BELLEVUE, WA - A federal district court judge in North Carolina has just
struck down that state's emergency power to impose a ban on firearms and
ammunition outside the home during a declared emergency, ruling that the
provision violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
The case, Bateman v. Purdue, was brought by the Second Amendment
Foundation, Grass Roots North Carolina FFE and three individual
plaintiffs. Defendants in the case were Gov. Beverly Purdue and Reuben
F. Young, secretary of the state's Department of Crime Control and
Public Safety, in their official capacities.
In his opinion, Judge Malcolm J. Howard, senior United States district
judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina, wrote, "the court
finds that the statutes at issue here are subject to strict
scrutiny...While the bans imposed pursuant to these statutes 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
"When SAF attorney Alan Gura won the Heller case at the Supreme Court,"
noted SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, "the gun ban crowd
said that we were a one-trick-pony' and that we would never knock out
another gun law. Well, SAF has now knocked out gun laws in Maryland,
Illinois and North Carolina.
"We filed this lawsuit on the day we won the McDonald case against
Chicago," he added, "extending the Second Amendment to all 50 states.
This was part of our strategy of winning firearms freedoms one lawsuit
at a time."
Gottlieb pointed to language in Judge Howard's ruling that solidifies
the Second Amendment's reach outside the home. The judge noted that the
Supreme Court in Heller noted that the right to keep and bear arms "was
valued not only for preserving the militia, but 'more important(ly) for
self-defense and hunting."
"Therefore," Judge Malcolm wrote, "the Second Amendment right to keep
and bear arms 'is not strictly limited to the home environment but
extends in some form to wherever those activities or needs occur."
"Under the laws at issue here, citizens are prohibited from engaging,
outside their home, in any activities secured by the Second Amendment,"
Judge Malcolm wrote. They may not carry defensive weapons outside the
home, hunt or engage in firearm related sporting activities.
Additionally, although the statutes do not directly regulate the
possession of firearms within the home, they effectively prohibit law
abiding citizens from purchasing and transporting to their homes
firearms and ammunition needed for self-defense. As such, these laws
burden conduct protected by the Second Amendment."