Tell Holly Springs No

The Town of Holly Springs, a suburb town in Wake County, North Carolina, is considering imposing restrictions on open carry. As a reminder, open carry is a constitutional right in the state of North Carolina. That was decided by the NC Supreme Court in 1922 in the case of State v. Kerner.

The Town Council will meet on Tuesday, September 1st to consider the proposal. The Bloomberg-funded North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (sic) is pushing it and they have an alert out on it.

Grass Roots North Carolina has been following this and the previous proposal concerning concealed carry on certain town properties from the start. Unlike NCGV, they were not caught flat-footed on either proposal.

An alert from GRNC was released yesterday asking for support on this. The Town Council will not be allowing speakers from the attendees so email and calls are key.

From GRNC:

Gun Rights Supporters, We Won a Partial Victory Last Month in Holly Springs.   Now We Need Your Help to Finish the Job on Tuesday, September 1st.  The Message:   GUNS SAVE LIVES and ‘Gun Free Zones’ DO NOT! 

Last month the Mayor and Town Council of Holly Springs heard loud and clear from the community it serves that Freedom and the 2nd Amendment are alive and well.  According to the Mayor, the level of engagement by the public on this issue exceeded anything he’s ever seen in 19 and a half years of public service.  The comments were overwhelmingly in favor of tabling BOTH of the two proposed town ordinances prohibiting lawful open and concealed carry in the Town of Holly Springs. 

However, while lawful concealed carry restrictions were indeed tabled, three members of the Council chose to delay a final decision on open carry.  Two, if not three, of the five Council Members desperately want to find a way to impose open carry restrictions and, hence, the matter reappears for a vote Tuesday night, September 1st.  

NO FIREARM ZONES are killing fields.

Time and time again, history has shown us that “no firearms allowed” signs DO NOT work. The criminal and the mob are only emboldened by such ignorance on the part of politicians believing these signs work. Law enforcement authorities will arrive in a minute or two of a call? Not likely at all.  In fact, think of ten to fifteen minutes at least.  How many lives could be destroyed in that time frame? The first responders to a tragedy are the people present.  If armed, they may prevent a calamity.  If unarmed, they can run, hide, or die.

As I write this alert, the businesses in Downtown Raleigh who earlier today boarded up their shops in anticipation of violence, rioting, looting, and worse to come Friday and Saturday nights pray that the mobs roaming the streets don’t use the bricks and stones conveniently left on street corners there.  Nowhere in the video are Raleigh Police enforcing the Mayor’s hastily called curfew for tonight. The need to protect ones’ self and loved ones is never more apparent than it is today We live in lawless times where progressive “Woke” political leadership demands law enforcement step down and let havoc wreck its toll.

Despite this rampant lawlessness, Holly Springs, in Southern Wake County and mere miles away from Raleigh, will readdress OPEN CARRY restrictions at a 2nd Town Council meeting on September 1st at 7 pm.  

Please attend the council meeting and email your opposition to banning freedom. One registered “Republican” who is leaning left may join the two Michael Bloomberg robots and pass the ban.  He needs a polite wakeup call and a reminder to back away from gun bans. We need more voices!  NOTE THAT THE COUNCIL WILL NOT ALLOW PUBLIC SPEAKERS FROM THE FLOOR SO YOUR EMAILS AND CALLS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER!


Town of Holly Springs 128 S Main Street Holly Springs, NC 27540 Town Hall Phone: (919) 557-3901

Tuesday, September 1st 7 PM
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!

* ATTEND THE COUNCIL MEETING: SEPTEMBER 1st at 7 PM 
 
* EMAIL and CALL COUNCIL MEMBERS PETER VILLADSEN and SHAUN MCGRATH:

* Councilman Villadsen’s public phone number is:  919 272-8540

* Councilman McGrath’s public phone number is:  919 914-1240 

* SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT INTO THE RECORD BY ALSO E-MAILING THE TOWN CLERK, Ms. LINDA MCKINNEY

* PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO GRNC: Help us fight gun control while we promote Second Amendment principles. Please CLICK HERE to contribute. Bear in mind that GRNC is an all-volunteer organization, so you can be sure your donations are put to the best possible use. Any amount helps, and any amount is appreciated.  

