Latest Gun Rights Victory Has Implications Beyond NC

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Fred Fuller

Moderator Emeritus
Mar 26, 2004
NOTE - Thread title changed 3/30 to reflect full impact of this news
SAF win against NC emergency regulations

SAF and Alan Gura scored a win today in Bateman v. Perdue, E.D.N.C..

At issue were North Carolina statutes prohibiting carrying a firearm off one's own land during a declared emergency (which can be declared by the governor, or county, or city). The district court followed the 4th Cir. standard, which is (1) is the activity within the traditional right to arms, and (2) if so, apply the proper standard of review.

The ruling is significant in several ways. First, it recognizes that the right to arms is not limited to in-home possession. "Although considerable uncertainty exists regarding the scope of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, it undoubtedly is not limited to the confines of the home." Second it recognizes that when the core right -- possession in the home -- is involved, strict scrutiny applies. Third, it applies strict scrutiny here because of the statute's breadth and the fact that it indirectly impacts possession in the home.
Bateman et al v. Perdue et al

Second Amendment Foundation
12500 NE Tenth Place • Bellevue, WA 98005
(425) 454-7012 • FAX (425) 451-3959 •

For Immediate Release: 3/29/2012

BELLEVUE, WA – A federal district court judge in North Carolina has just struck down that state’s emergency power to impose a ban on firearms and ammunition outside the home during a declared emergency, ruling that the provision violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

The case, Bateman v. Purdue, was brought by the Second Amendment Foundation, Grass Roots North Carolina FFE and three individual plaintiffs. Defendants in the case were Gov. Beverly Purdue and Reuben F. Young, secretary of the state’s Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, in their official capacities.

In his opinion, Judge Malcolm J. Howard, senior United States district judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina, wrote, “…the court finds that the statutes at issue here are subject to strict scrutiny…While the bans imposed pursuant to these statutes may be limited in duration, it cannot be overlooked that the statutes strip peaceable, law abiding citizens of the right to arm themselves in defense of hearth and home, striking at the very core of the Second Amendment.”

“When SAF attorney Alan Gura won the Heller case at the Supreme Court,” noted SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “the gun ban crowd said that we were a ‘one-trick-pony’ and that we would never knock out another gun law. Well, SAF has now knocked out gun laws in Maryland, Illinois and North Carolina.

“We filed this lawsuit on the day we won the McDonald case against Chicago,” he added, “extending the Second Amendment to all 50 states. This was part of our strategy of winning firearms freedoms one lawsuit at a time.”

Gottlieb pointed to language in Judge Howard’s ruling that solidifies the Second Amendment’s reach outside the home. The judge noted that the Supreme Court in Heller noted that the right to keep and bear arms “was valued not only for preserving the militia, but ‘more important(ly) for self-defense and hunting.”

“Therefore,” Judge Malcolm wrote, “the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms ‘is not strictly limited to the home environment but extends in some form to wherever those activities or needs occur."

“Under the laws at issue here, citizens are prohibited from engaging, outside their home, in any activities secured by the Second Amendment,” Judge Malcolm wrote. They may not carry defensive weapons outside the home, hunt or engage in firearm related sporting activities. Additionally, although the statutes do not directly regulate the possession of firearms within the home, they effectively prohibit law abiding citizens from purchasing and transporting to their homes firearms and ammunition needed for self-defense. As such, these laws burden conduct protected by the Second Amendment.”

The Second Amendment Foundation ( is the nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control. In addition to the landmark McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court Case, SAF has previously funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles; New Haven, CT; New Orleans; Chicago and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners, a lawsuit against the cities suing gun makers and numerous amicus briefs holding the Second Amendment as an individual right.
Thank you very much indeed. One victory at a time; we're not asking for the right to fill out voter registration by punching the appropriate holes with an RPD.
As a resident of Dare County, we are placed under a declared state of emergency more often than most (often several times a year). It was very disconcerting that in the times when I was most likely going to need to defend myself, my right to defend myself was legally handicapped. Thanks, SAF!
A good summary from Volokh- and we shouldn't diminish the Second Amendment aspects of the decision, as he points out.
District Court Holds Second Amendment Applies Outside the Home, Strikes Down Ban on Gun Transportation During State of Emergency
Eugene Volokh • March 29, 2012 1:51 pm

ETA: And here, too-
March 30, 2012
Latest gun rights victory has implications far beyond North Carolina
Kurt Hofmann
St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner
The problem here is that the emergency declaration statutes, are not narrowly tailored to serve the government's interest in public safety. They do not target dangerous individuals or dangerous conduct. Nor do they seek to impose reasonable time, place and manner restrictions by, for example, imposing a curfew to allow the exercise of Second Amendment rights during circumscribed times. Rather, the statutes here excessively intrude upon plaintiffs' Second Amendment rights by effectively banning them (and the public at large) from engagingin conduct that is at the very core of the Second Amendment at a time when the need for self-defense may be at its very greatest.

Thanks, Dave Workman, for sharing the judge's quote with us. That's heartening!
A federal district court judge in North Carolina has just struck down that state’s emergency power to impose a ban on firearms and ammunition outside the home during a declared emergency, ruling that the provision violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

There is one aspect of the ruling that has not received much emphasis, and is entirely left out of many discussions - ammunition.

Ammunition is critical to actually being able to exercise our right to arms. This is the first significant case I am aware of in which ammunition is included in the central finding of the court's decision.
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