Like other Sheriff’s Departments across the state, on Wednesday, March 29, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department ceased issuing handgun permits, immediately stopped processing the permits in progress, and informed people that they wouldn’t get back the application fee they had been charged.
Late in the day on Wednesday, the Sheriff’s Department issued a statement after state Republican legislators overrode a veto to pass a bill ending the requirement that handgun buyers first get a permit from the Sheriff’s Department.
NC Governor Roy Cooper, who was highly displeased by the override of his veto, tweeted the following: “Hours after children were shot to death in their school, NC GOP leaders announced a vote to eliminate strong NC background checks and make it easier for dangerous people to buy guns and take them on some school grounds. Outrageous.”
The press release from the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department states: “In accordance with NC Senate Bill 41, effective immediately we are no longer issuing pistol purchase permits. If you are currently in the process of obtaining a purchase permit, there is no need to complete the application process.”
The release goes on to add that people who want handguns may now go directly to firearms dealers and retail establishments.
Those attempting to purchase a handgun will need to undergo the National Instant Criminal Background Check System check that’s still required under current law.
They will “either be sold the handgun or denied sale if a criminal history search indicates the person is disqualified from possessing a firearm.”
The release adds that the Sheriff’s Department will not be issuing refunds for pistol purchase permits.
Other Sheriff’s Departments in the state noted that by law the departments do not have the ability to refund the $5 fee.
The new law doesn’t affect concealed carry permit requirements, and the procedures for getting those from the Sheriff’s Department remain the same.