Alabama Sheriff Says He Should Have Final Say on Concealed Carry Permits


Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor (D) is taking a stand against Alabama’s “Shall Issue” statute by arguing that he and other sheriffs should have the final say on who gets concealed carry permits, regardless of background checks and other compulsory steps that are part of the concealed permit application process.

Alabama is one of 40 “Shall Issue” states in America. In each of these states, the sheriff of a given county has a set amount of time in which he or she must approve and issue or disapprove and reject a concealed carry application. It is under obligation to issue unless something comes up in criminal or mental records searches that prove the applicant unfit.

Taylor says that what he knows about people goes beyond background checks and he should be able to make decisions based on that knowledge. And that may mean denying concealed carry permits to people going through a “divorce” or other personal struggles.

According to Yellow Hammer News, when Taylor addressed the Alabama Sheriffs Association this week, he said:

We know things that the computer can’t tell us. We know things about our citizens. We know who’s going through a divorce. We know who’s in a bad time, who may be drinking too much, who may be abusive, but hasn’t necessarily crossed the line of a crime. But in our opinion, they don’t need a pistol permit.

Alabama became a “Shall Issue” state in 2013.

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