New county work space eases the flow of issuing gun permits

Gun demand up by thousands

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Courtroom 1101 of the old Mecklenburg County Courthouse used to be the first stop for offenders facing firearms violations.

Gun issues still come up in the former courtroom, but the space where cases were once heard has been transformed into the main processing center for legal weapons permits in Charlotte.

Deputy Eric Hagesether of the Mecklenburg Sheriff's Office calls it a busy place.

"Our men and women here are on point," he said.

On point because the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office is streamlining the process of getting a weapons permit.

Personal touch remains a given, but reducing clutter means embracing things that are high tech. The number of online terminals for customers have more than doubled.

Messy black ink is out, and finger prints are now scanned into the system.

"So we've only added four people in the last year, but everyone is out front and you can see it's just busy work," Hagesether said.

With more work space and a newly expanded staff of 15, getting a firearms permit normally takes about 14 days. However, receiving a conceal carry permit means having to wait a little while longer.

Frank Gibbs is among those told to be patient, because background checks are carried out by several outside agencies, including Presbyterian Hospital.

"The forms that they send out to other places," Gibbs said. "If they're going to find something. They're going to find something. If it's there, they'll find it."

Meanwhile, Deputy Eric Hagesether offers this bit of advice.

"Don't have convictions. Don't have background issues."

In other words, no red flags because at this point the waiting list for a concealed handgun permit is well past than 60 days.

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