I just spoke with King , North Carolina Chief of Police Paula May regarding the “state of emergency” , or martial law as it appeared, that was briefly imposed there. Rather than foisting me off to a PIO, she personally took my call and in a welcome display of candor by law enforcement explained that she was merely implementing the law imposed by the Mayor and the City Council of King County in an action they took that was “above her pay grade.”
Chief May emphasized that most residents were particularly concerned about potential Second Amendment violations, and stated she shared those concerns, and that she personally valued the upholding of civil liberties by her department in her community. She came off as intelligent and sincere.
The King, North Carolina police chief further clarified that it was not just snow that caused the city council’s declaration of a state of emergency, but that many trees were uprooted and lying across the road, and soft ground was commonplace, causing safety concerns for people driving at night. The gun and alcohol provisions are apparently automatically lumped in with the curfew and driving restrictions once the state of emergency was declared by the county officials under relevant North Carolina statutes.
Chief May stressed that she specifically had her officers attempt to warn motorists about the dangers, rather than take enforcement action against them. No one was cited during the state of emergency.
The applicable statutes are North Carolina General Laws 14-288.7 and 14-288.12.
Sounds like the real culprit here may be the North Carolina state legislature in enacting an unnecessarily broad set of laws–laws that could at the very least be violations of the Second Amendment.
We’ll have more once I read the statutes and get ahold of King County’s mayor and city council members. Seems as if instead of this state of emergency, the council could simply have stepped up law enforcement and other emergency worker presence to deal with the driving dangers with a scalpel rather than a meat cleaver.