Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker

Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker (Courtesy North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association)

The declaration of a pandemic was just what the anti-gun doctor ordered earlier this year, giving jurisdictions around the country a ready-made excuse to slow down their process of allowing citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights. A number of states — the usual suspects — either shut down their background check system, their permitting process or generally slow-walked applications.

They blamed it on record volume, staff shortages, a concern for state employees and/or social distancing requirements.

Whatever the ostensible cause, these hoplohobic officials did what they could to cut off or greatly extend the time it takes to secure government permission to own, buy or carry firearms, thus depriving citizens from their Second Amendment rights.

The obviously obstructionist activity prompted a number of lawsuits; more than a dozen in Illinois, another in Connecticut, one in New Jersey, another in Philadelphia….

In July, a group called Grass Roots North Carolina filed a lawsuit against Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker. It was the third time they’d sued the Sheriff since he shut down pistol and concealed carry permitting process for a month at the beginning of the pandemic. This suit was brought over the Sheriff’s failure to comply with the state’s statutory 14-day time limit for processing pistol permit applications.

As part of the judge’s order on the first lawsuit, Baker “agreed to modify the application process so as to minimize or alleviate the admission of applicants for said permits to the Public Safety Center during the term of the current declared states of emergency and to resume processing applications in as timely a fashion as possible under the current conditions.”

But Grass Roots N.C., in a news release Monday, Aug. 3, says Baker “may be thumbing his nose at the law: Despite a consent decree requiring him to issue handgun permits, Baker appears to be dragging his feet in order to issue the minimum possible number of permits, clearly defying the decree.”

That’s a clear infringement of an enumerated civil right. It appears the deluge of lawsuits may have finally made an impression on Sheriff Baker. This from newsobserver.com:

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday it will once again process pistol permit applications within 14 days.

During an unprecedented increase in applications, people have had to wait for permits for up to 70 days.

It’s bad enough that citizens in most states are required to ask for permission to carry a firearm, a right that’s covered by the very plain language of the Second Amendment. Worse still is the requirement that a law-abiding individual obtain a government permission slip just to own a handgun (or any other type of firearm).

Whenever these decisions are left up to government officials, they’re open to manipulation and abuse by those who would prefer that the only people allowed to own or carry a firearm wear a uniform. It’s good to see Grass Roots Carolina’s lawsuits pushing Sheriff Baker to once again comply with state law. We’ll now have to see if he actually gets his department back in compliance or continues his obstructionism.

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