The Dawson Law Firm, PC index

The content of this web site is not intended to be legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship with any visitor. Nothing herein should be construed to be a warranty of any result, which is prohibited by the NC State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct.


Under current North Carolina law, there is no right to keep and bear arms. North Carolina’s courts adopted theat position in a written opinion by the late Justice Suzie Sharpe. In 1968, she held that the right to possess firearms was a “common law” creation of the courts. It was not an inalienable right endowed by anyone's Creator. State v. Dawson, 272 N.C. 535, 159 S.E.2d 1 (N.C. 1968). Her words were echoed as recently as October, 2010 by the State Supreme Court in State v, Whitaker, ____ N.C. ___, 700 S.E.2d 215 (N.C. 2010).

Most people probably agree that a convicted felon should not have the right to keep and bear arms. However, what about non-vilent felonies, such as Larceny of Dog? What if the person's citizenship rights had been restored? Should that prevent him or her to keep a firearm at home for self defense? The "just" answer is no.

However, in North Carolina, the answer is "yes."  There is no exception for long rifles or shotguns, or for guns for self defense. The ban is absolute and forever. It also makes little sense. Convictions for serious crimes such as blackmail do not disqualify the perpetrator of his right to keep and bear arms, because it is only a misdemeanor in North Carolina.

Until recently, the right to keep and bear arms was lost permanently under State law for conviction of any felony. That ban was so obviously inconsistent with the United States Constitution that North Carolina's Supreme Court chose to ignore and side step the issue. .It by--passed the obvious 800 pound gorilla in the room by addressed Second Amendment cases as if they were something else. They found ways to side step strict scrutiny of the State's unconstitutional laws. Perhaps wary of the Court's patience, the Legislature enacted new laws which can restore one's right to keep and bear arms upon proper petition twenty years after he or she successfully completed all terms of the sentence, probation, and parole. Hopefully, in the meantiime, such people will not have a need to defend themselves or loved one's from people who are committing violent crimes against them.

At the Dawson Law Firm, we believe our State Courts are wrong. Mr. Dawson believes the dissenting Opinion of the Honorable Beverly Lake in State vs. Dawson (no relation) was correct. The United States Supreme Court is in accord with Justice lake's opinion. It recognizedin 2008 that the right to keep and bear arms is an inalienable right protected by the Federal Constitution in District of Columbia v. Heller, ___ U.S. ___, 128 S.Ct. 2783 (2008). More recently, it ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment prohibited States from infringing upon the right. McDonald v. City of Chicago, ___ U.S. ___, 130 S.Ct. 3020 (2010). That should include the Tarheel State. However, until our Courts follow those rulings, North Carolinians have no Second Amendment rights.

Not many attorneys understand how North Carolina laws violate the our rights to keep and bear arms.  Most don't understand it is indistinguishable from the right of self-defense. Whenever there is a Second Amendment issue, it's important to retain someone who will fight for fundamental rights.  Mr. Dawson will defend your Second Amendment right in any Court in North Carolina.

534 East King Street * King, N.C. 27021

Fax 1-888-448-3901
Fax 336-983-3923

North Carolina believes a government
has authority to disarm its citizens.

Much attention has been focused on a citizen's right to keep and bear arms. The United States Supreme Court recently recognized it is an individual liberty protected by the Second Amendment. However, not much is said of the right of self defense. The Bills of Rights is not an exclusive list of protected rights. Others, such as the Right of Self Defense, are protected by the Ninth Amendment: Few people would argue that the inalienable right to life does not include the right to defend it. Many State Constitutions specifically protect an individual's right of self defense. North Carolina's Consitution is not one of them. Currentl;y, North Carolina is a "Gun Control" State. The State's legislature is allowed by its judicary to regulate the possession of firearms with no more scrutiny than is afforded speed limit laws, or sound control ordinances.

The Dawson Law Firm, PC

534 East King Street * King, N.C. 27021
Phone 336-983-3192 * Fax 336-983-3923
Toll Free Phone 1-888-433-1169  *  Fax 1-888-448-3901