UPDATE: 12-01-11 partial improvement
HB650 limits localities ability to ban firearms in parks to certain areas, including playgrounds, athletic fields, athletic facilities, and pools. It also requires localities to allow carriers to lock weapons in personal vehicles in parking lots.
It’s not perfect, but it is a slight improvement. We will have to seek more next year.
This is a partial text of NC’s Pre-emption law.
(a) It is declared by the General Assembly that the regulation of firearms is properly an issue of general, statewide concern, and that the entire field of regulation of firearms is preempted from regulation by local governments except as provided by this section.
(e) A county or municipality may regulate the transport, carrying, or possession of firearms by employees of the local unit of government in the course of their employment with that local unit of government.
(f) Nothing contained in this section prohibits municipalities or counties from application of their authority under G.S. 153A‑129, 160A‑189, 14‑269, 14‑269.2, 14‑269.3, 14‑269.4, 14‑277.2, 14‑415.11, 14‑415.23, including prohibiting the possession of firearms in public‑owned buildings, on the grounds or parking areas of those buildings, or in public parks or recreation areas, except nothing in this subsection shall prohibit a person from storing a firearm within a motor vehicle while the vehicle is on these grounds or areas. Nothing contained in this section prohibits municipalities or counties from exercising powers provided by law in declared states of emergency under Article 36A of this Chapter.
North Carolina’s preemption law is weak in two areas. First it allows localities to regulate the carry of firearms by their employees. I don’t believe a government should be permitted to make disarmament a condition of employment. Secondly, it allows local governments to turn their buildings, grounds, and parks into victim disarmament zones.