Three-Time Felon Charged with Gun Possession Loses Second Amendment Argument

This week, the court of appeals decided State v. Price, an interesting gun rights and Fourth Amendment case. Facts. The defendant was standing in a forest, near a deer stand, holding a rifle, in full camouflage, when a wildlife officer approached him. The officer asked the defendant for his hunting license, under the license check … Read more

How Should the Police Respond to a Report of a Man with a Gun?

Case study: the Neenah stop. Recently in Neenah, WI, a woman called the police to report a man with a gun strapped to his back walking down the street. The call was placed to the non-emergency police number and the caller didn’t report that the man was doing anything threatening, but she did suggest that … Read more

Concealed Carry in Parks and on Playgrounds

Can a concealed carry permit holder carry a concealed handgun in a park? On a playground? The legislature has changed the law in this area twice in recent years and I get lots of questions about it. This post summarizes the basics. Concealed weapons generally are forbidden. Carrying a concealed weapon of any kind, including … Read more

Felons and Guns: Update on the Britt Line of Cases

Remember Britt v. State, 363 N.C. 546 (2009), in which the state supreme court ruled that a man with a single, non-violent felony conviction from 1979 had a state constitutional right to possess a firearm, making the felon-in-possession law, G.S. 14-415.1 unconstitutional as applied to him? I blogged about Britt here, but several years have … Read more

Open Carry

Do law-abiding North Carolina residents have a right to carry a gun openly in public? Generally, yes. Federal constitutional right? The Supreme Court has recently ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms, including handguns, District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), and that it protects that right from … Read more

Second Amendment Update

In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the United States Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess firearms for lawful purposes such as self-defense. Heller unleashed a tsunami of litigation over the nature and scope of that right. Of particular interest to criminal lawyers, Heller led … Read more

Constitutional Challenges to Federal Gun Laws

I wrote here about 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), the federal statute that prohibits people who have been convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing firearms. Federal law also prohibits felons, drug addicts, “mental defective[s],” illegal aliens, and various other groups from having guns. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). In the wake of District of Columbia v. … Read more

New Legislation Regarding the Restoration of Felons’ Gun Rights

I’ve blogged previously about the Britt and Whitaker cases. Britt held that a particular convicted felon retained his right to bear arms under the state constitution, and that G.S. 14-415.1 — which purports to prohibit all felons from possessing firearms — was unconstitutional as applied to him. Whitaker rejected a similar claim made by another … Read more

McDonald’s Impact in North Carolina

The Supreme Court just finished the Term that began in October 2009, and it went out with a bang. On Monday, it announced what was perhaps the most-anticipated opinion of the year, McDonald v. City of Chicago. The genesis for McDonald was District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. __ (2008), the case in which … Read more

Second Amendment Math: Britt + Heller = Whitaker?

A divided court of appeals decided another significant gun case this week. But before I talk about the opinion in State v. Whitaker, I’ll briefly summarize the legal backdrop for the case. In June 2008, the United States Supreme Court decided District of Columbia v. Heller, holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual right … Read more