* EMAIL COUNCIL MEMBERS Peter Villadsen, Shaun McGrath and Town Clerk, Ms. Linda Mckinney:   peter.villadsen@Hollyspringsnc.us; shaun.mcgrath@hollyspringsnc.us; linda.mckinney@hollyspringsnc.us  
DELIVER THIS MESSAGE

Suggested Subject:  “Do Not Endorse the Bloomberg Gun Ban Agenda”  
Dear Holly Springs Council members Villadsen and McGrath:
 
Posting a prohibition against lawful OPEN CARRY serves no purpose but to advance a gun banning agenda promoted by the left.  It will not save lives.

“NO FIREARM ZONES” are killing fields. Time and time again, history has shown us that no firearm signs DO NOT work. The criminal is only emboldened by such ignorance on our part believing these signs work.  The first responders to a tragedy are the people present.  Law Enforcement often arrives too late to do anything but merely take the report and clean up the damage done.  

What is your reason to now ban legal law-abiding residents the right to defend themselves where you feel appropriate? Is it really about safety? Is it your opinion that law enforcement will be present during an attack wherever evil might occur?  Two days after the August 18th meeting, a man was assaulted and killed on a Raleigh public greenway.  Speaking of Raleigh, have you watched the videos from Raleigh on Friday night? Do you anticipate a few bucks thrown toward your reelection campaign next year from the deep pockets of Michael Bloomberg or George Soros?  Or more ominously, do you just want to control the lives of others merely because you can?

Do you know that the emails you may have received in support of restrictions were prepared by a Michael Bloomberg funded organization “North Carolinians Against Gun Violence” and that they also demand the defunding of North Carolina Law Enforcement Agencies?  Will your next step be to defund the Holly Springs Police in accordance with their wishes?

Testimony presented at last month’s public hearing on this matter indicates this is merely political posturing presented by your left-leaning peers with no factual basis to claim any accident or incident detrimental to public health and safety in decades of responsible citizen behavior.  They want it banned merely because they want it banned.  Period. 

The reality is Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker and others unlawfully continue to deny citizens, including residents of Holly Springs, permits to purchase handguns or permits to lawfully conceal carry handguns.  OPEN CARRY remains the ONLY lawful manner some citizens possess to protect themselves and loved ones.  The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is fundamental and must be honored by those who legislate law and order among us.

The businesses in Downtown Raleigh, mere miles from Holly Springs spent Friday busily boarding up their shops in anticipation of violence, rioting, looting, and worse to come Friday and Saturday nights. A hastily called-for curfew was not enforced.  The need to protect oneself and loved ones is never more apparent than it is today. We live in lawless times where progressive “Woke” political leadership demands law enforcement step down and let havoc wreak its toll. 

As the swing vote at Tuesday’s meeting YOU, Councilman Villadsen will be responsible if the unthinkable occurs in Holly Springs and your vote prevents citizens the right to protect themselves or loved ones. Give law-abiding citizens at least a fighting chance.  Carving out “exceptions” will do the public no good unless you concurrently propose to spend considerable sums ramping up law enforcement assets and locking down the town with checkpoints, metal detectors, and random search and frisks. 

On the 18th of August, you rightly concluded banning lawful concealed carry in Holly Springs served no purpose and voted against the proposed measure. Now I ask you to vote responsibly one more time and table this equally insane idea carving out open carry exclusion zones in and around Holly Springs.

I will be monitoring your actions through Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.

Respectfully,


GRNC Lawsuit Against Sheriff Baker Makes The News

The lawsuit GRNC has brought against Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker has caught the attention of local news stations. CBS 17 News of Raleigh did a report yesterday on Moore v. Baker and interviewed Marc Erickson of GRNC. The lawsuit is over Sheriff Baker dragging his feet in the processing of pistol purchase permits. It is taking over 2 months to process them when state law only allows 14 days. Sheriff Baker is still using the tired excuse of “it’s the pandemic”.

As Marc made clear, a right delayed is a right denied. The pistol purchase permit is superfluous given the NICS System but North Carolina sheriffs claim they know people in their county better. That might be true in eastern NC’s Tyrrell County – population 4,016. It certainly is not true in Wake County population 1,111,761. Wake, by the way, has now officially surpassed Mecklenburg as the largest county by population in North Carolina.

