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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.


  1. 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

    1. 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.

  2. 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

    1. 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.

      1. 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!

    2. 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!

  3. I happen to live in a state that’s right up there among the worst (MA). The 2A, here, was reduced to a seldom granted, government issued “privilege” decades ago. One has to grovel at the feet of their local police chief, attempting to appear as a “suitable person”, to hold a license as the law reads. The chief can just say “nope” and that’s it. No license. No means to keep ANY type of firearm. Not even in your own home. There’s a gray area regarding black powder arms, but it’s yet to be challenged in court. In the meantime, you can have one in your house, but don’t you dare try to carry it anywhere!
    When the CHINA virus hit, our rabidly anti-gun woman (?) AG talked our spineless RINO governor into declaring gun stores and ranges closed as “non-essential”. Despite federal guidelines to the contrary. It took months of expensive litigation, but we got a federal judge to overturn the mandate. I would have loved to have seen the AG pounding her fists on her desk when she lost.
    We are not the only state where the 2A no longer exists. As the author stated, there are ten.
    If you live in a state where the 2A still exists, be thankful but vigilant. If not, get active and work to change it. You don’t have to tell me that that’s difficult. We gunowners here live it.
    The DemoRATS want to institute CA/MA style gun laws nation wide. We can’t let it happen.
    Oh and one more thing. The police chief can revoke your “license” at any time for any reason. No recourse. If it happens, you can never get any type of firearm license, anywhere in the state, EVER again.

  4. What does the Sheriff of these North Carolina cities have to do with buying a gun from an FFL licensed dealer? In my State of Ohio, i go into a gun dealer, pick out what firearm i want, give them my Concealed Carry License, or fill out the 4473, and in minutes, i will be able to purchase the firearm or i’m declined. If there is a backup at the FBI center NCIS and a waiting period is three days’ i can have the firearm. It doesn’t matter if i have a Concealed Carry License or not, but to carry concealed you have to have the licence.

  5. Democrats are politicizing Covid19 to try to accumulate all the political power that they possibly can. They are absolutely ruthless to completely control this Country.


  7. There should be no gun laws upon citizens that have no felonies and disorderly conduct of any kind is not a premise to remove any rights!

  8. Only way to fix this demorat problem is replace them all and start over! Soros/Obama Pelosi/Schumer/Nadler and Adam shit need to go to Gitmo permanently! Top 40 from CIA/FBI/ and Doj need replaced! Anyone in goverment appointed by Obama including judges need replaced! Then you would have a start on the problem and things would get back to normal without all the chaos! Nothing but non sense in goverment ever since Obama has voted/cheated in! All this racism crap being discussed today and back where we was 50 years ago created by Obama! People cant do anything anymore without stepping on some panseys toes! Crazy talk about logos/mascots/ toys and names being offensive!! Grow up!! Quit being so stupid! Non of this is offensive to anyone! Deal with it! I had a pansy vendor today online acusing me of yelling at him online in a text for asking them to check quality of a part! After 3 days asking what’s yelling! he said your using exclamation Mark’s in your sentance your yelling at me!! Gees I’ve heard of all now! A California twit! I always use them and will continue! Exclamation Mark’s arent yelling at you! What’s wrong with people!? They should ship these people to a 3rd rate country for a year and see And live in the real world! Soros depends on this level of stupidity to brainwash Americans and it’s what he has demorats doing daily for 12 years! Keep up all this stupidity and we wont have america! We need no non sense guys in goverement more like Trump to get back to some normalcy in america! Your not getting it with Obama Biden Harris train! Amazing how quite the news in on everything the cortupt Biden puppet is doing but yet picked Trump apart! America is falling apart people and demorats need to be stopped! Fake news needs to be stopped! Corruption needs to go!

  9. The 2nd amendment CLEARLY STATES, a “militia” is the ONLY ENTITY TO BE REGULATED, while emphatically stating, that THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE, IS TO “NEVER BE REGULATED,” which is the word used in every dictionary to define the word INFRINGED!!!

    1. It really doesn’t matter what the 2nd Amendment states, because, Nowhere in the Constitution does it give Congress or the Executive Branch the authority to abridge, restrict, or infringe on guns, ammunition, etc.. ALL restrictive laws made by Congress, and ALL regulations made by (ATF), are unconstitutional. Restriction of arms and ammunition is not one of the “enumerated powers” delegated to Congress or the Executive Branch.

  10. The most devious way they are trying to institute is to make it a mental issue to be classified as a racist therefore allowing them to prevent the person from purchasing or owning a firearm allowing them to confiscate your firearms but of course their belief that no black is a racist exempts them from such an action, and does not go to the issue that the majority of firearm deaths are among blacks.

  11. Like I’ve said many times you are not free if you hav to have a lic. or permet for any thimg. That is if it is covered by the second amendment

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