NC 14-315.1, also known as the “Storage of Firearms to Protect Minors” law, is a North Carolina state law that requires firearms to be stored in a locked container or with a locking device to prevent access by minors under the age of 18. The law also makes it a criminal offence to leave a loaded firearm in a location where the person knows or reasonably should know that a minor is likely to gain access to it.
The law was first passed in North Carolina in 1999 in response to a growing concern about the number of accidental shootings involving children. The law was intended to reduce the number of such incidents by requiring firearms to be stored securely, to prevent children from gaining access to them.
The law applies to all firearms, including handguns, rifles, shotguns, private individuals and firearms dealers. It also applies to weapons temporarily possessing a minor, such as when a minor participates in a hunting or shooting event.
Violation of the law is a Class 2 misdemeanour, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. In addition, any person who violates the law and causes severe injury or death to a minor, as a result, may be charged with a Class H felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Today, the law remains in effect and continues to play an essential role in preventing accidental shootings involving children in North Carolina. The law serves as a reminder to firearms owners of the importance of adequately securing firearms to prevent access by minors and helps to create a safer environment for children and families.
However, there are still some concerns that the law is not enforced consistently across the state and that more needs to be done to educate firearms owners about the importance of safe storage. Some argue that the law should be strengthened to include more specific requirements for secure storage, such as mandating trigger locks or other safety devices.
Regardless, NC 14-315.1 is an important law that helps to keep children safe and serves as a model for other states to follow in their efforts to prevent accidental shootings involving minors. Firearms owners must be aware of this law and take the necessary steps to comply with it to protect the well-being of children in our communities.