Sheriff’s office sees huge increase in demand for gun permits in Guilford County

Piedmont Triad News

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — The Guilford County Sheriff’s office is seeing more than a 102% increase in applications for pistol purchase permits and a 78% increase in concealed carry permit applications.

Sheriff Danny Rogers said he and his office are working to tackle the growing number of requests. 

While some would think this would be good for local gun sellers, some said all that red tape is why they are getting out of the business altogether. 

Rogers said from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, they approved 21,257 Pistol Purchase Permits and 9,170 Concealed Handgun Permits. That’s in comparison to last year’s 10,506 PPP and 5,152 CHP for that same time frame. 

“What we’ve done in the past 90 days is to continue to push forward,” Rogers said  

Despite that push from the sheriff’s office to get pistol purchase and concealed carry permits approved, thousand are still being held up.  

“In 2020, those numbers went up drastically. The pistol purchase went up twice the amount: 21,000 almost 22000 more,” Rogers said. 

The folks at Coins and Stuff stopped selling guns around this time last year because the process was too much of a hassle.  

“A few years ago, we started doing it again…with all the hassle now and forgot it,” said Jim Greene, owner at Coins and Stuff. 

Greene said it took up too much time to get people approved for purchase. He said they spent most of their time on the phone speaking to the ATF.  

“That ties up an employee to sit there, and you’re paying the employee, and you’re not sure you’re even going to make a sale, and you’re trying to make $50 on a gun, so it’s just not profitable,” Greene said.  

He said he has a couple of guns on pawn, and once those are gone, he won’t sell anymore.

“I’ll give the ATF back my license then I’m done,” Greene said.  

The sheriff said he has tried to hire more employees for this reason but to no avail.  

Instead, to speed things up, his office has added more fingerprint machines. He said part of the holdup is with other organizations they work with. 

“There’s three or four different organizations that have to do background checks of the mental health status of people on the applicants,” Rogers said. 

He admits COVID slowed things down for a lot of agencies but said his office is dedicated to tackling the growing issue. 

“Within the next 30-60 days, we should be in a much better place than we were today,” he said.  

Right now, more than 2,500 people are awaiting fingerprint appointments.   

Other local gun sellers told FOX8 another reason they’re leaving the business is because of a lack of gun inventory.  

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