangerous weapon. Violation of this subsection shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor. It shall be presumed that any rifle or gun carried on a rack in a pickup truck at a holiday parade or in a funeral procession does not violate the terms of this act.

    (b) For the purposes of this section the term "dangerous weapon" shall include those weapons specified in G.S. 14‑269, 14‑269.2, 14‑284.1, or 14‑288.8 or any other object capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death when used as a weapon.

    (c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a person exempted by the provisions of G.S. 14‑269(b) or to persons authorized by State or federal law to carry dangerous weapons in the performance of their duties or to any person who obtains a permit to carry a dangerous weapon at a parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration from the sheriff or police chief, whichever is appropriate, of the locality where such parade, funeral procession, picket line, or demonstration is to take place. (1981, c. 684, s. 1; 1983, c. 633; 1993, c. 412, s. 2; c. 539, s. 174; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1997‑238, s. 4.)

    I found another statute that defines a funeral procession as
    two or more vehicles accompanying the remains of a deceased person, or traveling to the church, chapel, or other location at which the funeral services are to be held, in which the lead vehicle is either a State or local law enforcement vehicle, other vehicle designated by a law enforcement officer or the funeral director, or the lead vehicle displays a flashing amber or purple light, sign, pennant, flag, or other insignia furnished by a funeral home indicating a funeral procession.
    But that definitions only applies to that article (of which 14-277.2 is not a part).

    Does that mean I cannot carry in the church during the funeral?

    At the burial?

    Have it in my car as I go from the church to the graveyard?

    Any help would be appreciated, as I must attend (and be a pallbearer in) a funeral Saturday morning


  2. #2
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    Without anything to cite, I would say the procession is specifically the process of transporting the body from the church to the cemetery in a parade-like manner with police escort.

    Oh wait, here, I found it:
    § 20‑157.1. Funeral processions.
    (a) As used in this section, a "funeral procession" means two or more vehicles accompanying the remains of a deceased person, or traveling to the church, chapel, or other location at which the funeral services are to be held, in which the lead vehicle is either a State or local law enforcement vehicle, other vehicle designated by a law enforcement officer or the funeral director, or the lead vehicle displays a flashing amber or purple light, sign, pennant, flag, or other insignia furnished by a funeral home indicating a funeral procession.
    Well there ya go. I guess you can have it in the church and at the cemetery, but you cannot have it with you while you're traveling in the procession as specified above. The easiest way to stay legal in this case would be to unload and lock the firearm in your car during transit, therebyremoving the "deadly weapon" status.

    I hope that helps. I'm sorry for your loss.

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    Thanks for the condolences DreQo.

    As for the cite, that is what I found, but I am afraid it may not apply to 14-277.2

    I have been trying to find some legislative history for it the law, but it was enacted in 1981 and the session laws do not go back that far (online at least).

    I do have to wonder why that law is there...

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    RayBurton72 wrote:
    Thanks for the condolences DreQo.

    As for the cite, that is what I found, but I am afraid it may not apply to 14-277.2

    I have been trying to find some legislative history for it the law, but it was enacted in 1981 and the session laws do not go back that far (online at least).

    I do have to wonder why that law is there...
    Why wouldn't it apply? It provides a legal definition for a funeral procession. Even if you just look at the traditional definition, it leads to the same conclusion:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/procession

    1.
    the act of moving along or proceeding in orderly succession or in a formal and ceremonious manner, as a line of people, animals, vehicles, etc.

    The procession only includes the act of proceeding from one point to another in orderly succession. This would not include the religious service or burial/cremation. It's essentially from the time you pull out onto the public roadway behind the lead car until you either break formation and head off on your own, or until you reach your destination and leave the vehicle.


    As far as why that law exist? Because law makers are stupid. I'd be willing to bet someone managed to convince the masses that people participating in a funeral procession are obviously emotionally stressed, and the presence of a firearm in a stressful situation obviously causes a normally non-violent, sane person to commit horrible, violent acts with said firearm. Sounds logical to me!

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    I agree the law is stupid... if it is so emotional to be in the procession, wouldn't it be emotional to be in the funeral? But let's not give them any ideas

    As to why wouldn't it apply? Obviously it applies to moving from the church to the cemetery, but I wonder if it is just limited to that (in 14-277.2).

    The statute you (and I) cited, specifically says "as used in this section."

    That means that definition does not apply to any other statute, i.e. 14-277.1.

    Therefore, I wonder what the "legal" definition of funeral procession is for the purpose of banning deadly weapona.



  6. #6
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    RayBurton72 wrote:
    I agree the law is stupid... if it is so emotional to be in the procession, wouldn't it be emotional to be in the funeral? But let's not give them any ideas

    As to why wouldn't it apply? Obviously it applies to moving from the church to the cemetery, but I wonder if it is just limited to that (in 14-277.2).

    The statute you (and I) cited, specifically says "as used in this section."

    That means that definition does not apply to any other statute, i.e. 14-277.1.

    Therefore, I wonder what the "legal" definition of funeral procession is for the purpose of banning deadly weapona.

    From what I could find, there is no other legal definition. :? They seem to have a tendency to make a lot of gun laws, but not bother to define any of them. They'd rather we assume the worst, and not carry at all lol.

    Lets look at this another way. If you're carrying at the church, and someone asks if that's legal because of the whole procession thing, you simply say "What procession? I'm here for the service". And then, once you're at the burial, the same applies: "What procession? I'm here for the burial." It's perfectly legal for a person to be at both of those locations while carrying. The procession only comes into play when you travel between the two, and that's when you can just unload and lock up.

    Anyway that's what I would do, personally. Thankfully I haven't had to ponder this one yet. Lets hope this situation rarely comes up for any of us.

  7. #7
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    I felt the urge to chime in on this but can't cite any specifics. If memory serves, sometimes yes sometimes no, around the time that this was passed there were several hugely attended funerals for motorcycle gang members in the Charlotte area. These affairs were widely covered by media and featured large numbers of threatening looking individuals open carrying while riding in the procession. Can't say there is a direct link but maybeeee......

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    buzzsaw wrote:
    I felt the urge to chime in on this but can't cite any specifics. If memory serves, sometimes yes sometimes no, around the time that this was passed there were several hugely attended funerals for motorcycle gang members in the Charlotte area. These affairs were widely covered by media and featured large numbers of threatening looking individuals open carrying while riding in the procession. Can't say there is a direct link but maybeeee......
    Idon't know when the law was passed but it sounds reasonable. I remember the situations you are talking about and for something to be included like this would probably have some situation causing it such as the motocycle gang funerals. I remember all the reporters covering one of the funerals where one member decided he had to take a leak. Right in front of the news media he ordered one of the female members to assist him in relieving himself.

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