State v. Carey, ___ N.C. ___, ___ S.E.2d ___ (Feb. 28, 2020)

In this impersonating a law enforcement officer and possession of a weapon of mass death and destruction case, the Court of Appeals erred by concluding that “flash bang” grenades did not constitute weapons of mass death and destruction as defined in G.S. 14-288.8(c)(1).  The defendant had argued that the intended purpose of a flash bang grenade is “to merely stun, disable or disorient others.”  The Supreme Court examined the language of G.S. 14-288(c)(1), which explicitly provides that “[a]ny explosive or incendiary . . . [g]renade” is a weapon of mass death and destruction, and determined that the General Assembly did not intend to differentiate between different types of grenades for purposes of the offense.  The Court of Appeals erred by engaging in a fact-intensive examination of the extent to which any particular weapon is capable of causing mass death and destruction, and instead should have simply referred to the “straightforward list of [prohibited] weapons,” which includes any “explosive or incendiary” grenade.