GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
HOUSE BILL 63
Short Title: Firearm in Locked Motor Vehicle/Parking Lot.
Representatives Shepard, Hilton, Cleveland, and Barnhart (Primary Sponsors).
For a complete list of Sponsors, see Bill Information on the NCGA Web Site.
Judiciary Subcommittee A.
February 10, 2011
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT to provide that no business, commercial enterprise, or employer shall prohibit the transportation or storage of a firearm or ammunition when the firearm and ammunition are locked out of sight in a motor vehicle, to provide that a business, commercial enterprise, or employer is liable to anyone injured as a result of an unlawful prohibition, to provide that a person may bring a civil action to enforce the right to transport and store a firearm and ammunition in a locked motor vehicle on the property of a business, commercial enterprise, or employer, and to provide that a business, commercial enterprise, or employer is not civilly liable for damages resulting from another person's actions involving a firearm transported or stored in a locked vehicle in a manner that complies with state law.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. Article 53B of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:
"§ 14-409.41. No prohibition regarding the transportation or storage of a firearm in locked motor vehicle by business, commercial enterprise, or employer; civil liability; enforcement.
(a) As used in this section, the term "motor vehicle" means any automobile, truck, minivan, sports utility vehicle, motorcycle, motor scooter, and any other vehicle required to be registered under Chapter 20 of the General Statutes.
(b) A business, commercial enterprise, or employer shall not establish, maintain, or enforce a policy or rule that prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting a person from transporting or storing any firearm or ammunition when the person is otherwise in compliance with all other applicable laws and regulations and the firearm or ammunition is locked out of sight within the trunk, glove box, or other enclosed compartment or area within or on a motor vehicle.
(c) Subsection (b) of this section shall not apply to the following:
(1) Vehicles owned or leased by an employer.
(2) Facilities, lands, or property owned, operated, or controlled by any commercial or public entity engaged in the generation, transmission, or distribution of electricity; in the transmission or storage of natural gas or liquid petroleum; or in water storage or supply.
(3) Facilities owned or leased by a United States Department of Defense contractor or sites on which hazardous chemicals are stored in quantities greater than 1,000,000 pounds at any one time or in any quantity if required to be registered pursuant to the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards under the Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2007, Public Law 109-295, or the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-295.
(4) Where transport or storage of a firearm is prohibited by State or federal law or regulation.
(d) A person who is injured or incurs damages, or the survivors of a person killed, as a result of a violation of subsection (b) of this section may bring a civil action in the appropriate court against any business entity, commercial enterprise, or employer who committed or caused such violation. A person who would be entitled legally to transport or store a firearm or ammunition, but who would be denied the ability to transport or store a firearm or ammunition by a policy in violation of subsection (b) of this section, may bring a civil action in the appropriate court to enjoin any business entity, commercial enterprise, or employer from violating subsection (b) of this section.
(e) An employee discharged by an employer, business entity, or commercial enterprise for violation of a policy or rule prohibited under subsection (b) of this section, when he or she was lawfully transporting or storing a firearm out of plain sight in a locked motor vehicle, is entitled to full recovery as specified in subdivisions (1) through (4) of this subsection, inclusive. If the demand for the recovery is denied, the employee may bring a civil action in the courts of this State against the employer, business entity, or commercial enterprise and is entitled to the following:
(1) Reinstatement to the same position held at the time of his or her termination from employment, or to an equivalent position.
(2) Reinstatement of the employee's full fringe benefits and seniority rights, as appropriate.
(3) Compensation, if appropriate, for lost wages, benefits, or other lost remuneration caused by the termination.
(4) Payment of reasonable attorneys' fees and legal costs incurred.
(f) No business, commercial enterprise, employer, or property owner shall be held liable in any civil action for damages, injuries, or death resulting from or arising out of another person's actions involving a firearm or ammunition transported or stored pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, including, but not limited to, the theft of a firearm from an employee's automobile. Nothing contained in this section shall create a new duty on the part of any business, commercial enterprise, employer, or property owner beyond the duty specified in subsection (b) of this section.
(g) In any action relating to the enforcement of any right or obligation under this section, the reasonable, good-faith efforts of a business, commercial enterprise, employer, or property owner to comply with other applicable and irreconcilable federal or State safety laws or regulations shall be a complete defense to any liability of the business, commercial enterprise, employer, or property owner.
(h) It is the intent of this section to reinforce and protect the right of each citizen lawfully to transport and store firearms within his or her vehicle for lawful purposes in any place the vehicle is otherwise permitted to be and whenever this would not contravene existing federal or State law or regulation."
SECTION 2. This act becomes effective December 1, 2011, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.