Alabama State Senator Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, is behind Senate Bill 129. The bill would clarify the state's Open Carry Law and it would take away the sheriff's authority in deciding who gets a pistol permit.The current law says sheriffs "May issue" a permit, but under Senator Beason's bill the wording would change to "Shall issue." This means as long as the person passes the instant background check the sheriff would have to issue that person a pistol permit.
The bill has received opposition from law enforcement including, Houston County Sheriff Andy Hughes. Hughes said the bill takes away the discretion of a sheriff when it comes to issuing pistol permits.
"We do have certain individuals who may not be prohibited in the national or local data base but there may be information that we have on them that are in our database. We have people that are habitual drunkards, who may not be in the national database and these people shouldn't have a gun walking around with it," explained Hughes.
Alabama's Sheriff Association shares the same sentiment as Hughes. The group plans to met in Birmingham Wednesday to publicly address the concerns of law enforcement.