Leland Florence Gun Order 2A rights suspension
courtesy townofleland.com
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Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the Carolinas. It’s enough of a threat that the NRA chose to cancel their annual Carry Guard Expo scheduled for this weekend in Richmond, Virginia.

In the mean time, the town of Leland, North Carolina, a suburb of Wilmington, right on the coast, figured a good way to prepare for the storm’s landfall would be to use emergency powers to suspend gun sales and Second Amendment rights for the town’s citizens (outside of their homes). Because the Katrina experience was such an unqualified success.

In response, the Firearms Policy Coalition and the Firearms Policy Foundation issued a “pre-litigation demand letter” to the city fathers and mothers of Leland, explaining the unconstitutionality of their diktat.

WILMINGTON, NC & SACRAMENTO, CA (September 11, 2018) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition and Firearms Policy Foundation announced a pre-litigation demand letter sent today to the Town of Leland, North Carolina, regarding the municipality’s order banning some lawful and constitutionally protected firearm-related conduct in advance of Hurricane Florence. Yesterday, the Town issued an order stating that, “Effective at 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, the transportation or possession, or the sale or purchase of any dangerous weapon or substance, while off one’s own premises, is prohibited.”

CNN reported today that Jeff Byard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency associate administrator, said Tuesday morning that “it is going to be … a long-term recovery. This is not going to be a storm that we recover from in days.” The “monster” hurricane is expected to make landfall in North Carolina this week, and some are expecting “massive damage.”

“As our demand letter explains, disasters and potential disasters are prima facia reasons to protect the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for all lawful purposes, including self-defense and hunting,” said FPC President and FPF Chairman Brandon Combs. “They are not political opportunities to restrict these crucial constitutional rights.”

The civil rights groups say that the order is unconstitutional. In addition to expressing concerns about the order’s impact on Second Amendment rights, the demand letter characterized the Town’s order as “unconstitutionally vague,” saying that it “sets the stage for arbitrary or discriminatory enforcement since those enforcing the prohibition could apply various and conflicting interpretations.”

“The Town’s prohibition could well increase vulnerability to damage, injury, or loss of life or property, by chilling the otherwise lawful use and possession of firearms and ammunition in the protection of oneself or one’s property during these times – rights expressly preserved under the state law in the event of such states of emergency,” the demand letter argues.

“Leland’s State of Emergency Notice should immediately be amended to strike the offending language creating this unlawful and unconstitutional weapons prohibition. Should the Town fail to do so, and/or attempt to enforce the same against any resident, it stands exposed to civil actions for declaratory and injunctive relief, and monetary damages,” said attorney Raymond DiGuiseppe on behalf of the groups.

If any person is subjected to the Town of Leland’s order, they can submit a report to the FPF/FPC Legal Action Hotline at www.firearmpolicy.org/hotline or by calling (855) 252-4510. They can also contact FPC and FPF’s Wilmington, North Carolina-based counsel, The DiGuiseppe Law Firm, P.C., by phone at (910) 713-8804.

The good news: today the town of Leland updated their emergency order to specifically exclude lawfully-possessed firearms.


Effective at 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, the transportation or possession, or the sale or purchase of dangerous weapons or substances, while off one’s own premises, is prohibited. This prohibition and restriction does not apply to lawfully possessed firearms or ammunition.

The updated order, however, still doesn’t appear to allow for gun sales after tomorrow night.

As the FPC notes in their press release, emergency situations like natural disasters are exactly the kinds of situations when citizens need the option of armed self-defense the most to defend life and property.

Police and other first responders will have their hands more than full dealing with rescues and the aftermath of the storm. That’s the perfect time for looters and other opportunists to take advantage of a chaotic situation. And precisely the wrong time for states and municipalities to use emergency powers to restrict citizens’ constitutional rights. Any of them.

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    • Anybody remember the ex cop in Houston who armed himself with a shotgun and patrolled his neighborhood detering looters?

      I was proud to be a Texan when I watched that video. For that matter, the way Texans as a people responded to Harvey last year was pretty awesome.

  1. This storm is gonna be real bad, if it doesn’t blow out before landfall. No cop/EMT/Fire is coming to help, you’re on your own for a while. Protect you and yours….

  2. Effective 9pm on Wednesday, gun stores (and most other stores) in the area will be closed. So if you’re so terminally unprepared as to not already own firearms, get them tomorrow morning, m’kaay.

  3. Yeah, jackass, you are the mayor of a podunk little town and you don’t get to just suspend a constitutional right by decree. Situations like loss of order in a hurricane are EXACTLY why we own guns.

