Most people expect the sheriff to uphold the law. It’s part of the oath of office that they take. Apparently, Durham County sheriff Michael Andrews apparently feels otherwise.

Despite the repeal of the law allowing Durham County to maintain a handgun registry, the county has continued to do exactly that—maintain a firearms registry. Several concerned citizens report to us that they have gone into the Sheriff’s office to view these records. They were told in no uncertain terms that they could not have physical access to the records, but that a staff member would make a copy of a record being requested.

North Carolina § 14-409.40(b) clearly states that “Unless otherwise permitted by statute, no county or municipality, by ordinance, resolution, or other enactment, shall regulate in any manner the possession, ownership, storage, transfer, sale, purchase, licensing, or registration of firearms, firearms ammunition, components of firearms, dealers in firearms, or dealers in handgun components or parts.”

In no uncertain terms: the Durham County Sheriff’s Office continues to regulate a firearms registry, despite the fact that North Carolina law clearly states that they MAY NOT do this. Even the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources has determined that there is no archival value to the gun registry records, placing the disposition of these records back in the hands of Durham County.

Why is Sheriff Michael Andrews so reluctant to get rid of these records? Why will he not comply with the law; the same law that he swore to enforce when he took his oath of office?

The Sheriff’s Office has stalled for well over a month now. The privacy of Durham County’s citizens continues to be compromised. If Durham’s civil servants are this dishonest about the laws concerning a gun registry, how else might they violate the trust of Durham County’s citizens?

It’s time to end this nonsense. The only lawful course of action is for the Sheriff to destroy these records immediately. The Sheriff should take notice that anything less may result in legal action being taken against him and his department for so flagrantly breaking the law; litigation that the Sheriff will lose embarrassingly.


  • Contact the State Attorney General, the Durham County Sheriff, the Clerk of Superior Court and Durham County’s Commissioners and let them know that the time has come for Durham County to start complying with the law, and that anything less will almost certainly result in embarrassing and legal action being taken against them. Use the suggested message and the contact information provided below.


Copy/Paste e-mail list for the Durham County Sheriff, the Clerk of Superior Court and the County Commissioners:;;;;;;

Click here to access the NC Attorney General's Contact Form

(or go to:


Suggested Subject: "Shred Durham County’s Gun Registry. NOW!"

Dear Sheriff Andrews, Attorney General Cooper, Superior Court Clerk Smith, and Durham County Commissioners:

Last June, the North Carolina State Legislature closed a shameful chapter of North Carolina’s history when it outlawed the Jim Crow practice of allowing Durham County to maintain a gun registry. Since then, the Durham County Sheriff has actively and willingly violated the law by maintaining this registry in violation of NC § 14-409.40(b).

I’m disgusted that this so-called sheriff is not only willing to break the law, but is willing to break the law to continue enforcing a gun registry so deeply rooted in Jim Crow racism. It calls into serious question whether Michael Andrews is fit to continue serving Durham County in any public capacity.

I’m writing to demand that Durham County be brought into compliance with state law by shredding these records immediately. Anything less suggests that the Durham County Sheriff’s Office approves of Jim Crow-era racism and is willing to break the law to perpetuate that.

I will continue to monitor this important issue through Grass Roots North Carolina alerts—including any legal action that may be taken against the Sheriff and the County to bring the county into compliance with the law.

Govern yourself accordingly.


Additional Skills Needed for the GRNC Alert Team:

A person is needed to expand the GRNC alert team.  Good writing skills is a must along with the ability to coordinate with personnel at various levels.  Knowledge of HTML and ability to manipulate HTML style emails on the code level.  Strong understanding of desktop publishing concepts and Microsoft Office tools.  Person should be able to translate legal, political, technical and firearms jargon into layman's terms and make the public care about the issue.  Familiarity of a mass emailing system like Constant Contact is a nice to have.

If interested, please contact GRNC via the following e-mail address:

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