Sheriff Abruptly Changes Policy That Led to Months-Long Delays for Carry Permits

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We've covered Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden's petty tyranny for years here at Bearing Arms, as well as the efforts of groups like Grassroots NC to rein in his acts of petty tyranny when it comes to issuing concealed carry permits. The sheriff has been repeatedly sued over delays in processing permits, and his most recent excuse for making applicants wait a year or more is that he's waiting to hear back from the VA about any mental health records the agency has... even if the applicant has never served in the military


McFadden maintains that the 14-day window to process carry applications doesn't start until he has all of the records he needs in hand, and by waiting for the VA to comb through its files and tell them that they don't have anything to turn over, the sheriff has been able to delay handing over approving permits for months on end. 

McFadden's apparently the only sheriff in North Carolina who's querying the VA about 100% of applicants, and coincidentally, he's also the only sheriff in the state who's taking far longer than 14 days to turn around applications and either approve or deny them. 

According to Grassroots NC president Paul Valone, however, the sheriff recently had a change of heart about those records requests. 

In recent days, Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden has announced that his department will no longer submit mental health record requests to the Veterans’ Administration (VA), which he had previously been sending for all applicants, whether or not the applicant had served in the military.

After being successfully sued by Grass Roots North Carolina and Gun Owners of America for obstructing concealed handgun permits by requiring applicants to schedule appointments many months in advance, McFadden shifted his tactics to obstruct permits by overwhelming the Veterans’ Administration with record requests for people who never served in the military.

Consequently, GRNC and GOA filed yet another lawsuit in U.S. District Court. In apparent response to the litigation, McFadden has now rescinded his previous policy of submitting all applicants to the VA, giving lie to his earlier claim that such requests were necessary to ensure safety. It should be noted that in the past, McFadden apparently also dispensed with the VA requests for citizens named as plaintiffs in the suit, again conflicting with his claim that VA submissions were necessary for safety. 

To reiterate, by submitting requests to the VA only for veterans, McFadden is bringing his practices into line with the 99 other North Carolina sheriffs.


This is very good news, though it's utterly ridiculous that it took a lawsuit on the part of Grassroots NC and Gun Owners of America to get the sheriff to end his requests for non-existent records. And Valone says that McFadden is still jerking carry applicants around, thanks to a new policy the sheriff implemented alongside his decision to stop querying the VA. Those applying for their carry license can no longer fill out and submit their application online. Instead, McFadden is requiring them to complete the online application and then bring their 14-page paperwork packet and proof of training to the sheriff's department in person. 

Valone says that McFadden is once again the lone sheriff in the state with this policy, which he believes is just another attempt at throwing up needless barriers to entry for concealed carry. This time around the sheriff's tyranny may be so petty that it's going to be difficult to raise a legal challenge, and McFadden still has two years left to serve in his term before he can be challenged and hopefully replaced by a candidate who won't actively try to impede the exercise of a fundamental civil right. 

While McFadden's "temper tantrum" (to quote Valone) will undoubtedly be an inconvenience for many applicants, they should at least receive their application in a timely manner going forward. If not GRNC and GOA will continue to hold his feet to the fire and haul his butt into court to answer for his abuses... and in two years Mecklenburg County gun owners will have the opportunity to remove him from office altogether.  


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