Baldwin County (WALA) - Legislation that would drastically increase the rights of gun owners in Alabama is meeting fierce opposition. Sheriffs across the state said it goes too far.
SENATE BILL 129 - EXPANDING GUN RIGHTS
The bill, Alabama Senate Bill 129, would greatly increase gun owner rights in Alabama. Commissioners in conservative Baldwin County wrote up a resolution in opposition to this bill, Tuesday, February 26.
Commissioner Tucker Dorsey told us, "We all stand behind the constitution, and all of its amendments, including the Second Amendment. But we still have to use good judgment with folks in our community, with laws that are in place to allow responsible people to carry to responsible places. And we don't want to have a wild west, open carry kind of environment here."
ALABAMA SHERIFF'S AGAINST BILL
Commissioner Dorsey said Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack brought the legislation to their attention.
Right now, when a person applies for a pistol permit and meet all the requirements a sheriff *may* give them a permit. The new bill changes the word *may* to *shall*.
The Alabama Sheriff's Association said that simple word change takes away a sheriff's discretion. State Senator Rusty Glover from Semmes, who is co-sponsoring the bill, said they've heard the concerns and they're making some changes.
"There is going to be some more language added to the bill which will be introduced very soon that will give some discretion to the sheriffs if the person has committed a crime or they have some documentation that this person should not be carrying a weapon," Senator Glover said.
WILD WEST BILL?
The bill would also open up where someone could take a gun. That's what Commissioner Dorsey means about a Wild West environment.
"With the passage of 129, I can't tell you , ‘No, you can't bring that into my place of business,' which in my opinion, that starts to infringe on personal property rights," Commissioner Dorsey said.
"There's some people that have been very upset that they have a concealed and carry permit," Senator Glover told us."But their employer does not allow them to even have it even hidden away, tucked away in their vehicle."
Bill 129 would also forbid municipalities from banning shooting within city limits and level large fines on public officials who try to circumvent the rewritten law.
We'll continue to follow up on this bill and let you know how it fares through the legislative process.
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