One week ago, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department put into effect changes that made it harder for people to get concealed carry permits, and, on Wednesday, March 25, the Sheriff’s Department announced that it was halting the service completely for the time being due to concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

A March 25 press release from the department announced that, “as a result of the impact of the on-going Covid-19 virus, Sheriff [Danny] Rogers is temporarily suspending the issuance and processing of concealed carry handgun (CCH) permits.”

Pistol Purchase Permits will continue to be issued by the department; however, those permits are now being mailed to applicants since the Sheriff’s Department has temporarily suspended the in-person pickup of those permits at all of its locations.

Anyone who wishes to get a pistol permit should follow the online instructions when they’re applying. If their application is approved, the permit will be mailed to the address provided on the initial application.

However, those who want the right to legally carry that gun in a concealed manner are out of luck for the time being. According to Sheriff’s Department officials, this action is being taken “in accordance with health and safety information from local, state and federal health and government agencies.”

The Sheriff’s Department also notes that the situation is highly fluid and further policy changes will depend on the progress of the coronavirus. The department intends to resume normal concealed carry operations “as soon as it is practicable.”

The department’s cessation of the service comes at a time when there’s a heightened interest in gun ownership and concealed carry permits in the county and across the country. Local gun dealers have been seeing a lot of new buyers as many people worry about their welfare in a world where people are clashing vigorously over things like Purell and toilet paper.