State and local governments cannot arbitrarily suspend the Constitution and Bill of Rights during an “emergency” by issuing a selective ban against citizens exercising one or more of their fundamental rights.
That, in essence, was Senior U.S. District Judge Malcolm J. Howard’s ruling on April 2, when he determined North Carolina’s state ban on buying guns and ammunition during “emergencies” is unconstitutional.
“While the bans imposed … 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,” he wrote in his order.
During severe storms in February 2010, Governor Bev Perdue of North Carolina declared a state emergency. Immediately after an emergency was declared, the city of King in Stokes County banned possession of alcohol and guns outside the home.
The Second Amendment Foundation, Grass Roots North Carolina FFE and three individual plaintiffs subsequently sued the city, county and state, claiming that their rights under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution were violated.
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