RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Wake County’s sheriff agreed to a settlement of greater than $26,000 in a lawsuit over the pace at which his division processed pistol permits early within the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March 2020, Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker announced a temporary suspension of pistol permits. He cited the “excessive volumes of allow functions that [had] made it unattainable to course of by regulation.”
In an announcement to CBS 17 on Friday, Baker mentioned the method was paused “to find out methods to proceed safely.”
A number of lawsuits have been filed over the following months. Grass Roots North Carolina, a gun-rights group, alleged Baker’s workplace was routinely taking on two months to course of the functions, which, per state coverage, have been imagined to be accredited or denied inside 14 days.
The choice was made to settle, reasonably than incur bills of discovery, motions, trial, and enchantment, the assertion mentioned.
Baker agreed to pay $1,300 to the plaintiffs and $25,000 in lawyer charges. The courtroom additionally ordered Baker to proceed accepting allow functions in line with regulation.
Baker contended that he didn’t and doesn’t wish to stop anybody from lawfully exercising their 2nd Modification rights.
“Most significantly, the courtroom didn’t discover that Sheriff Baker violated any constitutional or statutory rights,” the assertion mentioned.
The $26,300 settlement will likely be paid out of an insurance coverage coverage held by the sheriff’s workplace via the county, in line with division spokesperson Eric Curry.