Senator Dan Bishop Introduces Bill to Protect Former Government Officers from Political Violence

Bill Would Also Give Former NC Governors Limited Access to Physical Security

Charlotte, NC (March 9, 2017) -- State Senator Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg) issued the following statement today on introduction of SB 229, titled "Protection of Former Government Officer."

"In January, part of the crowd protesting and rioting in Washington, D.C. during the presidential inaugural spotted former Gov. McCrory on the street without security, confronted him with chanting, pursued him down an alley as he tried to leave the scene and ultimately pinned him against locked building doors until police arrived and dispersed the crowd. Other protests in the area that day involved violence and property damage. More than 200 protestors were arrested and six officers injured, according to media reports.

"At the time, I said that the incident caused me concern given the former governor’s lack of security and exposure to potential harm and that I would introduce appropriate legislation to address the issue. In subsequent weeks, additional protest riots inflicting property damage and personal injuries have occurred elsewhere, including the campuses of Berkeley and Middlebury.

"In response to these events, I introduced Senate Bill 229 today to make appropriate amendments to state law. Article 5A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes, enacted in 1981 (shortly after the attempted assassination of President Reagan), makes it a felony to assault or threaten legislative, executive, and judicial officials of the State in retaliation for the exercise of official duties. From its enactment, this statute has applied to officials in office and officers-elect.

"SB 229 will modestly extend the coverage of the existing statute to former officials for one year after leaving office. The bill also makes available occasional personal security for the immediate-past Governor of North Carolina, upon request, for one year after leaving office.

"This extension of an existing, well-structured law is a prudent step to deter and prevent harm from the targeting of former officials as they transition back to private life."