Madison County’s Sheriff Office is completely, 100%, wrong on pistol permits…

Madison County Sheriff Blake Dorning is coming out swinging on SB24, a bill that would remove the requirment for pistol permits in Alabama…

The link takes you nowhere but here is his message….

Dear Citizens of Madison County,

My message today is to inform you of an impending Senate Bill in the Alabama Legislature directly threatening the safety for our Law Enforcement Officers and Deputy Sheriffs. It is a threat to law abiding citizens like you and me and a threat to this great state and country.

I am talking about Alabama Senate Bill 24 (SB24) introduced by Senator Gerald Allen. This bill has proposed the repeal of the current Alabama statute that requires a permit, issued by the Sheriff of the county you reside, to allow for the full concealment of a handgun on your person or in a vehicle.

The pistol permit is a tool used by law enforcement to quickly screen an occupant of a vehicle or a person stopped in investigative detention to determine if they are lawfully allowed to possess a concealed handgun. Lacking a permit, the driver or person is in violation of state statute that prohibits concealed weapons. The permit is issued based upon a background investigation conducted by your local Sheriff and verifies the holder has not been convicted of a crime of violence to include domestic violence. The repeal of the current statute will allow everyone who was previously denied a lawful permit to now be able to conceal a handgun in their vehicle to drive or walk freely to attend church services, enter a movie theatre, football stadium, business or other gatherings in our communities.

Alabama law currently prohibits weapons at organized protests. A repeal of the current law by the passing of SB24 will allow handguns to be present at both peaceful and non-peaceful protests. This is especially troublesome and dangerous for protests that espouse hatred. Although protests are protected by the First Amendment, these gatherings will now be attended by persons possessing a handgun hidden from view of law enforcement. SB24 will allow these persons with a past history of violent behavior to do so.

A law enforcement officer cannot stop a person from having a handgun and committing a crime, but every precaution available, to include a background check by your local Sheriff’s Office, should be taken to prevent a person convicted of a crime of violence from hiding a gun on his person and walk freely in our neighborhoods and communities.

I fully support and defend our right to keep and bear arms as written by our Founding Fathers of the Constitution reinforced in the Second Amendment. This proposed legislation of SB24 is an attack on the safety of law enforcement. Let our Police Officers and Deputy Sheriff’s properly do their jobs to keep concealed handguns from persons whose backgrounds include court convictions of previous violent actions where a victim has been assaulted and/or attacked.

Please join me in contacting your local Alabama Legislators and Senators especially Senate Judiciary Committee Senators Arthur Orr and Clay Scofield who represent you in Madison County concerning the ramifications of passing SB24. Please call their offices and write letters and electronic mail to them and let them know you want to keep handguns out of the hands of those convicted of violent crimes.

With your support we can stop the action of SB24. Let us not have this legislative act expose our children, schools, sporting events, houses of worship, and businesses to those with a background of violence. We owe it to our nation to keep our streets safe from predators that prey on the weak and innocent and target our neighbors who cannot defend themselves from those intending to do us harm.

The gist? Alabama will become dangerous if the Sheriff’s Office can not extract $10 each year for your pistol permit.

The problem? This statement by the MCSO…

Madison County Sheriff’s OfficeIf SB 24 passes we would not issue any permits at all. It would take legislative action to direct us to do so. Two states heavily traveled are TN and FL. With no permit required from AL then they may deny your ability to carry in their state as now the reciprocity is not there.

That’s right, they will refuse to issue permits to people who want EXACTLY for the reason of reciprocity if the state remove the requirement for them.

This is a political tactic, but it has been exposed by Alabama’s Sheriff Association….

A recent internal email suggests that the Sheriffs Association isn’t necessarily negotiating in good faith. An email from Timmons called on sheriffs to contact their legislators “if you value your permit fund.” He specifically warned against a compromise that would clearly benefit Alabama’s gun owners. “The National Rifle Association WILL return next time the Legislature meets to bring back Jabo [Waggoner’s] ‘any county bill’ and will push for uniform — one cost — statewide permit fee…if any fee at all!”

If the Sheriffs Association’s opposition was primarily an officer safety issue, the big “push” email didn’t make it a direct focal point at all.

The email strongly suggests that money is the primary driver for the sheriff’s objection to SB24. Counties must adequately fund law enforcement, but pistol permits shouldn’t be the mechanism. If the Alabama Sheriff’s Association won’t work towards a good faith compromise that ensures a streamlined pistol license that’s the same for all Alabamians, legislators ought to move ahead and join the twelve states that don’t require concealed pistol licenses at all.

It’s about money. Period.

Refusing to issue any permit as a tantrum is the wrong answer.

Now, legislators MUST change this law and require permits for people who want them for reciprocity reason.

UPDATE: State Senator Bill Holtzclaw stated this morning that the Sheriff will have no choice but to issue permits to people who seek them for reciprocity…

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