Wake County, NC Issues More Than 5,100 Permits Over Two Weeks

Over and over again, we see and hear a lot about how there are more new gun owners floating around. Ask the guy at your favorite gun store who is buying most of the guns and the chances are good that they’ll tell you they’re new people.

It’s still difficult to comprehend just how much of a surge in gun ownership we’re seeing right now.

In Wake County, North Carolina, they’re finding that a lot of people aren’t just new gun owners, they’re also getting permits to carry at an insane rate.

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office has brought in at least five extra workers to help process “historic” levels of pistol permit applications, officials said Friday.

A lawsuit was filed earlier this month, claiming Wake County and Sheriff Gerald Baker are breaking the law by not issuing gun permits within 14 days.

At a news conference Friday, deputies said they expanding work hours and bringing in more staff to help process the applications.

“We are averaging about 16,000 more applications approved than we did in 2019. We are also about 16,000 more approved and out the door than in 2018,” said Wake County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Scott Sefton.

Sefton said 5,111 permits were issued in just the last two weeks.

“That is just historic — is has never been done before,” Sefton said.

To be sure, that’s an impressive number of permits. Especially in Wake County, which has a little over 1.1 million people.

However, that doesn’t change the law. While I can sympathize with the department being quite busy issuing permits, the law is quite clear. Baker and his department have been hammered repeatedly over their failure to keep up with demand for the permits. More than 5,100 permits in two weeks is an excellent start, but I suspect much of that is playing catch-up.

That said, holy crap that’s a lot of permits being issued.

If there were just 5,100+ permits in all Wake County, I’d be disappointed, but over just two weeks? That tells us just how nervous people are right now, which is unsurprising. A pandemic, a potential economic downturn, a contentious presidential election, and massive civil unrest all create a cocktail for very nervous people, regardless.

It’s one thing to buy a gun, but quite another to carry one. Then again, people have seen enough examples of extreme violence at so-called “most peaceful” protests that I’m not surprised many of them are getting permits. They’re going to carry their guns in case they find themselves in a bad position. I don’t blame them in the least.

The question now becomes whether or not the lawsuit will continue. While I can’t say for certain, my guess is that it’ll continue at least until Baker and his office is in full compliance with the law.

Don’t get me wrong, 5,111 permits is impressive, but it never should have gotten to this point in the first place. Baker should have stepped up his office’s efforts earlier so as to meet the law’s requirements. He didn’t, so now he has a lawsuit to deal with on top if the surge in permit applications.

I fail to feel any pity for the sheriff.