'Expect Delays': COVID-19 case leaves Wake Sheriff's gun permit office short-staffed

Monday, September 14, 2020
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There are more than 4,000 permits that still need processing. Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker admitting the backlog could get worse under the challenge of being short-staffed.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- After spending the weekend sanitizing and cleaning, The Wake County Sheriff's Office reopened Monday as a small line of people searching for gun permits waited outside. Sheriff Gerald Baker came down to check out the progress.

"One-seventy-one that was scheduled for today on top of the ones that kind of walk up, so we're putting those in the back so we can get the appointments in," Baker said.

Right now, 10 employees are out getting tested for COVID-19 after one employee who worked in the gun-permit office tested positive.

"The person that tested positive, worked in the very back so they didn't have any contact here on the door at all, so I feel pretty safe," Baker said.

What is at risk is the more than 4,000 permits that still need processing. The sheriff admitted the backlog could get worse under the challenge of being short-staffed.

"We began a month ago coming in three nights a week from Tuesday through Thursday in an effort to get then processed, ready for appointments and trying to get that demand. So, we're wide open," Baker said.

That was good news for Cheryl Campbell; she's been waiting for months.

"I've been waiting since July 25th. That's when I applied for the permit," Campbell said.

Others, like Tony Jordan, were just trying to avoid delays.

"I did see the story about the COVID cases, so I knew they were going to be short-staffed, and we're coming up on our time for expiration, so we wanted to come down and take care of it," Jordan said.

Baker said he's bringing in staff from other departments to help chop the workload.

"We've bought in extra help. It requires a certain amount of training, DCI, terminals and modules that go along with background checks, so you can't just pull anybody to come in and do that," Baker said.

In the meantime, you can shorten your delay by going online and submitting your application there.