Surrey County, VA Circuit Court Clerk Refusing to Obey the Law

Surrey County VA Court
Surrey County, VA Circuit Court Clerk Refusing to Obey the Law
Virginia Citizens Defense League
Virginia Citizens Defense League

Covington VA –-( I was contacted by a gun owner in Surrey County who has been waiting for over 3 months for his permit. The Circuit Court Clerk, Ms. Gail P. Clayton, is refusing to issue a temporary permit as is required by law.

I contacted Ms. Clayton and advised her she was in violation of state law and that she needed to get the temporary permit out forthwith.

She was not a happy camper, insisting that she could not issue even a temporary permit without the judge’s OK. She said the sheriff’s office was still trying to verify the background on the applicant. I showed her where the law required her to issue the temporary on day 45 with or without the judge’s approval and with or without the background check results. If the sheriff is taking too long, then that is too bad.

I advised her that she needs to obey the law. Either issue the temporary permit, have the judge deny the permit (with a full explanation for the grounds of that denial), or issue the actual permit.

If she is still refusing to do her job next week, I will suggest to the Board that we get a writ of mandamus issued to force her to do her job.

She’s an elected official and she needs to remember exactly who she is serving and that she is not above the law.

Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right. Visit:

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

@ C.M Novess III,

Taken from the Surry County website:

"The Clerk collects fees annually that are transferred to the County Treasurer and the State. The Clerk of Circuit Court is a constitutional officer elected to an eight year term."

Perhaps your Clerk isn't elected, doesn't mean none are. Maybe do some research before you dismiss things.

C. M. Novess III KGC

A court clerk issues carry permits? Really? I never heard of that before – but, I don't live in Virginia. Most places have them issued by a county clerk. A court clerk, by the way, is NOT an elected official – might be vetted by elected officials – but, is not in an elected position. Sounds like there is a lot of information missing in this story.


Where's the punishment for elected 'officials' who neglect or refuse to perform their duties in accordance with the law?

Perhaps this circuit court clerk needs to spend a few weeks in jail for breaking the law? A citizen would face that penalty or worse.