Roy Cooper, Brady PAC, And Systematic Racism

I just listened in on a public Zoom webinar with Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC) hosted by the Brady PAC and the Democratic Governors Association. It featured Cooper, Wendi Wallace of the DGA, Brian Lemak of Brady PAC, and Kris Brown, president of Brady United.

I should note off the bat that the chat function and any way to ask questions was disabled. I imagine that was to prevent any awkward questions from being raised by the audience.

It started with Wendi Wallace who is the Deputy Executive Director of the DGA. She came to them from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund last year. She was praising the efforts of the governors of Nevada and New Mexico to bring more gun control to those states.

The conversation then switched to Brian Lemak and Kris Brown. Among the things they said is they are hoping that with Roy Cooper that they can make North Carolina into the next Virginia. In other words, to impose gun control from on high upon the people of North Carolina. They said they are making North Carolina one of their highest priorities at all levels – Federal, state, and even county commissions.

Finally they allowed Cooper to speak. He welcomed this opportunity to talk about “gun safety”. Cooper then started out by saying the usual boilerplate of I grew up on a farm, I am a gun owner, and I support the Second Amendment. He then segued into his support for “responsible gun laws” and talked about the campus shooting at UNC-Charlotte.

Cooper then went to talk about how Obama carried North Carolina in 2008 but that there was a Republican “backlash” in 2010 which allowed them to take both houses of the General Assembly. Not only that but those Republicans had the temerity to gerrymander the state to keep their seats. This led to the state “going backwards on gun laws”.

He said when he was elected in 2016 that the Republicans still held a super-majority in the General Assembly. Cooper said he had three tools with which to stop “bad legislation”: the bully pulpit, the veto, and executive orders. This is where he noted his veto of HB 652 saying guns didn’t belong in schools. I’m not going into that here with the exception of noting that the bill only applied to schools attached to churches and that no firearm were allowed during school hours including during extracurricular events.

As to executive orders, Cooper said he ordered the State Bureau of Investigation to send over 200,000 more names to the NICS system after it was discovered a number of convictions had not been reported. What he didn’t say and didn’t want the listeners to know is that for most of his tenure as Attorney General of North Carolina (2000-2016), the SBI was under his control. It was only moved from the Department of Justice to the Department of Public Safety in 2014.

Cooper moved on to existing laws including the Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit law. He said he wanted to expand that law to include “assault weapons”. He thought honest and responsible gun owners would go along with that. Cooper also mentioned his support for red flag laws.

The discussion then moved into more political matters such as mail-in ballots, how the Brady PAC planned to focus on not only Cooper’s race but the race for Lt. Governor, the pandemic, etc. Then Cooper said how he said the fight against “systemic racism” need to be a priority.

This is where I exploded.

What more obvious an example of systematic racism exists than a law specifically passed to prevent African-Americans from having access to handguns, other concealable weapons, and pump shotguns! Historian Clayton Cramer found in his research that the impact of the law was “to grant discretion to local white officials to use their discretion to disarm nearly all blacks and some disreputable whites of deadly weapons.”

All four on the webinar today would have denied that gun control had its origins in keeping African-Americans disarmed. However, the record is what it is and it’s legacy is systematic racism that progressives say they abhor.

As to the rest of the webinar, I couldn’t take any more and turned it off.

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. 

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

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.

Tweet Of The Day

The tweet of the day comes from my good friend Prof. David Yamane who writes the excellent Gun Culture 2.0 blog.

As the late Dr. Martin Luther King wrote, “A right delayed is a right denied.”

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,

Illegal Action By Wake County Sheriff

Sheriff Gerald Baker, Sheriff of Wake County, has unilaterally suspended taking new applications for pistol purchase permits and NC Concealed Handgun Permits through April 30th. Current applications will continue to be processed.

From the News and Observer:

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office will suspend pistol and concealed-carry permit applications until April 30 as demand surges amid the coronavirus outbreak, Sheriff Gerald Baker announced Tuesday.

Applications that have already been submitted will continue to be processed, Baker said during a press briefing.

Pistol permit applications last week averaged 290 per day, or more than three times the roughly 90 applications per day during the same time period a year ago, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Baker said his office needs time to manage the backlog.

WRAL covered the press briefing and you can see it below. Sheriff Baker’s statement regarding pistol purchase permits and NC CHPs begins at the 5:15 mark.

