North Carolina: Stop Purchase Permit Obstructionism

GRNC Proposes Solution to Delays in Pistol Purchase Permit App

North Carolina
North Carolina
Grass Roots North Carolina
Grass Roots North Carolina

Raleigh, NC -( The Problem

Among GRNC’s legislative victories, passage of HB 562 last year removed obstacles to applying for concealed handgun permits and pistol purchase permits, as well as expanding concealed carry.

However, either by intention or by “accident” (more on that below), a measure slipped into the bill now requires sheriffs to collect a new, notarized medical release form for all purchase permit applications which must be sent to the Clerk of Court to determine that the applicant had not been involuntarily committed.

As a result, clerks of court say they don’t have the resources to research old records, many of which are not computerized. Meanwhile, sheriffs are ignoring the legal requirement to issue purchase permits within 14 calendar days, claiming it’s better to be safe than sorry by ensuring applicants are qualified. Problems have been reported in most urban counties, but seem to be particularly acute in Mecklenburg, where purchase permit applications can take months to be processed. (Reports from Mecklenburg suggest the Clerk’s obstructionism might be more political than logistical.)

At issue are old records in which involuntary commitments are recorded on microfiche rather than digitally. Although those who shepherded efforts to standardize purchase permits in HB 562 now say the new form was an “accident” from bill drafting (as opposed to deliberate malfeasance from the NC Sheriffs’ Association), a representative from Speaker Tim Moore’s (R-Cleveland) office refused to support eliminating the form, citing potential fallout if an unqualified applicant slipped through the cracks and misused a gun.

The Solution

Although Representative Allen McNeill (R-Moore, Randolph) has added a provision to the House budget bill giving the Administrative Office of the Courts $250,000 to computerize old records, his proposal doesn’t guarantee sheriffs and/or clerks of court won’t continue to obstruct permits. Moreover, purchase permit applicants would still have to make an extra trip to the sheriff’s office to get medical waiver forms notarized.

What GRNC proposes: The Director of the NC Administrative Office of the Courts, Judge Marion Warren, says that, with funding, he can computerize the old records by the end of 2016, at which point the problematic form becomes unnecessary and redundant, since sheriffs will be able to instantly check old records. Therefore, GRNC proposes that the form “sunset” (as in “cease to exist”) once records are computerized. Doing so should satisfy the concerns of both Speaker Moore and the NC Sheriffs’ Association. In fact, it would be reasonable to deduce that any entity which opposes the GRNC compromise is doing so for reasons entirely unrelated to “keeping guns out of the wrong hands.”


Contact Speaker Tim Moore and tell him that you support the measures being suggested by GRNC to remove the administrative burdens that obstruct the issuance of pistol purchase permits. We suggest calling his office at 919-733-3451 or emailing him at [email protected] and delivering the following message.


Dear Speaker Moore:

I am writing to you to express my support for the proposal by Grass Roots North Carolina to sunset the old medical release form that is currently required for the issuance of a Pistol Purchase Permit once older records are computerized.

Representative McNeill’s house budget bill provision allocates $250,000 to the Administrative Office of the Courts to computerize their old involuntary commitment records. This will obviate the need for the old form, since the Sheriffs’ staff would be able to search the records themselves.

I will continue to monitor this situation through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.



As you know, GRNC is an all volunteer force. As such, we are looking for volunteers in a couple of areas:


  • Experience in web development to include HTML, CSS & Java Scripting. If interested, contact GRNC President using the following contact form:


  • Solid writing skills, ability to translate legal, political, technical and firearms jargon into layman’s terms and make the public care about the issue. Ability to manipulate HTML style emails on the code level is a nice to have. If interested, please contact GRNC using this e-mail address: [email protected]

If you have these skills, you can help the Second Amendment fight by enhancing and expanding GRNC’s presence, ensuring our message is received broadly in these modern times.

Don’t let your talents go to waste, as you could be the difference between gun-rights advancements and gun-rights losses.

Be the person who says, “I did something!” Instead of the person who says, “I should have done something.”

About Grass Roots North Carolina:

Grass Roots North Carolina is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to preserving the freedoms guaranteed us by the Bill of Rights. Our main focus is the right to keep and bear arms. GRNC was central to drafting and passing North Carolina’s concealed handgun law and since that time has continued to push for improvements to gun laws.

For more information, visit:

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My wife’s took 9 months before she complained to the Sherriff about the blatant incompetence. The following month they called to say it was ready. 10 months! Bottom line… they don’t want you to have them so the constitution means nothing apparently.

paul hicks

Wow! Gives me another reason to like PA. Permits to purchase: trying to copy NJ and NY?

CPT of a Well Regulated Militia Unit

Going thru this very thing in New York State… just handed in my CCW app… clerk of courts tells me 6 mo to process… and this is after already taking 2-3 months in order to have 4 friends ( all who have known me longer that 5 yrs) attest that I am of good character… with their signatures notarized. One more obstructionist delay… not even talk about the cost of the digi finger prints $102.00, nor the mailings, nor the notary fees… plus $30.00 for the application to begin with… ( $10.00 for the blank forms; and $20.00 to hand… Read more »


Permits to purchase…the founders would have hanged anyone with such a plan. …

Gene Ralno

Perhaps it’s time for NC to change its procedures. It’s a “shall issue” state but sheriffs must issue permits and keep records. Seems kinda’ two-faced to claim the state “shall issue” but have it so easily defeated by budgets, incompetence, intransigence and whatnot. Perhaps the state needs a small staff to perform a background check and issue a permit. I’m thinking there’s much more here than workload backlog.