The coronavirus pandemic is requiring big individual sacrifices from just about all North Carolinians. Across our state, people are giving up their jobs, freedom of travel, and, in many instances (e.g. health care providers, first responders and even store clerks), putting their lives and health on the line every day to keep society functioning.
At such a time, the last thing we need is for the always-dissatisfied extremists in the NRA and their allies to start railing about modest delays in access to new firearm permits.
Amazingly, though, that’s what’s been happening in Wake County. When Sheriff Gerald Baker put a temporary, common sense hold on issuing new handgun permits to help curb the fast-growing crowds that had been gathering at his office to apply (and thereby threatening their own health and that of his deputies), several gun advocates went ballistic, calling it a massive assault on the 2nd Amendment.
Opportunistic politicians like State Sen. Warren Daniel blasted Baker’s action as being part of some monstrous plot to undermine the Constitution.
These critics need to chill out and stop fomenting paranoia.
Just yesterday, Baker’s office announced that 11 deputies are having to self-isolate because they’re experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Even Republican House Speaker Tim Moore pointed out this week that “we don’t people lined up at the DMV right now.” The same is obviously true with respect to sheriffs’ offices.
As Raleigh’s News & Observer reported:
The suspension will help the Sheriff’s Office and the Wake County Clerk of Courts clear the backlog of 755 pending applications.
The rush to apply for permits in Wake County led to lines out the door, which also made it difficult to maintain the social distancing that is needed to help prevent the spread of corronavirus, Curry said.
“We have to limit folks coming in contact with each other,” he said. “It was also a health concern for our staff.”
Similar action has been taken in other jurisdictions around the country.
The bottom line: Eligible applicants will get their permits in due time. But, for now, would-be gun purchasers need to understand that they – like everyone else in this extraordinary moment – may need to make some modest personal sacrifices for the common good.