Sheriff Baker has the gall to say that “it is not an emergency situation.” Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC) declared a state of emergency days ago. Tons of businesses have been ordered to stay closed. The largest county in North Carolina just issued a shelter in place order and the sheriff of the second largest county says it isn’t an emergency situation. Protecting yourself and your family during a time of crisis is always an emergency situation if you don’t have the means to do it.

While Sheriff Baker may think he has the power to unilaterally suspend taking applications, state law says otherwise.

§ 14-403 of the NC General Statutes says in part:

The sheriffs of any and all counties of this State shall issue to any person, firm, or corporation in any county a permit to purchase or receive any weapon mentioned in this Article from any person, firm, or corporation offering to sell or dispose of the weapon.

§ 14-404. f. goes on to say that the sheriff after doing the requisite background check has a limited time to deny or issue the permit.

Each applicant for a license or permit shall be informed by the sheriff within 14 days of the date of the application whether the license or permit will be granted or denied and, if granted, the license or permit shall be immediately issued to the applicant.

Nothing says a sheriff can suspend taking applications because “we are too busy.”

State Senators Warren Daniel (R-Burke) and Danny Britt (R-Robeson) issued a statement condemning Baker’s actions.

State law requires a sheriff to approve or reject a pistol permit within 14 days.

Sheriff Baker must immediately rescind his illegal decision to halt the sale of pistols in Wake County

People are already suspicious and on edge. It’s reckless to illegally suspend their Second Amendment rights just when they need assurance that they can trust government.

We will also be urging our colleagues in the legislature to take action during the short session to address this illegal behavior.

Justice Scalia in the Heller decision noted that “the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon.” Sheriff Baker’s unilateral decision runs afoul of court precedent as well as of black letter North Carolina law.

The NRA-ILA was quick off the mark with an alert about Sheriff Baker’s actions. It can be seen here.

A Jim Crow Law Loved By NC Sheriffs And The Demanding Moms

The North Carolina pistol purchase permit is an archaic law that has its roots in segregation. As I’ve written many a time about its history, the law was designed to keep blacks, populists, and union leaders disarmed and at the mercy of the KKK and racist Democrats. It is still supported by the North Carolina Sheriffs Association and the gun prohibitionists.

The permit came to fore again as the NCSA tried to hijack a bill concerning church security to increase the price for a pistol purchase permit and, oh yes, include the “good moral conduct” requirement in our concealed handgun permits. The time for permit to go is long gone by. Why we even have a law on the books that was implicitly meant to discriminate against one race is beyond me.

Grass Roots North Carolina agrees and is saying it is time again to contact your legislators to demand this archaic, racist, and ineffectual law be eliminated. I agree.

A RACIST LAW NEEDS TO END



The
latest round of shenanigans by the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association
and our state legislature leave no doubt that the only proper course of
action
is to put North Carolina’s racist Jim Crow-era pistol purchase
permitting in the trash bin.


Enacted during the Jim
Crow era as a way to prevent African Americans from purchasing handguns,
North Carolina’s pistol purchase permit system has long been sold as a
“public safety measure,” when it is anything but. Not only did it give
sheriffs wide latitude to deny someone the right to purchase a
handgun, but it also creates a dangerous safety loophole that allow
criminals to circumvent point-of-sale background checks.

The right to keep and bear arms can never be subject to the
whims of elected officials, and Grass Roots North Carolina has worked
tirelessly to ensure that the permitting process (like the concealed
handgun permitting process) remains “shall issue” (meaning that a
sheriff can not arbitrarily deny a permit.) The well-funded anti-freedom
movement has worked hard to perpetuate this racism under the auspices
of
“public safety,” and it’s now clear that the North Carolina Sheriffs’
Association pays the same lip service to the second amendment as does
the proliferation of Bloomberg-funded anti-gun astroturf groups.


Here’s the irony: the pistol purchase permits create
a massive loophole for criminals to purchase firearms through legitimate
channels of commerce. A pistol purchase permit is good for 5 years, and
there
is absolutely no mechanism in place through which a permit can be
revoked if the bearer becomes, for instance, a convicted felon. The
permit allows
the purchaser to completely circumvent the NICS FBI background check
normally done at the point of sale.

