NRA lobbyist Anthony Roulette and Sheriffs’ Association Director Eddie Caldwell throw gun owners under the bus…
With passage of HB 562 last year, which included removal of several burdensome pistol purchase permit (PPP) application requirements, legislators attempted to standardize what were then widely variable permit formats. The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (NCSA) managed to slip into the bill a requirement that mental health forms be sent to Clerks of Superior Court to certify the applicant has no history of mental incompetence (involuntary commitment, insanity defense, etc). The ostensible reason for the form is that older records are not digitized, but rather stored on microfiche.
Although sheriffs are now required to issue purchase permits in 14 days, urban counties are flouting the law, claiming that due to the large influx of gun permit applications after the San Bernardino attack, clerks of court are unable to keep up with manually researching involuntary commitment records. Sheriffs are refusing to issue permits until the form comes back from the clerk of court, claiming a “better safe than sorry” policy in exceeding the 14 day limit. In Mecklenburg County and elsewhere, applicants are being stalled for 60 to 90 days.