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McDonald Lawyer Heads to North Carolina

Alan GuraAttorney 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” is headed to North Carolina where he will again represent the Second Amendment Foundation.  Gura will be the lead counsel for a new lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of a North Carolina law that allows municipalities to ban guns whenever the municipality declares a state of emergency.

The obscure law came to the forefront of local politics after opportunistic government officials in King, NC used the provision to ban alcohol sales and possession of firearms, and to impose a 12 AM to 5 AM curfew.  Ostensibly, the bans were enacted to help protect residents from an impending snow storm.  Of course, that storm never materialized.

If the court accepts the case, they could ultimately rule on yet another aspect of the Second Amendment: can governments regulate firearms on public property?  The first case, Heller vs. DC, held that the District could not ban possession of firearms for self-defense in the home.  Similarly, because of the nature of the case, the McDonald case found a fundamental, individual right to own a gun for self-defense in the home, but it did not directly address regulation of weapons outside of the home.

While “gun-free” zones are demonstrably ineffective and any ruling upholding a firearms ban on public property would appear inconsistent with the courts most recent decisions, this area still lacks precedent.  Hopefully, the court will finally acknowledge a fundamental right to bear arms—not just keep them—but nothing is guaranteed.  Barring any preemptive action by state legislators, this will be another long court battle culminating in an equally thin verdict.