By Gary Lloyd
The new Alabama gun law took effect Thursday.
The changes in the gun law clarify the ability of people without a permit to carry a pistol openly in public unless there is signage indicating otherwise, to store a pistol in their vehicle at work under certain conditions regardless of objections from an employer and to transport a pistol in their vehicle without a permit if it is unloaded and out of reach of the vehicle’s occupants.
The law also requires a sheriff to approve a pistol permit within 30 days or justify why not. According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the sheriff may deny a permit application if a determination has been made 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 or others. Applicants denied a pistol license have 30 days to file an appeal with the District Court of Jefferson County.
“It has required some administrative training and changes at our three point of sale locations for the sale or renewal of permits, the new denial process and printing of new forms and new software to process the information,” said Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Randy Christian.
The three locations are the sheriff’s headquarters building on Eighth Avenue North in downtown Birmingham, the courthouse in Bessemer on Second Avenue North in Bessemer and the Center Point Satellite Courthouse on Center Point Road.
Pistol permits are .50 per year and can be issued for one- to five-year durations.
“As with any change in a law or creation of a new law, it has required training and education for our sworn personnel,” Christian said. “At this point, that is about all we can address. The rest of the story remains to be seen.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.