GRNC Sues Wake County Sheriff Baker…Again

Grass Roots North Carolina is suing Wake County (NC) Sheriff Gerald Baker again for unlawful delays in issuing pistol purchase permits as well as concealed handgun permits. The suit is filed in Wake County Superior Court. GRNC is the institutional plaintiff while Wanda Kaye Moore is the lead plaintiff. The lawsuit seeks an emergency temporary restraining order preventing Sheriff Baker from causing any more delays.

The Wake County Sheriff’s Department is forcing applicants for a pistol purchase permit to make an appointment to submit their mental health release. They refuse to take it by mail or online even though state law mandates application for these permits be online.

More on this in the release from GRNC:

[Raleigh] In recent weeks, GRNC’s office has been flooded with complaints from people who want to buy handguns for protection against riots spreading across the country but are unable to do so because Sheriff Gerald Baker refuses to process pistol purchase permits within the 14 days required by law, effectively denying citizens their right to keep and bear arms.

Said Grass Roots North Carolina president Paul Valone: 

“In what is now the third lawsuit filed against Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker over his refusal to follow state law regarding issuing handgun permits, Grass Roots North Carolina intends to ensure citizens’ rights are respected. Sheriff Baker seems to think he is above the law. Grass Roots North Carolina intends to prove otherwise. Since Baker doesn’t seem to be getting the message, we will deliver it loud and clear. We are also holding Wake County responsible for its refusal to stop Baker’s continued malfeasance.”

Link to suit: https://www.grnc.org/baker_complaint 

In response to GRNC’s notice of non-compliance, sent to Baker’s counsel on July 15, attorney Nick Ellis claimed that Baker is doing an “excellent” job of processing pistol purchase permit applications, despite the fact that:

  • Baker is clearly violating G.S. §14-404(f): The statute requires sheriffs to issue or deny NC pistol purchase permits in 14 days, further stipulating that applications may only be denied or statutorily permissible reasons. In truth, applications, if they are being processed at all, are taking nearly two months
  • Baker is trying to circumvent state law by arguing that the requisite 14 day issuing period doesn’t start until his office decides to allow a citizen to come in to his office to finish the application begun online, effectively claiming the power to deny citizens’ rights indefinitely.
  • North Carolinians are being denied their rights: It is unlawful for citizens to buy handguns without either a pistol purchase permit or concealed handgun permit from their county of residence, meaning that Baker’s actions are denying citizens’ rights not only to keep and bear arms, but to protect their families at a time of national crisis when personal safety is very much in question.
  • Reports indicate the Wake County Sheriff is non-responsive: Email queries on permit applications are reportedly being ignored as phone calls to the department go unanswered. Reports also suggest that Baker has limited the number of hours during which Wake County sheriff’s employees may process applications, as department representatives have become hostile to frustrated applicants.
  • Baker may be thumbing his nose at the law: Despite a consent decree requiring him to issue handgun permits, Baker appears to be dragging his feet in order to issue the minimum possible number of permits, clearly defying the decree.
  • Wake County may be liable: Under the Supreme Court decision in Monell v. Department of Soc. Svcs., Wake County may also be liable for its refusal to stop Baker’s malfeasance. 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

HB 652 Needs Support In NC

NC House Bill 652 would expand the ability to carry in churches. I hardly need to mention that churches have been the targets of the evil and the deranged. Needless to say but North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (sic) is adamantly against this bill if the emails I’ve received are any indication.

From NCGV:

“We oppose H652. It circumvents state policy outlawing concealed carry of firearms on school grounds and would put school children at more risk of gun violence,” said NCGV Executive Director Becky Ceartas. “State law applies to both public and private school property and makes no exception for schools owned and operated by places of worship for a simple reason: it endangers school children. 

“The fact that weapons would be allowed at the place of worship with schools but not at the associated school itself on the same property practically amounts to a distinction without a difference,” Ceartas added.

According to their email they are also opposed to making it easier for EMTs to legally carry. Don’t EMT lives matter?

Grass Roots North Carolina sent out an alert on this bill yesterday evening.

