Authorities in Leland, North Carolina, issued an update of a notice that ordered residents not to sell, purchase, or carry firearms outside their homes while Hurricane Florence approached. On Monday, officials there issued an initial evacuation notice that informed the public that no one should “transport, possess, sell or purchase any dangerous weapon or substance while off one’s own premises.”
The town has about 19,000 residents and is close to the shore of the Atlantic. The restriction was set to go into effect on Wednesday, but did not apply to law-enforcement officials.
In response, the Firearms Policy Coalition and Firearms Policy Foundation issued a pre-litigation demand letter on Tuesday that asserted that the warning was a “vague and overbroad” prohibition of weapons. In a statement, Brandon Combs -- who is president and chairman of the two groups -- declared, “As our demand letter explains, disasters and potential disasters are prima facie reasons to protect the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms for all lawful purposes, including self-defense and hunting.”
The press release from the Second Amendment defenders expressed a concern about the effect that the town’s order would have on Second Amendment rights. The release noted that the town of Leland cited a section of the North Carolina state code to rationalize the order. However, that section had been repealed more than five years ago.
On Tuesday, the town of Leland modified its notice to allow lawful gun-owners to carry weapons.
Leland is still prohibiting the possession or consumption of alcohol anywhere other than one’s home during the storm as of Wednesday.