‘It’s reckless to illegally suspend their Second Amendment rights just when they need assurance that they can trust government…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Nearly every right in the U.S. Bill of Rights has come under threat during the coronavirus panic, and the Left’s long targeted prize, the curtailment of 2nd Amendment gun rights, is no exception.
Gerald Baker, the radical sheriff in Wake County, North Carolina, set the plan into action by announcing that he would suspend pistol-purchase permits through April 30.
Bishop derided the latest move in a fundraising e-mail to supporters, calling on Baker to reverse the decision and resign.
“I thought I’d seen the most disgusting political act of the coronavirus health emergency when Nancy Pelosi cravenly killed the Senate’s relief bill to force her liberal political agenda on to the country,” Bishop said in the email.
“But one of North Carolina’s liberal sanctuary sheriffs—Gerald Baker—topped Pelosi earlier today when he used the coronavirus as an excuse to BAN law-abiding North Carolinians from purchasing handguns,” he added.
Anticipating the wave of backlash, Baker pre-emptively sought to deflect criticism, according to WBTV.
“Over the past several weeks, our staff has been inundated with high volumes of permit applications that has made it impossible to process by law,” he claimed.
“This decision is not a violation of anyone’s Second Amendment Rights,” he added, without further substantiation. “Most importantly, this action will limit persons encountering one another during this time of State of Emergency…”
He further claimed that the statute requiring the sheriff to approve permits had authorized the move by establishing no specific time frame for accepting the permits, despite setting a two-week window for issuing them once accepted.
Baker claimed the county was understaffed to meet the increased demand for firearms during the health crisis, with a backlog of 755 applications already pending as of Tuesday, said WBTV.
“With 290 people coming into the permits office per day, the Sheriff’s Office would not be able to meet the 14-day requirement,” Baker complained.
The state’s GOP-led General Assembly has, in the past, sought to check the creative legal interpretations of partisan sheriffs in five urban regions who demagogued their way into office on a platform of refusing to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
After Charlotte-area sheriff Garry McFadden, a political ally of Baker’s, twice permitted the release last year of a dangerous illegal immigrant who had forced a nine-hour standoff with law enforcement, the legislature passed a bill to hold sheriffs accountable for failing to do their jobs. However, the bill was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
Rights Under Assault
Two of North Carolina’s GOP legislators responded to Baker’s latest decree by promising further action.
“Sheriff Baker must immediately rescind his illegal decision to halt sale of pistols in Wake County,” said state Sens. Warren Daniel (R-Burke) and Danny Britt (R-Robeson) in a joint statement.
“People are already suspicious and on edge,” they continued. “It’s reckless to illegally suspend their Second Amendment rights just when they need assurance that they can trust government.”
Ironically, their criticism sounded remarkably like that which far-left U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez, D-NY, used to dismiss a recent Justice Department effort to suspend Fifth- and Sixth-Amendment rights to due process.
The DOJ had requested the ability to detain people indefinitely during emergencies, using a rationale similar to Baker’s that it may lack the bandwidth to comply.
That request was panned by legislators on both sides of the aisle.
“There is a long history in this country and in other countries of using emergencies as times to really start to encroach upon people’s civil rights and, in fact, this is the time when we need them the absolute most,” Ocasio–Cortez said Sunday during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union.
“We have to keep an eye out for these kind of authoritarian and frankly, for this expansion of—and rather, suspension of rule of law,” she added.
Along with Baker, other “sanctuary” cities were also attempting to enact martial law under the auspices of the health crisis.
Los Angeles’s sheriff came under attack after attempting to re-interpret the law by deeming gun shops were not an essential business and would need to be closed per order of California Gov. Gavin Newsom. However, the county’s top attorney said otherwise.
Meanwhile, despite already being overrun by crime, law enforcement and prosecutors in Baltimore and Philadelphia indicated that during the pandemic they would cease to enforce certain laws by refusing to arrest and prosecute nonviolent criminals for things such as drug possession, trespassing, prostitution, attempted distribution and violating open-container laws.