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NORTH CAROLINA COURT: Sheriff Must Pay Damages for Delaying Pistol Permits

By: Teresa Mull

North Carolinians whose Second Amendment rights were denied through lengthy delays during the COVID-19 outbreak will be receiving some compensation.

Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) and the Second Amendment Foundation joined forces with the Firearms Policy Coalition in April 2020 to sue Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden “after Baker’s office announced that his office was suspending pistol purchase permits through April 30,” reported the North Star Journal.

To purchase a handgun in North Carolina, the buyer must first obtain a permit to do so from his or her local sheriff. To carry concealed, a license is also required.

“…[T]he delays in Mecklenburg County have resulted in a months-long waiting period for legal gun buyers, even though state law requires Sheriff Garry McFadden to process pistol purchase permits within 15 days and gives him 45 days to approve or deny concealed carry licenses,” BearingArms.com reported at the time.

McFadden’s office fell seven months behind, and in some cases, “residents [were] facing an additional four month wait to simply apply for a carry license or pistol purchase permit,” according to Bearing Arms.

McFadden’s excuse was that his office was seeing an unprecedented number of permit and license applications.

Last week, however, a U.S. District Court ruled in Stafford v. Baker that the Wake County Sheriff’s Office must pay “$1,300 to the plaintiffs and $25,000 in attorney fees,” reports the North State Journal.

GRNC says this is just the beginning, and the organization plans to filed “a series of lawsuits designed to extract compliance with recalcitrant sheriffs.”

Teresa Mull (teresa@gunpowdermagazine.com) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.

 
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