Possible delays in gun permit requests after positive COVID-19 case in Wake County Sheriff's Office

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Wake County Sheriff's Office announced a positive COVID-19 test within the gun permit office. Sheriff Baker said one person tested positive and around nine to ten people who work with that person will be tested.

The sheriff said the gun permit department will be working on a modified crew and schedule to process the hundreds of appointments in the next few days.

Baker stressed to the public that the person who tested positive did not have direct contact with the public.

Officials said 24,119 permit applications were received from Jan. 1 to Sept 13. 2,785 applications were received in the same time frame in 2019.

According to the sheriff's department, 32,700 purchase permits were approved and delivered from January to Sept. 13 in this year alone -- a significant increase from 10,499 from that time period in 2019.

The office is currently processing permits for the week of Aug. 3 and has 4,045 still in need of processing.

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"These numbers are not normal," said Sheriff Baker.

On average, the sheriff said around 2,020 permits are processed a week with a 10-person crew.

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"You can sue me all day but those numbers tell you it's going to be almost impossible to service that number of applications with the processes in place, the background checks that are required in the 14-day period," said Sheriff Baker.

Baker urged those waiting to be processed to be patient and understand there may be delays but a modified staff will be working to process pending permits.

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