Officials in Leland, N.C., just outside of Wilmington—which is close to where Florence is expected to make landfall—have thought better of a directive that would have made it illegal for residents to have guns at hand during the expected hurricane. After a near-immediate challenge from the Firearms Policy Coalition, town leaders backed off that requirement.
The town issued a “State of Emergency and Evacuation Notice” ahead of Florence’s expected landfall. In part, the order said that, “Effective at 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, the transportation or possession, or the sale or purchase of any dangerous weapon or substance, while off one’s own premises, is prohibited.”
The Diguiseppe Law Firm, acting on behalf of the Firearms Policy Coalition, responded with a letter informing town leaders that the order was outside the parameters of the law.
Town officials took the letter to heart and backed off that demand in the letter.
This is not the first time a U.S. state or territory has tried to circumvent the law during a weather emergency. The U.S. Virgin Islands implemented similar restrictions on our firearms freedom in 2017, as Hurricane Irma was tracking toward the islands. A year later, the gun grab was still in force, prompting congressional lawmakers to call the governor to task.