RALEIGH, NC (June 14, 2021) — Today, FPC announced the entry of a consent decree, pending approval from Federal District Court Judge Louise Flanagan of the Eastern District of North Carolina, in the FPC lawsuit against Wake County, North Carolina Sheriff Gerald M. Baker that challenged his decision to shut down the county’s firearm permit processing in early 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The consent order in Stafford v. Baker can be found at FPCLegal.org.
Under the terms of the order, Sheriff Baker “has agreed to modify the [Pistol Purchase Permit] application process so as to minimize or alleviate the admission of applicants for said permits to the Public Safety Center during the term of the current declared states of emergency” and also “immediately resume processing applications pursuant to state law.” Sheriff Baker has also agreed to pay the plaintiffs a collective $1,300 “for any damage the suspension of processing PPP applications may have caused” in addition to $25,000 for their legal fees and costs.
“While it is unfortunate that litigation was required to force Sheriff Baker to follow the law, by agreeing to this consent decree, he has reversed course and agreed to abide by state law and constitutional principles,” said FPC’s Senior Director of Legal Operations Adam Kraut. “Most importantly, the agreement will help ensure that he will not engage in such civil rights violations in the future. FPC Law will continue to monitor his compliance with the law and terms of this order, and will continue to vindicate the fundamental rights of all peaceable Americans in our various lawsuits throughout the United States.”
When approved, the consent decree in Stafford would be the third FPC COVID-related Second Amendment lawsuit this year resolved on terms favorable to the plaintiffs. FPC announced in February a binding settlement agreement resulting in permanent, positive changes to the carry licensing policies of Allegheny County, PA, and announced last month a judgment in Philadelphia that made a number of important reforms regarding the city’s processing of carry license applications.
FPC was joined in Stafford v. Baker by an individual member, Second Amendment Foundation, and Grass Roots North Carolina.
Individuals that are interested in joining FPC in the fight against tyranny can become a member of the FPC Grassroots Army for just $25 at JoinFPC.org.
Firearms Policy Coalition and its FPC Law team are the nation’s next-generation advocates leading the Second Amendment litigation and research space. Some FPC legal actions include:
- A challenge to California’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” (Miller v. Bonta) that resulted in a post-trial judgment and permanent injunction against the challenged regulations, the first such victory in United States history
- A brief supporting certiorari in NYSRPA v. Bruen, which was granted by the U.S. Supreme Court
- A challenge to Minnesota’s ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Worth v. Harrington)
- A challenge to Illinois’ ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Meyer v. Raoul)
- A challenge to Georgia's ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Baughcum v. Jackson)
- A challenge to Tennessee’s ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Basset v. Slatery)
- A challenge to Maryland’s ban on handgun carry (Call v. Jones)
- A challenge to New Jersey’s ban on handgun carry (Bennett v. Davis)
- A challenge to New York City’s ban on handgun carry (Greco v. New York City)
- A challenge to Pennsylvania’s ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Lara v. Evanchick)
- A challenge to the federal ban on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition to adults under 21 years of age (Reese v. ATF)
- A challenge to Maryland’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” (Bianchi v. Frosh)
- A challenge to California’s handgun “roster”, microstamping, and self-manufacturing ban laws (Renna v. Bonta)
- A challenge to Pennsylvania’s laws completely denying the right to carry to individuals who were previously granted relief from prior non-violent convictions and are not currently prohibited from possessing firearms (Suarez v. Evanchick)
Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org), a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, exists to create a world of maximal human liberty, defend constitutional rights, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom. FPC’s efforts are focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and adjacent issues including freedom of speech, due process, unlawful searches and seizures, separation of powers, asset forfeitures, privacy, encryption, and limited government. The FPC team are next-generation advocates working to achieve the Organization’s strategic objectives through litigation, research, scholarly publications, amicus briefing, legislative and regulatory action, grassroots activism, education, outreach, and other programs. FPC Law (FPCLaw.org), the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, lead the Second Amendment litigation and research space.