Sheriff of Meck: Fingerprinting for gun licenses now first-come, first-served after judge’s order
CHARLOTTE — New rules are now in place to allow people to get a firearms license faster in Mecklenburg County.
It comes after gun rights advocates sued the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, saying people faced lengthy delays when trying to get handgun licenses from the office. of the sheriff. Some said they had been waiting for months to get their fingerprints.
“Defendant McFadden’s custom, policy, and practice of refusing to issue timely pistol purchase permits and concealed handgun permits ‘…violates the…” Constitution of North Carolina because the sheriff’s actions infringe on the ‘people’s’ right to keep and bear arms, rights which ‘shall not be infringed’,” according to the lawsuit.
In May, a Superior Court judge granted a preliminary injunction in response to the August 2021 trial.
In response to the decision, the sheriff’s office canceled all previously scheduled fingerprinting appointments for 1,300 current customers waiting to obtain firearms licenses. He then said he was providing firearms license fingerprinting services on a first-come, first-served basis to comply with a judge’s order.
Now a judge is demanding that the sheriff’s office take fingerprints the same day a concealed handgun application is submitted. This is a big change from the temporary order, which required fingerprints to be available within five days of filing an application.
Under the order, applications for concealed handgun permits are supposed to be issued or denied within 45 days and 14 days for pistol purchase permits, according to North Carolina state law. North.
[WANT TO WATCH ON OUR STREAMING APPS? CLICK HERE]
In May, the Sheriff’s Office changed fingerprinting services to a first-come, first-served basis from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On the first day of the changes in May, Channel 9’s Genevieve Curtis saw several people already queuing at the sheriff’s office. One man said he applied in March and didn’t even get an appointment date.
“I know in some states it’s a little faster, but I live in North Carolina. What am I going to do? So I just applied when I finished the course in March and waited patiently,” said Michael Diaz.
Caroline Thomas took a concealed carry course earlier this year. She was also online that morning.
In February, she submitted an application for a concealed carry permit, which included fingerprinting. The fingerprinting appointment was scheduled for June.
“I was a little disappointed,” she said.
The sheriff’s office also said it has never failed to request mental health records within the required 10 days of a completed firearms license application.
“While disappointed with this new requirement to provide fingerprints to CHP applicants within five days of a request, and the inconvenience this will cause for so many of our customers, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office will continue to serve our customers as best we can. the sheriff’s office said in a news release in May.
Full statement from Sheriff Garry McFadden on June 10 regarding the new consent order:
“I am very pleased to have resolved the dispute authorizing the handguns for the grand total of $7.00 (one dollar per claimant), and the promise to continue to meet all statutory time limits for processing claims. permit applications, because frankly, that would be my commitment regardless of any litigation.The perfect storm of a global pandemic and a staffing crisis, combined with an unprecedented number of permit applications, presented a significant challenge to our office. I regret that as a result, for some time we were not able to process handgun permits as efficiently as we would have liked. I would like to thank again the incredible staff from the Licensing and Registration Division for their tremendous efforts during this crisis and for staying open as many other counties closed. e this year, and I am convinced that we will remain so. »
Statement from Grass Roots North Carolina President Paul Valone in May, one of the plaintiffs in the injunction:
“In violation of North Carolina law, Sheriff Garry McFadden dragged his feet in processing North Carolina pistol purchase permits and concealed handgun permits, often taking up to a year to issue permits and prevent legitimate North Carolinas from buying and carrying handguns in defense of themselves and their families.
“We believe this order sends a clear message to Sheriffs in Guilford, Mecklenburg and Wake counties, among others, that preventing lawful citizens from exercising the right to own and bear arms will no longer be tolerated. To ensure compliance from a sheriff who has so far dragged his feet, Grass Roots North Carolina advises anyone whose fingerprints are not taken within five business days of filing a weapons application to concealed fist to contact us immediately.
“The GRNC thanks attorney Ron Shook for volunteering his time to argue this case for our members. Ron is one of our pro-gun attorneys and helps people across the state fight for their Second Amendment rights. Ron’s contact information can be found on our website under the “gun friendly lawyers” tab.
(WATCH BELOW: Sheriff’s office faces lawsuit as gun license applicants await approval)
©2022 Cox Media Group