Gun rights groups issue warning to Greensboro, Durham

People wait in a line at a gun at store amid merchandise displays, in Arcadia, Calif., Sunday, March 15, 2020. Coronavirus concerns have led to consumer panic buying of grocery staples and now gun stores are seeing a run on weapons and ammunition as panic intensifies. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

RALEIGH — On the heels of getting Wake County sheriff and county officials to re-open firearm related businesses and services, two gun rights groups have also issued warnings to officials in Greensboro and Durham.

Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) and Gun Owners of America (GOA) have sent letters to Durham’s Mayor Steve Schewel and Greensboro’s Mayor Nancy Vaughn, advising them of their ordering of firearm related business and activities is in violation of federal guidance for “essential business” and critical infrastructure.

GRNC President Paul Valone tells North State Journal that upon receipt of their letter, Mayor Vaughn had “immediately capitulated,” saying that she was “wrong” about the Guilford County declaration to close firearm related businesses.

A memo dated March 28 from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency states that, “Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges.

GRNC and GOA were successful at the end of March using legal pressure to get Wake County Commissioners to both reopen firearm-related businesses and add such businesses to the list of “essential services.”

Similarly, a trio of gun rights groups filed suit against the Wake County sheriff and the turn-around was swift. Within a day of filing, a court handed down a consent order directing Wake County sheriff Gerald Baker to reverse course and resume the process of issuing pistol purchase permits.

Baker has said his decision to stop issuing pistol permits was “consistent with Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive orders and that of Wake County Commissioner Greg Ford.”

At the time he announced his office would cease issuing permits, Baker also said the action did not “limit anyone’s right to purchase a handgun.” The groups who filed suit against Baker were quick to point out that the only way to purchase a pistol is via obtaining a pistol purchase permit, therefore the right to purchase a handgun was indeed being restricted.

About A.P. Dillon 272 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_