NC Town Rescinds Order That Residents Evacuate Without Their Guns

LELAND, N.C.  (CN) – A town near the coast of North Carolina updated its state of emergency notice on Tuesday after ordering residents not to sell, purchase or carry firearms outside their homes in advance of Hurricane Florence.

People drive over a drawbridge in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., as they evacuate the area in advance of Hurricane Florence on Sept. 11, 2018. Florence exploded into a potentially catastrophic hurricane Monday as it closed in on North and South Carolina, carrying winds up to 140 mph and water that could wreak havoc over a wide stretch of the eastern United States later this week. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Officials in Leland, North Carolina, issued an initial evacuation notice on Monday that included instruction to the public not to “transport, possess, sell or purchase any dangerous weapon or substance while off one’s own premises.”

The restriction did not apply to law-enforcement officials and was set to begin on Wednesday.

The Firearms Policy Coalition and Firearms Policy Foundation pushed back against the order with a prelitigation demand letter on Tuesday, that deemed it a “vague and overbroad” prohibition of weapons.

“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,” Brandon Combs, who is president and chairman of the two organizations, said in a statement.

According to the release, civil rights groups worried about the impact of the order on Second Amendment rights.

The groups said, while the town sited a a specific section of the state code to defend its order, the section had actually been repealed years ago.

Leland promptly adjusted its notice on Tuesday to allow lawful gun-owners to carry their weapons.

A town of about 19,000 residents, Leland still prohibits the possession or consumption of alcohol anywhere other than one’s home during the storm, beginning on Wednesday.

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