Freshman Rep. Michael Speciale, a Republican from New Bern, says he studies the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence all the time. The ex-Marine has cranked out a lot of bills in his first session that reflect his interests and, presumably, his constituents, even if they won’t necessarily become law.
Just Tuesday, he filed two bills and a resolution with sweeping titles that summon the imagery of constitutional battles for freedom: Enabling Patriots Act (a gun bill that, according to its title would protect citizens against “violent sociopaths”), Protect Against Suspension of Rights (directing the attorney general to sue to determine if the president's war powers are constitutional, and, if they are not, establishing protections for the citizenry), and State’s Right to Claim Sovereignty (a resolution based on the 10th Amendment).
The gun bill, HB624, is the most substantive and, in fact, pulls together ideas from earlier efforts to ease gun restrictions, primarily: allowing guns on school grounds if they are locked in a vehicle or are carried by someone with a concealed weapon permit; allowing a concealed weapon permit-holder to carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol, and allowing concealed handgun on greenways, picnic areas and on other recreational grounds.
Another Speciale bill filed Tuesday would allow people convicted of non-violent felonies to regain gun rights in a shorter time. It’s just called Amend Firearms Restoration Law.