MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA — What if you lived in a county where your sheriff didn’t like you? What if he decided that instead of simply letting you go through the state-outlined process for pursuing a concealed carry permit, now you need to write an essay or show your high school diploma or pay more money than other people? That would be discriminatory. It would also put the bar for responsible concealed carry above the reach of some law-abiding Americans. We’re not talking about convicted felons being barred from owning firearms or getting their concealed carry permits. We’re not talking about someone with a proven history of mental illness being placed under tight scrutiny when applying for a permit. We’re talking about an unnecessary and outright dangerous practice of discrimination against people who otherwise would have the legal right to pursue the process of concealed carry. Thankfully, legislators in Montgomery, Alabama agree that it’s a practice that needs to be formally stopped.
Yesterday, the Times Daily reported that Sen. Phil Williams, R-Rainbow City, went onto the Senate floor to share anecdotes he was receiving from sheriffs and deputies. He alleges that some local Alabama officials are creating additional “local hoops” that people have to jump through in order to pursue their concealed carry permits. And, as the Senate gathered to vote, they voted to pass specific legislation to prevent local counties and jurisdictions from imposing rules in addition to Alabama’s state guidelines.
This means that a sheriff can’t arbitrarily decide to tax you on ammunition or make you pay more for a gun. You don’t have to hop around on one leg or cluck like a chicken while people the neighboring county simply go in and fill out some paperwork and get some training. You, as a resident of Alabama, will now be entitled to the same rights as any other resident of Alabama with no exceptions or additional restrictions.
This is a great first step. In light of the news of some states and counties enacting harsher measures designed to punish law abiding citizens looking to protect themselves, laws like Senate Bill 135 seem to actually propose answers versus just looking the other way.
Who knows, maybe New York City and Seattle, Washington, will catch on that people don’t like being discriminated against when it comes to their constitutional freedom?
We can only hope they take a lesson from Alabama’s playbook.