Sheriff Gerald Baker Allowed To Slow Walk Permits

Wake County Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins has denied Grass Roots North Carolina’s lawsuit motion for temporary restraining order against Wake Sheriff Gerald Baker over dragging his feet on the processing of pistol purchase and concealed handgun permits. The law states that the sheriff must issue pistol purchase permits within 14 days but Baker’s office has been taking much longer.

From CBS17 in Raleigh:

Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins wrote that the sheriff’s office continues to insure that permits are properly processed to prevent convicted felons and other non-qualified persons from obtaining handguns, while also complying with Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive orders concerning the pandemic, a release from the sheriff’s office said.

The court also said that the manner in which the sheriff’s office processes applications for the permits was not unreasonable.

“I’m very pleased with ruling rendered by Judge Collins,” Baker said in the release. “As I’ve stated before, I will continue to ensure and protect the Second Amendment rights of all qualified citizens, while continuing to protect the safety and welfare of my staff, Wake County citizens and the jail residents housed in the Wake County Public Safety Center, during this pandemic.”

If this judge rings a bell in your memory, it is because he is the same judge who tried to strike down voter-passed amendments to the North Carolina constitution that mandated voter-ID and capped the income tax. Collins argument was that both constitutional amendments were invalid because the General Assembly was gerrymandered. Interestingly, he did not declare that every other law passed by the General Assembly was similarly invalid.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals overturned this ruling in September. That decision concluded:

We conclude that the superior court erred in holding that our General
Assembly lost its power granted by our state constitution, while retaining other powers, simply because a federal court had determined that the maps contained too many majority-minority districts, such that some members elected to that body were from districts that were illegally gerrymandered based on race. It is simply beyond our power to thwart the otherwise lawful exercise of constitutional power by our legislative branch to pass bills proposing amendments. Accordingly, we reverse the order of the superior court and declare the challenged constitutional amendments duly ratified by the people to be valid.

One other note here – Judge Bryan Collins is the husband of NC Appeals Court Judge Allegra Collins who was elected in 2018. I would presume the judicial ethics would force her to recuse herself from any case decided by her husband.

More on the Baker case here.

GRNC Demonstration In Raleigh Canceled Due To Fears Of Violence

Grass Roots North Carolina President Paul Valone sent out notice within the hour saying that the protest against Sheriff Baker for not doing the job for which he was elected is off. The GRNC office received tons of emails and calls from supporters saying since state law prevented them from being armed in the face of potential violence they just couldn’t be there.

The notice from Paul Valone:

Unfortunately, GRNC is cancelling the demonstration against Sheriff Gerald Baker over his refusal to comply with the law in issuing gun permits which was scheduled for September 26, and here is why.
     Our office has been receiving a regular string of emails and voice messages with variations of, “I’ve been a member and supporter of GRNC for years, but this demonstration is scheduled for a political environment in which crazies from the left are lobbing bricks and Molotov cocktails, and under North Carolina law, I’m not allowed to carry a firearm for self-protection at a demonstration.”
     To the thousands of GRNC members who have expressed those sentiments in either words or thoughts, I say: “I hear you.”
     It is a sad day when lawful citizens can’t peacefully assemble for a redress of political grievances without fear of radical Marxists attacking them for simply expressing their views, but unfortunately, that day is upon us.
GRNC will address your inability to protect yourself during a peaceful assembly in the next session of the legislation … if we win the election.
It is increasingly obvious that the only way out of this poisonous environment we face is a decisive victory in the 2020 elections – not just a victory, but an overwhelming victory.
Rigging the election
As I write this, Democrats are busy rigging the election, not just nationally, but right here in North Carolina.
Yesterday, the Democrat-dominated State Board of Elections decided to “help” all those poor voters who fail to properly complete or mail the absentee ballots Democrats insist they must use. In an election rife with voter fraud, this will be “hanging chads” times ten.
The point of all the mail-in ballot nonsense, of course, is to undermine the legitimacy of an election they expect Donald Trump and Republicans to win.
Why we must have overwhelming victory
By claiming a Trump victory “illegitimate” after a narrow win, leftists will look for any excuse to riot, burn and otherwise tear down our society in order to replace it with their “Great Socialist Utopia.”
A narrow victory will give Obama-appointed judges and “deep state” boards of elections an opportunity to manufacture enough “hanging chads” to declare victory.
And don’t forget that North Carolina is one of a handful of critical “battleground states.”
Decisive victory depends on YOU!
To win overwhelmingly, you must not only go to the polls, but also:

  • Check your voter registration to ensure it is updated and valid;

  • If you using an absentee ballot, check your ballot carefully and mail it early (rest assured you won’t get the same “help” Democrats will);
  • Distribute GRNC “Remember in November” voter guides to like-minded friends, family, acquaintances, and co-workers;

  • Bring like-minded voters to the polls; and finally

  • Help GRNC elect pro-gun candidates by contributing to the GRNC Political Victory Fund.

     As you know, GRNC is limited in using membership funds to impact elections. Accordingly, we created our federal PAC, GRNC-PVF, to elect candidates who will support your freedom.
Please contribute by going to: www.grnc.org/pvf
With your help, we will decisively win the 2020 elections, and by so doing defeat the radical left and  end the poisonous political environment they have created.  

Armatissimi e liberissimi,

 
F. Paul Valone
President, Grass Roots North Carolina
Executive Director, Rights Watch International

Tell Sheriff Baker To Do His Job

Do you live in the Piedmont of North Carolina? Or actually anywhere in NC? Are you sick of government officials blaming the pandemic for not doing their jobs? Do you have a few hours free on Saturday late morning? Looking for something to do?

Then Grass Roots North Carolina has just made your weekend!

There will be a peaceful demonstration in Raleigh on Saturday starting at 10am outside the Wake County Department of Public Safety.

The GRNC Alert below gives more details!

Demonstration is not just about Baker
You live in a world gone mad:

Cities refuse to protect you from violent mobs, as sheriffs like Gerald Baker refuse to grant you the permits you need to protect your family.

Schools radicalize your children, turning them against their own Republic.

And now Democrats threaten “Armageddon” if Trump and the Senate do their duty by appointing a Supreme Court Justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

It is time for you to make your voice heard!
If you are
“Mad As Hell And Not Going To Take It Anymore,” we have just the activity for you: GRNC’s demonstration against Sheriff Gerald Baker and his refusal to issue pistol purchase and concealed handgun permits to lawful citizens.

But this isn’t just about Baker: GRNC plans to demonstrate to sheriffs and legislators across the state that we are “mad as hell” about both the widespread inability of citizens to obtain guns to protect their families and the collusion of leftist media and leftist politicians to undermine our rights … permanently, if they win the election.



No excuses: You have no excuses not to attend. It will be held on a Saturday (Sept. 26).

* If you are one of the hundreds who have contacted us to express utter frustration at Baker’s (and other sheriffs’)  refusal to issue gun permits as required by law at a time when national riots make it more important than ever … BE THERE!
* or even if you aren’t, BE THERE!  
*Regardless of where you live in NC: BE THERE!

Details:
What: A peaceful demonstration against Sheriff Baker, the inability to obtain firearms for self-protection, and the present state of affairs

When: Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 at 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Where: Wake County Sheriff/Wake County Department of Public Safety, 330 S. Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC 

Why: Because it’s high time somebody did

Added bonus: GRNC will have “Remember in November” voter guides and JFP Judicial Voter Guides available in quantities for you to distribute to friends and acquaintances.

Please R.S.V.P.: Please confirm attendance, including name and approximate number of people attending by emailing: DirectorofDevelopment@GRNC.org 

Guidelines for demonstrators:

* Under § 14-277.2(a), “It shall be unlawful for any person participating in, affiliated with, or present as a spectator at any …  demonstration upon any private health care facility or upon any public place owned or under the control of the State or any of its political subdivisions to willfully or intentionally possess or have immediate access to any dangerous weapon.”
* Please dress for the press: Please avoid clothing with inflammatory slogans, camouflage, or other items which would allow the media to dismiss us as a fringe element.
* Please show the world what a truly peaceful protest looks like.

UPDATE: Now this is interesting. I just tried to post a link to this post on my dedicated blog page on Facebook. It was denied because someone had reported this information as “abusive”.

Surrounded in all red, the message read:

Warning Your message couldn’t be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive.”

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. 

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

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.