Alabama sheriffs say a push to clarify gun laws in Alabama may be going too far. Senate Bill 129 would remove the discretion sheriffs over whether to issue pistol or concealed weapons permits.
"Unless you're barred, unless you're found guilty of something, you should be able to carry that firearm," said Sen. Scott Beason, R - Gardendale, one of the sponsors of the Bill.
House Bill 55 is similar, but has some differences. Sheriffs say they rarely reject permits, but sometimes they need to do so.
"The local sheriffs know the people in their community," said Todd Entrekin, the Etowah County Sheriff. "We know what's going on at home. We know who needs a gun and who doesn't need a gun."
Montgomery County Sheriff D.T. Marshall pointed to a provision in the Senate bill that would change Alabama law from this: "Except as otherwise provided in this article, no person shall carry a pistol about his person on premises not his own or under his control" to this: "Except as otherwise provided in this article, no person shall carry a pistol about his person on private property not his own or under his control unless the property is open to the public."
Property owners or managers would be able to verbally ask the person to remove the pistol from the property as long as state law isn't violated.
"It's a danger to John Q. Citizen out there, every time they go to a movie, go get a pizza or a hamburger or something," Marshall said. "Because you've got these people walking around and there's no restrictions on them."
Beason believes the bill would make Alabamians safer by clarifying where they can carry weapons, and where they can't.
"I'm trying to fix where the law-abiding citizens says I can't go in there or I can't put it in my car, I can't do this and they're a victim and wouldn't be able to defend themselves," he said.
The bill has been assigned to the Senate's Business and Labor Committee. You can read the bills for yourself by clicking the following links:
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