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Alabama: Jefferson Co. Sheriff Supports Your Second Amendment Rights

Monday, April 18, 2016

Alabama: Jefferson Co. Sheriff Supports Your Second Amendment Rights

Jefferson County Sheriff, Mike Hale, is speaking up in support of two NRA-endorsed bills in the Alabama Legislature: Senate Bill 14 and Senate Bill 304.  Both bills would make it easier for law-abiding Alabamians to exercise their Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms and their fundamental right to self-defense.

Sheriff Hale is one of three Sheriffs in the state—out of 67—who have voiced their support for these important pro-gun initiatives.  Please contact Sheriff Hale to thank him for supporting your Right to Keep and Bear Arms!

Senate Bill 14 recognizes that a law-abiding individual’s ability to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense within their home or in their vehicle should not be conditioned by government imposed time delays and taxes.

Senate Bill 304 would allow law-abiding Alabamians to apply for a concealed carry permit in the county that offers the most affordable permitting fees.  Currently, costs for a standard 5-year permit very widely between counties, from a low of $40, to a high of $125.

According to the Alabama Political Reporter, Hale told the Greater Birmingham Young Republicans that when he was a deputy, “93 out of a 100 complaints were about the pistol license fee.  I remembered that… and I promised to lower the pistol license fee.  I don’t believe that sheriffs should profiteer off of your Second Amendment rights.”

In reference to Senate Bill 14, Hale said, “I am thinking about that young nurse when she is driving through a rough part of town and gets stopped at a rail crossing she should be able to defend herself if something happens.  A citizen should be as protected in his car as his house.”

Unfortunately, a large majority of Alabama Sheriffs disapprove of Sheriff Hale’s vocal support for your Second Amendment rights.  Recently, the Alabama Sheriffs Association (ASA) released a flurry of public statements excoriating your NRA, state pro-gun organizations, members of the Alabama Legislature, and even other law enforcement officers.  The reason?  The ASA opposes the advancement of your Right to Keep and Bear ArmsPlease contact your Sheriff and ask him or her to support your Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

It seems that the Sheriffs have lost sight of one very important fact: they are public officials who are duly elected to uphold your constitutional rights and preserve public safety.  Self-defense situations are difficult, if not impossible, to predict.  Your NRA-ILA believes that recognizing a law-abiding adult’s ability to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense within their home and in their vehicle advances both constitutional rights and public safety.

Background on Senate Bill 14

  • On April 5, the Alabama Senate approved and passed Senate Bill 14 with a 27-7 vote.
  • A majority of states, and every one of Alabama’s neighboring states, already allow law-abiding gun owners to carry a loaded handgun in their vehicle for self-defense without government-mandated permitting and taxation.
  • Senate Bill 14 recognizes that self-defense situations are difficult, if not impossible, to anticipate.
  • A law-abiding individual’s ability to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense within their home or in their vehicle should not be conditioned by government-imposed time delays and taxes.
  • It is time for Alabama to join a majority of the states and adopt the provision of Senate Bill 14.
  • Senate Bill 14 will NOT allow prohibited persons to possess a concealed firearm in a vehicle.

Background on Senate Bill 304:

Examples of costs differences between Alabama 67 counties for a standard 5-year Concealed Weapons License (CWL):

  • Low – Jefferson County - $40 for a standard 5 year permit
  • High – five counties - $125 for a standard 5 year permit

                -Baldwin
                -Coosa
                -DeKalb
                -Lowndes
                -Macon

  • Over a 5-year period those rights cost approximately $85.00 more in Macon County compared to Jefferson County.
  • The permittee receives no additional benefit for this more expensive permit.
  • Counties that charge excessive fees are simply generating revenue from a small group of law-abiding residents.
  • It is a discriminatory tax on law-abiding gun owners.
  • Senate Bill 304 recognizes that a law-abiding Alabamian’s right and ability to obtain a concealed weapon license should not be impeded based, simply, on the county in which they live.
  • Under Alabama’s existing licensing scheme, provided an individual who wishes to obtain a CWL must apply for such license in their county of residence.  Furthermore, under current law, counties have discretion in determining the cost of a CWL.
  • Senate Bill 304, would allow a law-abiding Alabamian to obtain a CWL in any county within the state, provided that they are not statutorily disqualified from doing so.
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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.