North Carolina: Stop Purchase Permit Obstructionism
Article first appeared at Ammo Land.
Raleigh, NC -(Ammoland.com)- The Problem
Among GRNC’s legislative victories, passage of HB 562 last year removed obstacles to applying for concealed handgun permits and pistol purchase permits, as well as expanding concealed carry.
However, either by intention or by “accident” (more on that below), a measure slipped into the bill now requires sheriffs to collect a new, notarized medical release form for all purchase permit applications which must be sent to the Clerk of Court to determine that the applicant had not been involuntarily committed.
As a result, clerks of court say they don’t have the resources to research old records, many of which are not computerized. Meanwhile, sheriffs are ignoring the legal requirement to issue purchase permits within 14 calendar days, claiming it’s better to be safe than sorry by ensuring applicants are qualified. Problems have been reported in most urban counties, but seem to be particularly acute in Mecklenburg, where purchase permit applications can take months to be processed. (Reports from Mecklenburg suggest the Clerk’s obstructionism might be more political than logistical.)
At issue are old records in which involuntary commitments are recorded on microfiche rather than digitally. Although those who shepherded efforts to standardize purchase permits in HB 562 now say the new form was an “accident” from bill drafting (as opposed to deliberate malfeasance from the NC Sheriffs’ Association), a representative from Speaker Tim Moore’s (R-Cleveland) office refused to support eliminating the form, citing potential fallout if an unqualified applicant slipped through the cracks and misused a gun.
Although Representative Allen McNeill (R-Moore, Randolph) has added a provision to the House budget bill giving the Administrative Office of the Courts $250,000 to computerize old records, his proposal doesn’t guarantee sheriffs and/or clerks of court won’t continue to obstruct permits. Moreover, purchase permit applicants would still have to make an extra trip to the sheriff’s office to get medical waiver forms notarized.
What GRNC proposes: The Director of the NC Administrative Office of the Courts, Judge Marion Warren, says that, with funding, he can computerize the old records by the end of 2016, at which point the problematic form becomes unnecessary and redundant, since sheriffs will be able to instantly check old records. Therefore, GRNC proposes that the form “sunset” (as in “cease to exist”) once records are computerized. Doing so should satisfy the concerns of both Speaker Moore and the NC Sheriffs’ Association. In fact, it would be reasonable to deduce that any entity which opposes the GRNC compromise is doing so for reasons entirely unrelated to “keeping guns out of the wrong hands.”
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!
Contact Speaker Tim Moore and tell him that you support the measures being suggested by GRNC to remove the administrative burdens that obstruct the issuance of pistol purchase permits. We suggest calling his office at 919-733-3451 or emailing him at [email protected] and delivering the following message.
DELIVER THIS MESSAGE
Dear Speaker Moore:
I am writing to you to express my support for the proposal by Grass Roots North Carolina to sunset the old medical release form that is currently required for the issuance of a Pistol Purchase Permit once older records are computerized.
Representative McNeill’s house budget bill provision allocates $250,000 to the Administrative Office of the Courts to computerize their old involuntary commitment records. This will obviate the need for the old form, since the Sheriffs’ staff would be able to search the records themselves.
I will continue to monitor this situation through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.
As you know, GRNC is an all volunteer force. As such, we are looking for volunteers in a couple of areas:
- Experience in web development to include HTML, CSS & Java Scripting. If interested, contact GRNC President using the following contact form: http://www.grnc.org/contact
- Solid writing skills, ability to translate legal, political, technical and firearms jargon into layman’s terms and make the public care about the issue. Ability to manipulate HTML style emails on the code level is a nice to have. If interested, please contact GRNC using this e-mail address: [email protected]
If you have these skills, you can help the Second Amendment fight by enhancing and expanding GRNC’s presence, ensuring our message is received broadly in these modern times.
Don’t let your talents go to waste, as you could be the difference between gun-rights advancements and gun-rights losses.
Be the person who says, “I did something!” Instead of the person who says, “I should have done something.”
About Grass Roots North Carolina:
Grass Roots North Carolina is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to preserving the freedoms guaranteed us by the Bill of Rights. Our main focus is the right to keep and bear arms. GRNC was central to drafting and passing North Carolina’s concealed handgun law and since that time has continued to push for improvements to gun laws.