A federal judge has ruled that a citizen impacted by a North Carolina sheriff’s decision to suspend gun permits during COVID-19 in 2020 can seek damages.
Judge Louise W. Flanagan ruled in favor of Kelly Stafford, who challenged the “temporary suspension” of accepting and processing pistol purchase permits.
Alan M. Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, said that while his organization understands concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, “one simply cannot suspend the ability of private citizens to exercise their constitutional rights.”
Stafford had called the Wake County sheriff’s office to ask about proceeding with her application for the permit.
“Because the application process had been suspended until after April 30, ‘she was statutorily barred from purchasing any handgun for defense of herself and her family in her home,'” SAF said.
Other plaintiffs included SAF, Grass Roots North Carolina and the Firearms Policy Coalition.
The judge noted Stafford had obtained her permit.
“We’re glad Kelly was able to finally get her PPP,” Gottlieb noted, ‘but that wasn’t the point. The Constitution doesn’t take a day off, even in a declared state of emergency. And neither do we.”
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