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North Carolina Sheriff Admits He Is Breaking the Law on Guns in Order to ‘Err on the Side of Safety’

North Carolina Sheriff Admits He Is Breaking the Law on Guns in Order to ‘Err on the Side of Safety’

Chris Enloe | The Blaze

Larry Hyatt, owner of one of the country’s busiest gun stores, has more than a quarter-million dollars worth of guns sitting in his store, just waiting for their prospective owners — and there’s a good reason.

Hyatt’s store is located in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina’s most populous county. The large number of firearms in “purchase queue” stems from a newly created firearms law passed by the North Carolina legislature in December requiring everyone who applies for a gun permit in North Carolina to undergo a mental health background check.

Following the new law’s passage — and combined with December’s terror attack in San Bernardino — the number of gun permit requests in Mecklenburg County began to skyrocket. This put the county’s sheriff in an awkward position. That’s because the new law gave him only 14 days to approve or deny a permit request, despite the fact that it normally takes much longer than two weeks to thoroughly screen the mental health background of a permit applicant.

But according to WCNC-TV, the time constraint hasn’t stopped Mecklenburg County Sheriff Irwin Carmichael from erring on the side of safety and approving permits beyond the 14-day limit — even if it means he’s breaking the new law in order to arm people who are ultimately cleared to have the permits.

“So [the new law] kind of puts us in a dilemma,” he told WCNC. ”Do we go ahead and issue permits and let everyone know in 14 days or wait till we get all of this medical information back? I’m always going to err on the side of safety.”

Carmichael added, “We want to make sure the guns are in the right people’s hands and that’s why we have to have these checks.” According to WCNC, what the sheriff is really trying to say is that his department is breaking the new law in order to keep the public safe.

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