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Superior Court judge rules Mecklenburg County can no longer delay issuing handgun permits

State law requires the sheriff's office to approve or deny pistol purchase permits within 14 days of receiving applications.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina Superior Court judge ruled Monday that Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden may no longer delay issuing handgun permits. 

This comes after McFadden was sued by two organizations that accused him of not following the law for issuing handgun permits. Grass Roots North Carolina and Gun Owners of America filed the suit last August. 

At the time, McFadden said his staff of six to eight people was struggling to keep up with a surge in gun sales. State laws require the sheriff's office to approve or deny a pistol purchase permit within 14 days of receiving an application. 

Grass Roots North Carolina's Paul Valone and Gaston County-based attorney Ronald Shook told reporters they hoped the lawsuit will result in a court order that will force Sheriff McFadden to speed up the process.

"I'm sorry but we're not accepting that argument," Valone said. "If he needs to dedicate more resources to doing it, then I guess he's going to have to do that."

Last August, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office was still processing permits from March of 2021. In a statement to WCNC Charlotte, the sheriff's office said it would not comment on pending legal matters but that the permits backlog was caught up in March. 

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