by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The N.C. Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court and ordered it to reconsider the Mecklenburg County sheriff’s office’s rejection of a concealed handgun permit for a Vietnam veteran.
The appellate judges agreed that the sheriff’s office had not given Howard Duvall adequate notice of the reason for denying his permit request in 2018. Only when the case reached the trial court did Duvall learn that the sheriff’s office had relied on mental health records from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In a concurring opinion, Judge Richard Dietz wrote:
I agree that the Sheriff violated Duvall’s constitutional rights. This is not a close case. The State created a process for reviewing and issuing concealed carry permits. That process requires that, if an application is denied, the Sheriff must “notify the applicant in writing, stating the grounds for denial.” As the majority explains, the Sheriff’s Office did not follow that process — it sandbagged Duvall by asserting a new ground for denial at the court hearing. That is an obvious violation of the Due Process Clause.