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SAF Sues To Overturn North Carolina's 'Emergency Powers' Gun Bans

BELLEVUE, Wash. - The Second Amendment Foundation on June 28 filed a federal lawsuit in North Carolina, seeking a permanent injunction against the governor, local officials and local governments from declaring states of emergency under which private citizens are prohibited from exercising their right to bear arms (Michael Bateman, et al. v. Beverly Perdue, et al., No. 5:10-cv-265, E.D. N.C., Western Div.).

Joining SAF in this lawsuit are Grass Roots North Carolina - the state's leading gun rights organization - and three private citizens, Michael Bateman, Virgil Green and Forrest Minges Jr. Named as defendants in the federal lawsuit are North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue; Reuben Young, secretary of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety; Stokes County and the City of King. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

On June 29, Grass Roots North Carolina announced that it has joined the lawuit.

The lawsuit contends that state statutes that forbid the carrying of firearms and ammunition during declared states of emergency are unconstitutional. Plaintiffs also contend that a North Carolina law that allows government officials to prohibit the purchase, sale and possession of firearms and ammunition are also unconstitutional because they forbid the exercise of Second Amendment rights as affirmed by the June 28 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago, the landmark Second Amendment ruling that incorporated the Second Amendment to the states.

SAF and the Illinois State Rifle Association took the McDonald case to the Supreme Court.

"Through this lawsuit in North Carolina, we intend to show that state emergency powers statutes that allow government officials to suspend fundamental civil rights, including the right to bear arms, are unconstitutional and therefore should be nullified," said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. "Citizens do not surrender their civil rights just because of a natural or man-made disaster."

SAF is once again being represented by attorney Alan Gura, who led the legal effort in the McDonald case and also won the historic Heller ruling that overturned the District of Columbia handgun ban in 2008. Local counsel are Andrew Tripp and Kearns Davis of Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLC in Raleigh, N.C.

The Second Amendment Foundation is the nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. For more information, visit

Download the complaint.