Following recent riots and looting, NC House takes steps to uphold law and order
After the riots and looting that devastated many North Carolina downtowns last year, the Republican-led North Carolina House made it a priority this legislative session to uphold law and order and ensure public safety. From increasing penalties to strengthening laws, the state House has worked hard to crack down on rioting and defend the rule of law. House Republicans remain committed to ensuring the safety of the public and protecting those who serve in law enforcement.
Here is a full breakdown of the bills approved so far this session:
✓ Increase Penalties for Rioting (House Bill 805)
House Bill 805 seeks to deter future civil unrest through multiple avenues. The legislation would significantly increase penalties for inciting a riot that leads to death, engaging in riots, and engaging in riots that lead to the physical injury of a first responder. Individuals whose person or property are damaged in a riot would be able to recover treble damages, court costs, and attorneys’ fees.
✓ Increase Penalties for Breaking Into Police Vehicles (House Bill 761)
House Bill 761 increases the penalty for committing larceny from a law enforcement vehicle when that person knows, or reasonably should know, that the vehicle was a law enforcement vehicle, and the property was law enforcement equipment.
✓ New Penalty to Threaten Law Enforcement Officers (House Bill 418)
House Bill 418 creates new offenses for knowingly and willfully threatening to inflict serious bodily injury or kill an officer because of the exercise of the officer's duties. Officer would be defined as any law enforcement officer, probation officer, parole officer, or person who is employed at a detention facility operated under the jurisdiction of the state or a local government.
✓ Increase Punishment for Discharging Firearm at Emergency Vehicle (House Bill 36)
House Bill 36 increases the punishment for discharging or attempting to discharge a firearm at or into an unoccupied emergency vehicle. It also Increases the punishment for pointing a laser device at a law enforcement officer or other emergency personnel when the person or animal is in performance of his or her duties.
✓ Increase Punishment for Defacing Personal Property (House Bill 743)
House Bill 743 increases the punishment for altering, destroying, or defacing identification marks from personal property.
✓ Allow Citizens to Sue Over ‘Sanctuary City’ Policies (House Bill 62)
House Bill 62 allows citizens to sue cities and counties that adopt sanctuary policies, ordinances, or procedures in violation of state law. These individuals could sue without alleging or proving any special damage different from the public at large. These actions must be scheduled for immediate hearing, with subsequent proceedings given priority in trial and appellate courts. In the event of a successful claim, the court may allow the plaintiff to recover its reasonable attorneys' fees. However, attorneys' fees cannot be awarded to the plaintiff if the court finds the county or city acted in reasonable reliance on a judgment or an order entered in a case to which the county or city is a party.
✓ Strengthen Penalties Against Sexual Exploitation of a Minor (House Bill 598)
House Bill 598 requires that any defendant who viewed child pornography and was convicted of first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor must be ordered to make restitution. The court must determine the "full amount of the victim's losses" for costs incurred as a proximate result of the offense.
✓ Increase Penalties for Impersonating People Online (House Bill 341)
House Bill 341 makes it a Class H felony for a person to knowingly and without consent impersonate another person on a website or through other electronic means for the purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person, including the misrepresented person. It would also create a civil action for a misrepresented person or other person harmed, intimidated, threatened, or defrauded by an imposter.
✓ Improve Cell Data Access for Police Investigations (House Bill 213)
House Bill 213 (Kelsey Smith Act) requires a wireless service provider to make call location data available to law enforcement in certain emergency circumstances. The request must be made by the highest-ranking person on duty for the law enforcement agency and is limited to only the amount of data reasonably necessary to prevent the imminent death or serious physical harm.
✓ Prohibit State Agencies from Paying Ransom to Hackers (House Bill 813)
House Bill 813 prohibits state agencies or local government entities from submitting payments or communicating with an entity that has engaged in a cybersecurity incident that involves data decryption in exchange for a ransom, and would require state agencies or local government entities experiencing a ransom request in connection with a cybersecurity incident to consult with the Department of Information Technology.
✓ Require DNA for Various Charges (House Bill 674)
House Bill 674 would require a DNA sample be obtained from any individual arrested for assault and domestic violence offenses
✓ Cracking Down on Credit Card Skimming Devices (House Bill 238)
House Bill 238 adds the definition of a skimming device to the Financial Transaction Card Crime Act and makes the possession, sale, or delivery of a skimming device a Class I felony.
✓ Close Loopholes to End Predatory Debt Settlement Practices (House Bill 76)
House Bill 76 recodifies the prohibition against predatory debt settlement practices.