NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – When President Obama announced a gun control plan that included a universal background check, WECT.com looked into the number of people applying for gun permits in New Hanover County.
Exactly 1,602 applications were filed in 2012 for pistol purchase permits. The sheriff's office denied 105 of them.
Reasons for denial include mental health concerns and a criminal history, according Sergeant Jerry Brewer.
"Of course any felons are automatically kicked out," he said. "Misdemeanors are reviewed and then discussed more heavily depending on what it is."
A denial letter from 2011, with personal information redacted, shows the applicant was turned away because of a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.
Brewer said every misdemeanor case is handled on a case-by-case scenario.
Purchase permits, if approved, allow a person to buy up to three handguns.
A second type of permit, concealed carry, generated more than a thousand applications in 2012. Only about ten of them were denied.
The concealed carry permit is more thorough, according to Brewer, but people applying for it usually know that already.
"They know their background," said Brewer. "Usually it's something in their past that they forgot to mention earlier."
If either permit is denied, an applicant can appeal the decision to a district court judge.
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