    Wanna do something useful? Get the DA to announce that they will not be prosecuting anyone for shooting looters.

  4. “Sale or Purchase”….
    Here neighbor, use it as long as you need it. return it when you get the chance.
    Holler if I can loan you anything else.

    • Having loaned guns to friends and neighbors in need, all I can say is I expect this is exactly the kind of thing any decent person should do for any decent neighbor.
      It is absolutely disgusting how fast things can go bad in a SHTF scenario. The very first night of the big northeast blackout 15 years ago I heard alarms screaming as soon as the sun went down and they kept screaming all night long. Neighbors took turn standing watch through the nights and a the bad people decided that the next block was a far more interesting target than my block, which had people with guns and flashlights on patrol. And yes, we did chase a couple away.
      A few years back I ran into a much worse situation, in my own yard, a couple hours after my neighborhood went dark from a summer storm. Cops were all busy directing traffic, but I was cornered by 2 guys who thought I was the man they clearly stated they were out to kill that night. After I failed to convince them with words that they had the wrong guy, I had to use my pistol to convince run off and keep looking for him. Then I barricaded myself in the house and loaded a couple shotguns.
      ANY time there’s a disruption in normal services, I now go into red alert mode, set up my generator and lights, and load a couple extra guns. I don’t care if the power company says everything will be back on before 10pm, I’ll be dug in and ready to defend before nightfall.

  5. At least for a few days. This will qualify as a SHTF moment. All government services will be tied up dealing with the carnage and destruction. If you weren’t already prepared for this event months ago. Realize you will most likely not survive a real SHTF situation in the future. Expecting the government to be there to save you is recipe for disaster/death. Just remember. If you can’t protect what you have including your own life and the lives of your family. They were never really yours in the first place. Being a ward of the government is akin to slavery.

  6. BTW this local proclamation also is/was in (knowing) violation of NC law, which was changed after a similar event a few years ago with another hurricane. I am actually shocked. This is one of the most conservative parts of the state. There are many pawn/gun stores in Wilmington and at least one in Leland itself. I suspect that a high percentage of the residents own firearms, and with it being a bedroom community for Wilmington, the fear of burglars after a huge storm would be palpable for anyone planning to tough it out. We have property interests on the other side of the river about which we are very concerned, and in that town, the town fathers put out an emergency proclamation banning open carrying of firearms except on one’s own property. A bit weird, like someone on the town council has a CHP and wants to be sure he can walk around carrying concealed, yet still does not understand the pre-emptive state law or the Constitution. I can borderline understand the rationale from the standpoint of a politician, wanting on the one hand to reduce the likelihood of vigilantism and on the other hand giving the police a free fire zone on any looter who even remotely looked like he was carrying. HOWEVER, that proclamation should also be challenged for the same reasons as in Leland. What I would really like would be a proclamation by our sissy governor Cooper reminding anyone thinking of looting that he, she, or ze will be subject to being shot on sight, without warning, by both police and citizens. There are enough gang members including MS 13, junkies and meth freaks in North Carolina that looting should be expected in areas that cannot be isolated by the police. On the other hand, there are many retired military and other honest firearm owners in the state who would, I am sure, engage a looter whether invading one’s own home or a neighbor’s, local proclamations be damned. Not that Cooper would ever make such a proclamation, or sanction having local people deputized to back up the local cops, another traditionally American approach to managing a potential nightmare situation. And please, readers, regardless of what you think of the petty politicians in Leland, please keep all of us in NC, SC, and VA in your thoughts and prayers. We need all the help we can get.

    • Is it wrong that I secretly hope for some looters to get shot? I don’t wish the trauma (or drama) on any decent people, it’s just there are so many people that need shooting and this is one instance that it’s quite possible.

  7. Just down the road from there in Brunswick Co. during either Floyd or Fran (maybe both) the AHJ’s illegally closed the liquor stores and forbade stop and robs and grocery stores from selling alcohol. Recently the ex-sheriff went to jail twice. The 2nd time for illegally possessing firearms as a convicted felon from the first time and for transporting same across state lines. He died in jail.

  8. if you check all the FEMA literature on how to prepare for a disaster not once does it mention firearms…guess they never heard of looters…

  9. Darn it, all the lawful owners of weapons were going to go on a murderous rampage, killing, looting and rioting. Now that little piece of paper is going to stop us all from getting that wide screen TV we’ve been wanting. Apparently the gov’t of this little town has zero respect for it’s citizens and may actually be afraid of them.


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