RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Another lawsuit has been filed against Wake County and Sheriff Gerald Baker over gun permits.
Grass Roots North Carolina, a gun rights group, said Wake County and Baker are breaking the law by not issuing gun permits within 14 days.
“Sheriff Baker knows the state specified 14 days for processing those permits and now it’s routinely taking two months,” said Marc Erickson with Grass Roots North Carolina.
Erickson said they’ve been inundated with calls from people frustrated with the amount of time it’s taking to process permits.
“They’re not getting much information back. That’s been a problem for a lot of folks as well. They’re calling, sending emails and not getting anything back,” Kurt Lieberman said.
Lieberman owns Tar River Arms. He said a cabinet in his Wake Forest store is full of guns people have purchased. They’re just waiting on permits to be able to pick them up.
“There are some that have been there for a couple months right now. I just know there’s a long delay and so we just say ‘hey, there’s a long delay we’re happy to sell and hold’ and then you kinda have to work that out,” Lieberman explained.
Baker said there’s been a huge spike in the number of people applying for permits.
From Jan. 1 to July 24 of this year his office said 18,282 permits were approved. That’s up from just over 8,000 during the same period last year.
In a statement, Wake County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Eric Curry wrote “the Wake County Sheriff’s Office will not litigate pending legal matters in the media. However, Sheriff Baker stands by his decision to protect the health and well-being of this staff and general public during this pandemic.”
But Erickson disagrees.
“Rights delayed are rights denied and that’s what he’s doing right now,” Erickson said.
If the case sounds familiar that’s because it is. Back in March, Baker said he would temporarily suspend gun permitting. A lawsuit followed and the sheriff agreed to modify the process during the state of emergency.
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