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Gun Owners vs. Mecklenburg: The Battle Over Concealed Carry Permit Issuance

In a recent U.S. District Court hearing, three individuals alongside gun owner advocacy groups requested a preliminary injunction to mandate a specific procedure for the issuance of gun permits by the sheriff. In response, Sheriff Garry McFadden and the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office motioned to have the request dismissed.

The lawsuit will partially proceed, as WCNC Charlotte disclosed. Nevertheless, the preliminary injunction was denied by the judge due to the three original complainants having already received their permits, making the injunction redundant.

Paul Valone, leader of Grass Roots North Carolina, criticized the sheriff’s inconsistent methods of permit issuance, likening it to a game of “whack-a-mole.” He noted previous obstructions, such as prolonged waiting times for fingerprinting and the recent inundation of the Veterans Administration with unnecessary mental health checks for non-veterans.

The ongoing lawsuit focuses on two constitutional principles. Valone elucidated that one pertains to the unconstitutionality of the existing statute permitting delays in concealed handgun permit issuance. The other challenges its application towards individuals denied permits within the state-prescribed timeframe.

State regulations assert that permits should be approved or denied within 45 days of receiving the necessary details from an applicant. The judge acknowledged the statute’s constitutional validity and permitted the defendant’s dismissal request. Despite this, Valone remains optimistic as the judge permitted the challenge regarding the statute’s application.

Valone anticipates further investigations into the sheriff’s activities during the lawsuit’s discovery phase. The law permits the sheriff to conduct requisite investigations to assess an applicant’s qualification for the permit. Valone expects queries into the sheriff’s decision-making rationale.

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office was removed as a defendant, maintaining only Sheriff McFadden in the forthcoming lawsuit proceedings. When approached for a comment, the sheriff’s office refrained from discussing the ongoing litigation.

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