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Second Amendment watchdogs have long cautioned that gun permitting processes easily can be exploited as backdoor gun control. As we know, when it comes banning guns, liberal government bureaucrats never lack the will, only the way. For these petty tyrants, COVID-19 has been something of a godsend. Not only were there suddenly multiple new ways to go after the Second Amendments, but they had a “scientific” excuse.


One layer of bureaucratic meddling that has become particularly troublesome during COVID is pistol purchase permitting schemes, as currently are in place in Washington, D.C., and 10 states. A pistol purchase permit is exactly what it sounds like; a requirement that you must have permission from the government each time you want to exercise the most basic component of the Second Amendment: purchasing a firearm. These permits add time and money to a process that should be nothing more than a simple exchange of information between two law-abiding adults. For some, however, it provides a way for sneaky government officials to shut down the Second Amendment under the cover of bureaucratic inefficiencies. 

Take Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, formerly a conservative, pro-Second Amendment county with Charlotte as its major metropolitan area.

At one point last September, the Sheriff’s Office in Mecklenburg County was more than 11,000 gun purchase permit applications behind after being flooded in a single day with more applications than it normally sees over the course of months prior to COVID. Other North Carolina counties experienced similar spikes in permit applications (even as countless cities and counties across the country saw increased firearms purchases all last year). 

Regardless, and irrespective of how many applications have been made, North Carolina state law requires that county sheriffs notify applicants of whether a permit has been granted or denied within 14 days. In violation of that legal mandate, however, permits that are supposed to take no more than two weeks to conclude are now stretching into months. 

In Wake County, also in North Carolina, the Sheriff’s Office has been sued multiple times by a local Second Amendment organization trying to compel it to abide by the law. Yet, as multiple lawsuits suggest, these are often and at best limited and temporary victories. Sheriffs excuse their abysmal performance by citing both COVID limitations and the surge of gun purchases following months of violent unrest last summer and political unrest accompanying the presidential contest. 

Events in 2020 certainly and understandably made the permitting process more complicated; however, there is no COVID exception to the Second Amendment (or to North Carolina law, for that matter).

Facing such intransigence by the chief law enforcement officials in various counties as the chokepoint for being able to exercise Second Amendment rights, what remedy does the citizenry have — allocate more funding, hire more staff, process more applications. Do whatever it takes to meet the legal requirements to which these officials are beholden, or else strike from the books laws that should have never been put there in the first place. 

Today, it is COVID. What comes next? What is to stop these bureaucratic processes from becoming a pocket veto for citizens’ Second Amendment rights? This is accomplished already in many jurisdictions by way of requirements to show “cause” in order to obtain carry permits. Washington, D.C. denied 77 percent of its concealed carry applications prior to a court ruling forbidding it to use the vague “cause” standard for permit issuance. But how much easier is it to simply not process permits in the first place? 

That this disturbing trend continues to occur in North Carolina is concerning. If it can happen in the South, historically far friendlier to the Second Amendment than other parts of the country, what else is possible now that COVID has shown bureaucrats just how far government power can be stretched without any real consequence?

These permitting bottlenecks as in the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s department also raises an increasingly uncomfortable issue on the Right: The growing rift between Second Amendment activists, and a group they have traditionally viewed as a natural ally – law enforcement. In my article next week, I will outline why gun control puts conservatives and police in many respects at odds with one another. 

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s. He now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as head of Liberty Guard.



Bob Barr represented Georgia's Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s.

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Dan Tyree
Dan Tyree
1 year ago

There’s no permit mentioned in the 2nd amendment. We don’t need licenses or permits to use the other amendments in the bill of rights. It’s time to put a stop to that bullshit

Charles King
Charles King
1 year ago
Reply to  Dan Tyree

agree

Paul and Nancy (Mr. & Mrs. ) Oestreich
Paul and Nancy (Mr. & Mrs. ) Oestreich
1 year ago
Reply to  Charles King

Agree

David Baker
David Baker
1 year ago
Reply to  Dan Tyree

Everything’a a process. If you give liberals an inch, they’ll take a light year. Once those people taste the blood of tyranny and unbridled power, they’ll swarm in like sharks on a whale carcass.

Chainlink700rt
Chainlink700rt
1 year ago

To make citizens obtain a firearm permit or registration Is ridiculous.
Law abiding citizens should not be treated like, a crime is about to be committed.
That’s what it sounds like. When you get a registration or permit it’s like YEP, he owns a gun.
We better watch this guy, or girl they own the diner down the street, oh don’t forget the supermarket manager he got his permit last week.
You figure the percentage of gun sales are for self defense is…..what like 98% citizens and 2% criminals

David Baker
David Baker
1 year ago
Reply to  Chainlink700rt

Apparently, the Supreme Court thought otherwise. The liberal argument stems from their notion that unarmed citizens won’t kill each other, particularly by mass shootings. (You may have noticed the proliferation of those mass shootings during Odumbo’s regime. How fortuitous…) Funny thing is, they’re releasing tens of thousands of hardened criminals from prisons, and I’ll bet a package of Ho Hos that they’ll resume their former professions, and they’ll have guns for that purpose. Nanny State ninnies are not renowned for their logic. Indeed they’re imbued with the ideology that only solutions cooked up in their Star Chambers to make our world better will suffice during their rein.

David Baker
David Baker
1 year ago
Reply to  David Baker

Oops. Reign.

Elmo
Elmo
1 year ago
Reply to  David Baker

They already have, now, the liberals say that if 4 people are killed in one shooting spree, it is concidered a mass shooting! Not 10 or 20, 4!

Scotty
Scotty
1 year ago
Reply to  Elmo

It is SO much easier to kill unarmed people.

Elmo
Elmo
1 year ago
Reply to  Chainlink700rt

The form 4473 is for the FBI, NICS system to record you having purchased the firearm! It is a matter of record, even a fired case of the weapon, the serial number if recorded. If, say, you sell it to a friend, who you deem trustworthy, and it is stolen, lost, or whatever, and someone commits a crime with the gun and it is found, the serial number is still in your name, the Police or FBI, will be at your door in 15 minutes!

Scotty
Scotty
1 year ago
Reply to  Elmo

Register criminals not guns.

David Baker
David Baker
1 year ago

“Free State” is in there somewhere. “Militia”, too….