GOA, GRNC Prepare Legal Action Against NC County for Closure of Gun Stores; GOA Underscores the Duty of Sheriff to Issue Gun Permits

March 30, 2020
For immediate release

GOA, GRNC Prepare Legal Action Against NC County for Closure of Gun Stores; GOA Underscores the Duty of Sheriff to Issue Gun Permits

Springfield, VA – Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) issued a letter to the Wake County North Carolina Board of Commissioners advising the board of legal action against the county’s “Proclamation of Emergency Restrictions” which required the closing of gun stores and shooting ranges.

The letter, cosigned by GOA’s Erich Pratt and GRNC’s F. Paul Valone stated: “Our members and supporters in Wake County have been extremely concerned about your Proclamation of Emergency Restrictions, which you interpreted to require the closing of gun stores… GRNC and GOA are in the process of preparing litigation to challenge your action on several bases.”

Wake County’s order is inconsistent with the Department of Homeland Security’s guidance, which deems the firearm industry as essential … state law which preserves the right to keep and bear arms in times of emergencies … and is even inconsistent with Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D) “stay-at-home” order, which allows gun stores that practice social distancing to remain open. The letter can be viewed here.

In a separate, strongly-worded letter, GOA also insisted that the county’s sheriff, Gerald M. Baker, must continue issuing pistol purchase permits and carry permits, as required by law. The letter, jointly written by GOA’s Senior Vice President Erich Pratt and North Carolina Director Andy Stevens, stated:

“In reality, your decision to stop accepting permit applications cannot be justified … you have no authority to suspend the right to ‘bear arms’ as expressly protected by both the federal and state constitutions.

“By refusing to accept applications for both types of documents, your office has made it impossible for many of your constituents to obtain handguns lawfully, and prohibits others from obtaining permits so they may legally carry their handguns for self-defense.

“What’s more, as a constitutional officer, you swore an oath to ‘support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United States, and the Constitution and laws of North Carolina not inconsistent therewith….’ First and foremost, you owe a duty to your constituents to protect their constitutional rights, and to enable them to obtain the state licenses necessary to acquire and bear arms in public.  Second, you have a duty to uphold North Carolina law which, in turn, requires you to process and issue licenses to carry.

“We urge you to consider such alternatives, rather than the drastic, unlawful, and unconstitutional steps you have taken, which denies your constituents the ability to exercise an inherent right recognized in state and federal constitutions.”

The letter can be viewed here.

Erich Pratt, Andy Stevens or another GOA spokesperson, is available for interviews. Gun Owners of America is a nonprofit grassroots lobbying organization dedicated to protecting the right to keep and bear arms without compromise. GOA represents over two million members and activists. For more information, visit GOA’s Press Center.

— GOA —