A
racist law
that makes us less safe … one has to wonder why some politicians and
the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association keep supporting this terrible
legislation. Is it the profit motive for the sheriffs? Is it the mere
desire for control? Do these groups want criminals to get
guns?

Isn’t it time that our politicians and the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association speak up and tell us the
truth?

Support “Rights Watch International
AmazonSmile Learn more about Rights Watch
International


You shop. Amazon
Gives.
(What is Amazon Smile?)


IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!



  • POINT: Send an email to the Republican members of the NC Senate letting them know exactly how you feel about the
    Pistol Purchase Permit.

  • 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

DELIVER THIS MESSAGE

Suggested Subject: “Repeal NC’s Racist Jim Crow Pistol Purchase Permit NOW!”  
Dear Senators:
I write this letter to you today to demand that you work to repeal North Carolina’s
racist, Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permitting system.


The pistol
purchase permit system provides
criminals with a dangerous loophole: since there is no mechanism for a
Sheriff to revoke a pistol purchase permit, someone could be convicted
of a
felony and still circumvent the NICS background check with a pistol
purchase permit in hand. Furthermore, we have seen how deeply-pocketed
special
interests like Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun organizations and the North
Carolina Sheriffs’ Association will try to further their elitist agenda
with
the same capriciousness that Jim Crow-era sheriffs used the pistol
purchase permitting process to deny African Americans the right to keep
and
bear arms.

North Carolina is no place
for dangerous, racist legislation like this, and the people of this
state
deserve nothing less than a full repeal of this Jim Crow law.

I will be monitoring your actions on this issue
closely through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.

Respectfully,

Yes, Thank You Moms Demand Action In NC

Mike Bloomberg, billionaire, former mayor of New York City, erstwhile potential Democrat candidate for President, and funder of all things gun control put out this tweet yesterday evening.

Yes, thank you for your continued support of a Jim Crow era law, the pistol purchase permit system, that was intended to keep African-Americans, union members, and Republicans disarmed.

Yes, thank you for your support of red flag laws that turn Due Process on its head and that will get innocent people killed.

Yes, thank you for making our schools less safe by your continued opposition to any policy that would let trained teachers and administrators carry firearms to protect the students under their care.

Yes, thank you for supporting efforts to introduce even more government interference into private affairs by demanding universal background check.

Yes, thank you for all you do to make North Carolina a less safe place for ordinary, law abiding Tar Heels and more safe for criminals who, by definition, ignore the law.

 There is plenty more for which we can thank the North Carolina contingent of Moms Demand Action but saving lives isn’t one of them.

Quote Of The Day

“Guns don’t have much legitimate purpose in cities outside of the hands of trained law enforcement,” Cook said. “I think many cities would want to reinstitute a blanket ban or licensing requirements on carrying in public.”

Philip Cook is the ITT/Terry Sanford Professor Emeritus of Public Policy Studies at Duke University. He is a well-known researcher in “gun violence” (sic) with a significant anti-gun bias. The quote above comes from Duke’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, in which Cook was interviewed about past and proposed firearms-related legislation in the North Carolina General Assembly.

He advocated much tighter restrictions on concealed carry as well as doing away with state preemption so that cities like Durham where Duke is located could enact their own gun controls. As to enacting a ban on carrying in public, at least for open carrying, it would be an unconstitutional act. The North Carolina Supreme Court decided that in 1922 in the case of State v. Keener where the court ruled that open carrying was a constitutional right.

Another gem in this article deals with a total mischaracterization of why North Carolina has the pistol purchase permit wherein one must apply for a permit from their local sheriff to buy a handgun.

“That is relatively unusual, especially among Southern states,” said Cook, who researches gun control and crime prevention…


“The wisdom of the time [in 1919] was that rifles and shotguns are used for hunting and target shooting and other sports uses. Handguns are used against people,” Cook said. “And I think that remains true today.”

No, the wisdom of the time had nothing to do with handguns being used against people. The wisdom of the time was that blacks, union organizers, populists, and even Republicans had to be kept relatively disarmed. This was so that these people could not present a challenge to segregationist Democrats and their Klan allies. I have researched it extensively and have had many posts over the years on this subject. You can find some of them here, here, and here. I would note again that the co-sponsor of the 1919 bill was State Sen. Earle A. Humphrey (D-Goldsboro) who was the brother-in-law of ardent segregationist and Democrat party boss Furnifold Simmons.