We need you to call NC House and urge them to support HOUSE BILL 652
We know that having citizens carrying in churches and other gatherings have saved countless lives.
HOUSE BILL 652 will expand the ability to carry in Churches; this is why it is critical that you call NC House Republicans to bolster their support for this important piece of legislation.
New Life Church, Colorado Springs First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs West Freeway Church of Christ, White Settlement
What do all of these have in common?
They are three of the legion of examples of ordinary citizens stopping a mass murderer and saving countless lives.   Three of the millions of cases where guns have saved lives.
The left likes to pretend to be against gun violence and for ‘gun safety’.   So, they should also support this bill. [Pause for Laughter]
This is an important step for preserving liberty and true gun safety, we need you to voice your support of this life of death issue.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!
Unfortunately, we don’t live in the wondrous ‘Utopia’ of the liberty grabber left, where unicorns prance over rainbows and mass murderers are stopped by absurd rules that only disarm the innocent.
This is why you must urge NC House Republicans to support this life saving legislation.  EMAIL NC HOUSE REPUBLICANS: Tell them clearly that they need to support this important piece of legislation.
The shooting at New Life Church, First Baptist Church, and West Freeway Church of Christ prove that only a good guy or gal with a gun can stop those bent on pure evil.  Liberty free [gun free] zones only disarm the innocent when seconds count and law enforcement is minutes away.

Use the copy and paste addresses below.
PHONE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP & YOUR GOP REP: Urge them to support this important piece of legislation that will ensure our safety.


PHONE MESSAGE:

My name is ______ and I’m calling to urge you to support HOUSE BILL 652, Expanding our common sense human right of self-defense in places of worship.  The recent past has shown that mere signs or rules will not stop evil men bent on mass murder. 

Armed citizens are the only way to ensure our safety in these situations.  I expect you to live up to your principles and I urge you to support this critical piece of legislation.

CONTACT INFO  NC House:  
Dean.Arp@ncleg.net;Kristin.Baker@ncleg.net;  Lisa.Barnes@ncleg.net;John.Bell@ncleg.net;Hugh.Blackwell@ncleg.net; Jamie.Boles@ncleg.net;William.Brisson@ncleg.net;Mark.Brody@ncleg.net; Dana.Bumgardner@ncleg.net;Jerry.Carter@ncleg.net; Debra.Conrad@ncleg.net;Kevin.Corbin@ncleg.net;Ted.Davis@ncleg.net; Jimmy.Dixon@ncleg.net;Josh.Dobson@ncleg.net;Jeffrey.Elmore@ncleg.net; John.Faircloth@ncleg.net;John.Fraley@ncleg.net;Edward.Goodwin@ncleg.net; Holly.Grange@ncleg.net;Destin.Hall@ncleg.net;Kyle.Hall@ncleg.net; Bobby.Hanig@ncleg.net;Jon.Hardister@ncleg.net;Kelly.Hastings@ncleg.net; Craig.Horn@ncleg.net;Julia.Howard@ncleg.net;Chris.Humphrey@ncleg.net; Pat.Hurley@ncleg.net;Frank.Iler@ncleg.net;Steve.Jarvis@ncleg.net; Jake.Johnson@ncleg.net;Brenden.Jones@ncleg.net;Perrin.Jones@ncleg.net; Donny.Lambeth@ncleg.net;David.Lewis@ncleg.net; Pat.McElraft@ncleg.net;Chuck.McGrady@ncleg.net;Jeffrey.McNeely@ncleg.net; Allen.McNeill@ncleg.net;Tim.Moore@ncleg.net; Larry.Potts@ncleg.net;Michele.Presnell@ncleg.net;Dennis.Riddell@ncleg.net; David.Rogers@ncleg.net;Stephen.Ross@ncleg.net;Jason.Saine@ncleg.net; Wayne.Sasser@ncleg.net;John.Sauls@ncleg.net;Mitchell.Setzer@ncleg.net; Phil.Shepard@ncleg.net;Carson.Smith@ncleg.net; Sarah.Stevens@ncleg.net;Larry.Strickland@ncleg.net;John.Szoka@ncleg.net; John.Torbett@ncleg.net;Harry.Warren@ncleg.net;Donna.White@ncleg.net; Larry.Yarborough@ncleg.net;Lee.Zachary@ncleg.net;

Phone Republican Leaders and Your Rep:
Rep. Tim Moore (Speaker): 704-739-1221 Rep. John R. Bell (Maj. Leader): 919-715-3017 Rep. Jon Hardister (Maj. Whip): 919-733-5191 Rep. David Lewis:  910-897-8100
Phone your own Republican Rep: CLICK HERE to use your address to find your representative and his/her contact information. Click on the ‘NC House’ radio button.


PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO GRNC: Help us fight gun control while we promote Second Amendment principles. Please CLICK HERE to contribute. Bear in mind that GRNC is an all-volunteer organization, so you can be sure your donations are put to the best possible use. Any amount helps, and any amount is appreciated.  
DELIVER THIS MESSAGE

Suggested Subject:  Support HOUSE BILL 652   Dear Representative,   I’m writing to urge you to support HOUSE BILL 652 that will expand the ability for ordinary citizens to carry concealed on educational property that is the location of both a school and a place of religious worship.
Recent tragedies have shown that a good guy or gal with a gun are critical in saving lives.   This is true common-sense safety legislation that will protect the public.
Mere signs or rules never deter those of evil intent and mass murder.  These only serve to stop innocent people from ensuring everyone else’s safety. 
I expect you to stand up for everyone’s common sense human rights and support this important step in safety. I will continue to monitor your actions on this important issue through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.    Respectfully,  

Durham Capitulated…But Quietly

Last week I wrote that the City of Durham had received a demand from Grass Roots North Carolina and GOA to designate gun stores as essential or face legal action. Greensboro also got one of these letters and folded it quickly.

They did fold but did it very quietly. What the City of Durham did was release an amendment to their original order saying they were merely going to adopt the amended Stay at Home order issued by the county. This new City of Durham order didn’t go into details as to what was or wasn’t an essential business. Mayor Stephen Schewel signed the order on the afternoon of Friday, April 3rd and it went into effect at 5pm on Saturday, April 4th.

Durham County’s order didn’t mention gun dealers or ranges as essential businesses. They just said that any business that was on the Department of Homeland Security’s CISA list was essential. That list did include firearms related businesses. Perhaps it is ironic that the title of the county order was “Second Amendment to the Declaration of a State of Emergency in Durham County, NC to Coordinate Protective Actions to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19.”

As I understand it, GRNC contacted Durham County and convinced them to them to comply. Somehow officials in Durham County convinced Mayor Schewel to comply but noted he refused to make any public statement about it.

IndyWeek is a free newspaper serving the Triangle. In NC-speak, the Triangle are the cities of Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, and the smaller surrounding communities. IndyWeek is virulently anti-gun.

They have their panties in a wad that Durham folded to those “gun nuts” and their demands after Mayor Schewel said he wasn’t backing down. The article notes the original April 2nd deadline and the fact that GRNC and GOA didn’t sue.

In this case, April 2 came and went, and Schewel made no such statement, but the gun groups didn’t sue. So what happened? 

Very quietly, the city rolled over. 

IndyWeek then goes into the details of the Durham County and City of Durham orders which I posted above.

As to why Durham capitulated, IndyWeek has this response from Mayor Schewel.

“Our lawyers said we couldn’t win,” Schewel told the INDY on Tuesday. “And not only that they were gonna win, but that we were gonna have to pay their legal fees. And so that’s why we made the decision—which is, you know, awful. Gun stores are not essential. In fact, they are damaging. It’s terrible to be forced into this position.”

It is good to see the Constitution and some good legal advice trumped the anti-gun feelings of the good mayor. It should be no surprise that Schewel is a member of Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors.

Greensboro Backs Down But Will Durham

Grass Roots North Carolina and Gunowners of America sent a demand letter to the cities of Greensboro and Durham on Tuesday. It demanded they rescind or change the determination the firearms-related businesses were not essential. They had until noon today to make the change or they would face court action.

Yesterday, Mayor Nancy Vaughan of Greensboro informed GRNC and GOA that she wrongly determined gun stores and ranges as “non-essential”. Now it remains to be seen if Mayor Steve Schewel of Durham will do likewise.

Picture courtesy of Carolina Peacemaker

On a related note, I got a response from Buncombe County yesterday for why they didn’t include gun stores and ranges in their list of essential businesses. Buncombe County felt that since state statute preempted them from closing them during periods of emergency that it would have been superfluous to have listed them as essential.

The release from GRNC on Vaughan’s retreat is below:

The mayor of Greensboro, North Carolina, has reversed herself and now agrees that gun stores within city limits can remain open, after being contacted by Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) and Gun Owners of America (GOA) and The Mayor had told the media that gun stores were not “essential” businesses, despite the fact that the city’s “stay-at-home” order stated otherwise.

