This week, the Senate bill filing deadline passed, and while there are fewer bills to track in that chamber than in the state House, there are still some bills we will be pursuing very actively.
Senate Bill 34 is the “Castle Doctrine” Bill that has already passed the Senate, and is currently awaiting action in the state House. S 34 was introduced by state Senators Andrew Brock (R-34), Doug Berger (D-7) and Kathy Harrington (R-43), and was originally introduced to strengthen the right to self-defense in the home. The bill was amended in the state Senate to expand protections to include self-defense in cars, at the workplace, and establish that there is no duty to retreat when faced with a criminal attack when you are in a place you may lawfully be. It also offers protections against criminal prosecution and civil action when one is compelled to use force (including lethal force) against a criminal attack.
Senate Bill 594 was introduced by state Senators Doug Berger (D-7) and Andrew Brock (R-34), and would ensure that our Right to Keep and Bear Arms would not be infringed upon during a declared state of emergency. This legislation would help to avoid serious assaults on personal freedoms and the fundamental right of self-defense, such as what took place in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina when law enforcement seized the lawfully-owned firearms of peaceful law-abiding citizens. This will also prevent incidents such as what happened in King, NC early last year, when a state of emergency was declared, and city officials announced that this imposed prohibitions on transporting firearms.
Senate Bill 765, introduced by Senator Brock, would prohibit medical practitioners from requiring patients to divulge information about private firearm ownership. It would also prevent healthcare practitioners from denying healthcare to patients who refuse to disclose such information about firearms, ammunition or storage methods. This situation has repeatedly occurred throughout the United States and is an unwarranted violation of one’s privacy.
Finally, we are pleased to note that the state House passed Senate Bill 406—which repeals the requirement that one obtain a purchase permit before acquiring a crossbow—and this bill is now before Governor Bev Perdue, who we expect will sign it. S 406 was introduced by state Senators Brock, Don East (R-30), and Newton, and sailed out of the Senate by a unanimous vote in March. The House passed it on April 19 by a 69 to 48 vote.