Judge Orders NC County to Issue Pistol Permits During Coronavirus Crisis

A shop attendant holds a pistol at a guns shop in Naples, southern Italy, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006. Provoking protests, Italian lawmakers Tuesday approved a self-defense bill allowing citizens to use guns and other weapons to protect their property at home or at work as well as to save their …
AP/Salvatore Laporta

Superior Court Judge A. Graham Shirley ruled March 31, 2020, that North Carolina’s Wake County Sheriff’s Office must accept and process applications for pistol purchase permits during the coronavirus crisis.

Shirley’s ruling came after a lawsuit was filed last week by the Second Amendment Foundation and Grassroots North Carolina. That suit claimed the Wake County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Gerald Baker were “[nullifying] the right to keep and bear arms” by refusing to accept pistol purchase permit applications while North Carolina was in a state of emergency.

On March 31, 2020, Judge Shirley issued a ruling: “It is hereby ORDERED that the Wake County Sheriff’s Office and Gerald Baker resume accepting and processing applications for pistol purchase permits consistent with Chapter 14, Article 52A of the North Carolina General Statues and this order.”

Judge Shirley made clear that Sheriff Baker plans to implement certain changes to streamline the application process while the state of North Carolina is under a coronavirus state of emergency. Shirley allowed Baker “a reasonable period of time” to make these changes, noting that the time is “not to exceed seven days.”

Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb commented on Judge Shirley’s ruling, saying, “This is about winning firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

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