This reversal comes after a Cease and Desist letter from GOA and GRNC urging Mayor Nancy Vaughan to correct her interpretation, or face legal action. Mayor Vaughan informed GOA and GRNC via email that she was incorrect in her interpretation.

While GOA and GRNC are thankful for the clarification, both organizations still look forward to seeing a public announcement by Mayor Vaughan to let the citizens of the Gate City know they can lawfully visit and purchase firearms and ammunition from gun stores during the “stay-at-home” order.

Likewise, Wake County, North Carolina has also reopened its gun stores after a similar letter sent by GRNC and GOA,  which also sent letters Guildford County and the city of Durham urging the localities to ensure gun stores remain open or face legal action.  

Elsewhere, when contacted by legal counsel for GRNC and GOA, the attorney for Orange County disavowed any statements previously made, saying its language would protect firearms businesses, and Buncombe County advises that although they did not specifically list firearm businesses as “essential,” the county will follow state guidelines which protect firearm businesses provided they follow social distancing requirements.

GRNC And GOA Put Durham And Greensboro On Notice

The mayors of Greensboro and Durham have deemed firearms dealers and gun ranges to be “non-essential” businesses. Under their respective proclamations, non-essential businesses must close.

In response, Grass Roots North Carolina and Gunowners of America have sent a joint letter to each mayor. They note the Federal recommendation that firearms related businesses should be critical infrastructure. The letters ask that the mayors reverse the non-essential designation before noon on April 2nd or risk lawsuits. They also point out that Wake County had received a similar letter and made the changes.

From the release which was sent out by email:

Building on our success in convincing Wake County to reopen firearm-related businesses by adding them its list of “essential services” to avoid litigation, as well as today’s court decision ordering Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker to resume issuing pistol purchase permits, GRNC and GOA today sent letters to the Durham Mayor Steve Schewel and Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughn, advising them of their non-compliance with federal recommendations for critical infrastructure by ordering firearm related businesses to close.

GRNC will continue to monitor North Carolina cities and counties for non-compliance with state and federal statutes and for violations of the US and North Carolina constitutions during the coronavirus emergency.

To see the City of Durham letter: 

https://www.grnc.org/documents/goa-grnc-city-of-durham-soe-letter.pdf

To see the City of Greensboro letter: 

https://www.grnc.org/documents/goa-grnc-greensboro-soe-letter.pdf

Three Of My Favorite Groups Unite To Take On Wake Sheriff

Wake County (NC) Sheriff Gerald Baker should be feeling a bit uneasy right about now. That’s because three of my favorite groups – Grass Roots North Carolina, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the Firearms Policy Coalition – have come together to file suit against Baker’s refusal to even take applications for the Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit.

For those that don’t know, in North Carolina, you need a pistol purchase permit to purchase a handgun regardless of whether it is from a dealer or a private individual unless you possess a NC Concealed Handgun Permit. As I’ve written about it many a time, the law was passed in 1919 in an unspoken but well understood effort to keep African-Americans, Populists, and union backers disarmed.

The suit has been filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The individual plaintiff is Kerry Stafford who decided a handgun was the proper firearm with which to defend herself and her family. After calling the Wake County sheriff’s department for an PPP application, she was refused.

The complaint alleges that Sheriff Baker has exceeded his discretion and has violated the Second and Fourteenth Amendments depriving Ms. Stafford and others of their constitutional rights under color of law. It asks that either an injunction be issued or that the requirement for a pistol purchase permit be waived until April 30th.

It is great to see these groups working together. For GRNC and SAF, it is a reprise of the joint efforts that led to the win in Bateman v. Perdue.

They issued a joint release which I have copied below:

GRNC, SAF, FPC File Federal Lawsuit Against Wake County, NC Sheriff Over Constitutional Violations

RALEIGH, NC (March 27, 2020) ­— Today, attorneys for an individual Wake County, North Carolina resident, Grass Roots North Carolina, Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and Firearms Policy Coalition filed a federal lawsuit challenging Wake County Sheriff Gerald M. Baker’s recent actions infringing on Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights he announced as a response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. A copy of the lawsuit can be found at:

https://www.grnc.org/documents/Complaint-Wake-County-Filed.pdf

This latest case tracks a 2011 federal court victory in Bateman v. Perdue, also led by plaintiffs Second Amendment Foundation and Grass Roots North Carolina, which successfully challenged North Carolina statutes restricting firearms during states of emergency.

