Grass Roots North Carolina / Forum For Firearms Education
Post Office Box 10665, Raleigh, NC 27605
877.282.0939 (Phone) 919.573.0354 (Fax)




Release date: July 15, 2020
Press release link:



[Raleigh] Today, Grass Roots North Carolina emailed a compliance notice to the lawyer for Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker regarding Baker’s continuing failure to comply with NC statutes requiring sheriffs to issue pistol purchase permits to qualified applicants within 14 days.

In March, GRNC, joined by the Firearms Policy Coalition, the Second Amendment Foundation, and one individual plaintiff filed suit against Sheriff Baker (Stafford et al v. Baker) over his refusal to issue pistol purchase permits and concealed handgun permits as required by law. Although Baker cited the coronavirus pandemic as his rationalization for failing to issue permits, in truth applications can be processed online.

Despite being under a consent order requiring Baker to resume processing permits, purchase permit applicants are now waiting two months or more for permits. Because it is illegal to purchase a handgun in North Carolina without either a pistol purchase permit or a concealed handgun permit, Baker’s obstructionism effectively denies North Carolina citizens of their right to purchase firearms at precisely the moment nationwide civil unrest has caused record numbers of people to seek guns for self-protection.

Letter to Baker’s attorney:

July 15, 2020

Poyner Spruill LLC
1151 Falls Road, Suite 1000
Rocky Mount, NC 27804

Attn: Mr. Nick Ellis

Dear Mr. Ellis:

As you may recall, Grass Roots North Carolina, along with other plaintiffs, filed suit in Stafford v. Baker against your client, Sheriff Gerald Baker, over his refusal to issue North Carolina pistol purchase permits to qualified applicants, as required by G.S. §14-404(f).

Pursuant to additional litigation in Groo v. Baker, Sheriff Baker is currently under a consent order to issue such permits, and alleges that he is doing so as required by law.

So imagine my surprise as complaints continue to reach GRNC’s office from people who have applied for pistol purchase permits as early as June 3, 2020 and are still waiting for their permits to be issued. Obviously, this is well outside the fourteen days required by law. I currently have four complainants, suggesting that dozens of other applications are being delayed, and that your client is still actively violating G.S. §14-404(f).

I believe GRNC has established its willingness to pursue litigation to ensure that North Carolinians’ rights are respected. And I am sure you know that under G.S. §14-409.40(h), persons adversely impacted may bring an action for declaratory and injunctive relief and for actual damages arising from the violation.

Accordingly, please respond, by no later than July 20, 2020, with a detailed description of how your client plans to issue the above-mentioned permits and bring his office into compliance with North Carolina statutes regarding issuance of pistol purchase permits.



F. Paul Valone
President, Grass Roots North Carolina
Executive Director, Rights Watch International