‘It’s a political thing’: Wiregrass sheriffs against ending pistol permit requirement

‘It’s a political thing’: Wiregrass sheriffs against ending pistol permit requirement

Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza addresses the media in his office in this 2021 file photo. Wiregrass sheriffs, backed by a state association, are worried that a Republican push to abolish the permit requirement to carry a concealed handgun is motivated by partisan politics over public safety. Members of the GOP in the Alabama House of Representatives said Wednesday that ending the permit requirement would be among their top priorities in the upcoming legislative session. The Alabama House Republican Caucus announced a legislative agenda that includes the so-called “constitutional carry” legislation that does away with the requirement to get a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public. The backing increases the chances of approval for the proposal that has failed for several years in Montgomery under opposition from state sheriffs. Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza said the process is currently pretty simple: an individual seeking a permit comes to the sheriff’s office, fills out a form for a quick background check, and pays for the permit. The cost is $20 per year and gun owners can get a permit active for up to five years under the current law. Valenza emphasized that he is a strong proponent of individual gun ownership, but is adamantly opposed to the proposed legislation. “There’s a legal way of doing it and the check and balance is a pistol permit,” Valenza said. “It’s to keep the bad people from having guns.” The background check allows the sheriff’s office to ensure the individual does […]

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