“Although Sheriff Gerald Baker claims his refusal to accept applications for pistol purchase permits and concealed handgun permits doesn’t infringe on individual rights, nothing could be further from the truth,” said GRNC president Paul Valone. “During this emergency, as always, GRNC intends to ensure that lawful North Carolinians have the means to protect themselves and their families.”

“Sheriff Baker is implementing by fiat what the Supreme Court struck down in Heller – a ban on a citizen’s right to purchase a handgun for the defense of hearth and home. This action cannot be allowed to stand,” said GRNC Director of Legal Affairs Ed Green.

“Times of emergency is when you need the ability to obtain the means of self-defense the most. Suspending that right is not acceptable. That is why this lawsuit is so important,” commented SAF founder and Executive Vice President, Alan Gottlieb.

“Sheriff Baker’s unconstitutional actions have and will deprive law-abiding, peaceable individuals the opportunity to obtain handguns, the ‘quintessential self-defense weapon’ according to the U.S. Supreme Court, in a time where the arms are most needed,” explained attorney and FPC Director of Legal Strategy, Adam Kraut. “Sheriff Baker’s actions to stop processing and issuing required  Pistol Purchase Permits violate fundamental human rights. We are proud to join GRNC and SAF in this fight to defend the rights of North Carolinians.”

Individual arms applicants/purchasers and retailers affected by ‘stay-home’ or shutdown orders can report potential civil rights violations to FPC’s COVID-19 Issue Hotline at www.FPChotline.org

Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Ed Green, Raymond M. DiGuiseppe, and Adam Kraut.

Grass Roots North Carolina (www.grnc.org) is North Carolina’s most effective gun rights organization. GRNC was founded in 1994 as an independent, all-volunteer 501(c)(4) not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving constitutional freedoms. The organization’s projects are primarily devoted to defending the individual right to keep and bear arms.

Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing, and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom.

GRNC Alert On Sheriff Baker’s Illegal Actions

Grass Roots North Carolina issued an alert this evening asking people to contact the Wake County Sheriff’s Department concerning the suspension of accepting applications.

From what I understand, GRNC is also considering legal action in light of this violation of state law.

From GRNC:

Sheriff Baker: No Guns for You
Surprise, surprise, surprise. Sheriff Baker is at it again. On Tuesday, March 24th, Baker announced that the Wake County Sheriffs Office will no longer be accepting applications for Pistol Purchase Permits or Concealed Handgun Permits. Under the guise of public safety, he is stripping away the one constitutional right that allows the men and women of North Carolina to keep themselves and their families safe.

Nothing under the NC Emergency Management Act gives the sheriff additional powers to restrict pistol purchase permits or concealed handgun permits during a declared state of emergency. The statute is quite clear that he has 14 days to issue or deny purchase permits, and nothing allows him to deny permits because he feels his office is too inundated with applications.

While some sheriffs have said they don’t want the public health risk of taking fingerprints for new CHPs, nothing should restrict applications for CHP renewals or PPPs.

GRNC will be calling for the repeal of the full Pistol Purchase Permit statute, as this lays bare the real reason sheriffs have lobbied to keep this leftover Jim Crow era law on the books. It gives them the power to arbitrarily deny firearms to citizens.

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


Email Sheriff Baker at and let him know that his actions are putting lives at risk
: http://services.wakegov.com/SheriffMainContactForm/index.html


Call his office and repeat this message, we cannot let up: 919-856-6900


PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO GRNC
: Help us fight gun control while we promote Second Amendment principles. Please CLICK HERE to contribute. Bear in mind that GRNC is an all-volunteer organization, so you can be sure your donations are put to the best possible use. Any amount helps, and any amount is appreciated.

CONTACT INFO
 
http://services.wakegov.com/SheriffMainContactForm/index.html


919-856-6900

 
DELIVER THIS MESSAGE


Suggested Subject: “Permit Suspension”  

 
Dear : Sheriff Gerald M. Baker

 
Your actions on March 24th are a direct violation of your oath of office, and are not outlined in the NC Emergency Management Act. By law, you must approve or deny permits within 14 days. I call on you to immediately restore services to Wake county for pistol purchase and concealed handgun permits.
 
