With a bill to bring permitless concealed carry to Alabama tracking in the state senate, at least one local sheriff is against the proposal on grounds that include his department losing out on cash from permits.
“In effect what this bill does is take a tool away from law enforcement to disarm violent criminals,” Pickens County Sheriff David Abston told WCBI in the above video, starting at about the 1:00 mark.
The cowboy-hatted, 1911-carrying Southern lawman says he is all about the right to keep and bear arms.
“As a Sheriff, I firmly back the Second Amendment,” says Abston. “I want all of our citizens to be armed to protect themselves. At the same time, law enforcement has to be able to go in and disarm bad actors, criminals, mentally ill, terrorists and I don’t think this bill was well thought out.”
Issued by county sheriffs, pistol permit fees vary throughout the Yellowhammer State, depending on the county and the length of time the permit is valid. For instance, a five-year permit issued in Jefferson County costs $37.50, while the same permit in Coosa County, just an hour away, costs $125 even though both are recognized throughout the state and in 25 others via reciprocity agreements.
“This money generated from the pistol permit goes to buy our uniforms, equipment, our firearms, our training, our ammunition to train and send people to the police academy. Once you take away that funding where’s the money going to come from?” says Abston.
The powerful Alabama Sheriffs Association has frequently opposed gun reform measures, including one to allow guns in cars without a permit and some have even bemoaned the loss of restrictive may-issue practices allowed in the past.
The permitless carry legislation is currently assigned to the Senate Judiciary committee.