RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker announced Tuesday the temporary suspension of pistol purchase permits through April 30.
The announcement does not affect residents who possess concealed carry renewal permits.
“This decision does not limit anyone’s right to purchase a handgun,” said Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker. “Over the past several weeks, our staff has been inundated with high volumes of permit applications that has made it impossible to process by law. This decision is not a violation of anyone’s Second Amendment Rights. Most importantly, this action will limit persons encountering one another during this time of State of Emergency, consistent with Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Orders and that of Wake County Commissioner Greg Ford.”
Baker also said North Carolina General Statutes 14-403 and 404 only requires the sheriff to issue a permit to purchase a firearm but sets no timeframe for when applications must be taken by the sheriff’s office.
Once the applications are received, the sheriff has 14 days to inform an applicant whether the permit will be granted or denied, according to a release.
There are currently 755 applications pending. Part of the process requires that a background check be made of the applicant.
This is conducted by the Wake County Clerk of Courts. Officials say they currently do not have enough staff to keep up with the volume of applicants received by the sheriff’s office to statutorily meet the 14-day requirement.
“With 290 people coming into the permits office per day, the Sheriff’s Office would not be able to meet the 14-day requirement,” added Baker.
The suspension will allow staff and the Wake County Clerk of Courts to process the backlog of pending applications.