Joe Randomguy-Birmingham, AL
It likely comes as no great surprise to the reader that most Alabama Sheriff’s and the Alabama Sheriff’s Association oppose SB24. In fact, as few as three Sheriff’s have actually come out in support of the legislation. Sure there are a few that waiver depending on what person or civic group they are speaking to, but three have spoken consistently in favor of allowing the citizens of their counties to freely exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms. But, this article is not about who is for it or who is against it or their reasoning. It is about the informed stance of one sheriff who stands to cost taxpayers of his county thousands of dollars.
Sheriff Blake Dorning of Madison County has been vocal in his opposition. He published an open letter to the citizens of Madison County telling them why he was against the legislation. Even though he bases his opinion on incorrect or unsubstantiated information he is entitled to express his opinion. You will get no argument from me on his right to do so. Now here is where it gets bad for him and his office: The Madison County Sheriff’s Office through their Facebook page now says that, if the law passes, they will no longer issue any permits. Sounds like they want to take their ball and go home. “If SB24 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 for Alabama then they may deny your ability to carry in their state as now the reciprocity is not there.” More fear dispensed from a politician, there is a surprise.
Unfortunately for Sheriff Dorning, and he should know this, the “legislative action” requiring them to do so has already occurred. It is in place in the form of Section 13A-11-75 Code of Alabama 1975 and reads in part “The sheriff of a county, upon the application of any person residing in that county, within 30 days from receipt of a complete application and accompanying fee, shall issue or renew a permit for such person to carry a pistol in a vehicle or concealed on or about his or her person within this state for one- to five-year increments, as requested by the person seeking the permit, from date of issue, unless the sheriff determines that the person is prohibited from the possession of a pistol or firearm pursuant to state or federal law, or has a reasonable suspicion that the person may use a weapon unlawfully or in such other manner that would endanger the person’s self or others. In making such determination, the sheriff may consider whether the applicant”.
There is not much wiggle room for the sheriff here. The law of the State of Alabama which he has sworn to uphold dictates what must be done.
If his office stands by their threat to discontinue issuing permits they are inviting a lawsuit as soon as someone is denied a permit for no reason. The suit will likely cost the taxpayers of Madison County thousands of dollars in legal fees before any kind of settlement is reached.
Of course this is just the opinion of a random guy, Joe Randomguy.