Respectfully,

Imagine If SAF And GRNC Hadn’t Won Bateman

Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC) today declared a state of emergency that covers all of North Carolina. It was declared in response to the spread of COVID-19 or the coronavirus. As of Monday, there have been seven confirmed cases of it with six of those in Wake County and the seventh in Chatham County. For non-North Carolinians, that is Raleigh and the Pittsboro/Siler City areas.

From NC Office of Emergency Management

Excerpts from Gov. Cooper’s press release:

Governor Roy Cooper took the next step in the state’s coronavirus COVID-19 preparedness plan today and issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency. The declaration activates the Emergency Operations Center to help agencies coordinate from one location and makes it easier to purchase needed medical supplies, protect consumers from price gouging, and increase county health departments’ access to state funds…

Key provisions in the order are similar to those enacted in a natural disaster. The order will help with the cost burdens and supplies that may be difficult for providers and public health to access due to increased demand. It also increases the state public health department’s role in supporting local health departments, which have been tasked with monitoring quarantines, tracing exposure and administering testing.

Executive Order No. 116 in its entirety is found here.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane back to January 2010 when there was a heavy snow storm in the Piedmont of North Carolina. The City of King and Stokes County were particularly hard hit. In response, Gov. Beverly Perdue and both locales declared states of emergency. This automatically triggered then NC General Statute § 14-288.7(a) which provided, in part,:

“it is unlawful for any person to transport or possess off his own premises any dangerous weapon or substance in any area: (1) In which a declared state of emergency exists; or (2) Within the immediate vicinity of which a riot is occurring.”

The City of King went further and invoked their powers under NC General Statute § 14-288.12(b). This “forbade the sale or purchase of firearms and ammunition, as well as the possession of firearms and ammunition off an individual’s premises.” It also banned the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Thus, any time a state of emergency covering all of North Carolina or any time a city or county declared a state of emergency, § 14-288.7(a) kicked in and you could not carry a firearm outside your own home. There were no exceptions made for those of us who hold a Concealed Handgun Permit.

Fast forward a few months to June and the US Supreme Court handled down a monumental Second Amendment ruling. That was, of course, McDonald v. Chicago which applied the Second Amendment as an individual right to the states under the 14th Amendment. That was on the morning of June 28, 2010.

By the close of business on June 28th, the Second Amendment Foundation and Grass Roots North Carolina with attorney Alan Gura had filed suit against the State of North Carolina, the City of King, and Stokes County for violating the Second and 14th Amendments. The case, Bateman v. Perdue, using the newly won application of the Second Amendment to the states in McDonald, directly challenged NC’s emergency powers gun bans.

To make a long story short, US District Court Judge Malcom J. Howard, using strict scrutiny found that the emergency powers gun ban did violate the Second Amendment in March 2012.

The problem here is that the emergency declaration statutes, are not narrowly tailored to serve the government’s interest in public safety. They do not target dangerous individuals or dangerous conduct. Nor do they seek to impose reasonable time, place and manner restrictions by, for example, imposing a curfew to allow the exercise of Second Amendment rights during circumscribed times. Rather, the statutes here excessively intrude upon plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights by effectively banning them (and the public at large) from engaging in conduct that is at the very core of the Second Amendment at a time when the need for self-defense may be at its very greatest. See Heller, 128 S. Ct. at 2799 (” [A] mericans understood the ‘right of self-preservation’ as permitting a citizen to ‘repe[l] force by force’ when ‘the intervention of society in his behalf, may be too late to prevent an injury. ‘ ” (quoting 1 Blackstone’s Commentaries 145-146, n.42 (1803) ) (second alteration in original)) . Consequently, the emergency declaration laws are invalid as applied to plaintiffs.

Session Law 2012-12 was signed by Gov. Beverly Perdue (D-NC) on June 11, 2012 and became effective on October 1, 2012. This codified the ruling by Judge Howard and repealed NC General Statutes § 14-288.7 and § 14-288.12 through § 14-288.17.

Thanks to Alan Gura, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Grass Roots North Carolina just because seven people have COVID-19 and the governor has declared a state of emergency you can no longer be disarmed. We owe them and the individual plaintiffs a debt of gratitude.