Senate Bill 354: Compromising the safety of our youth and your law enforcement officers

As a veteran law enforcement officer of more than 35 years, I have been a staunch advocate of our 2nd Amendment gun rights. Most police officers I know make up a sizeable portion of

vocal gun rights advocates. Our opposition to this bill has nothing to do with impacting one’s rights to gun ownership – In fact, the State of Alabama could not pass any bill that would change that as it is a Federal issue.

Since taking office in 2006 the number of permits issued by my office has nearly doubled. It is our intention to make it easy for responsible gun owners to obtain a concealed carry permit.

Although we are certain to find fellow gun rights advocates who disagree with our opposition to this bill, we are confident that if one attempts to see this through the eyes of law enforcement it will be clear that we oppose this bill in the interest of public safety. It just is not reasonable to think that it would be safe for a child to be allowed to carry a handgun in a car and to risk placing a child in such dangerous situations.

Sheriff Sam Cochran

Q.
Why do you oppose Senate Bill 354?
A.
This bill will place officers in dangerous situations by unnecessarily exposing them to juveniles with handguns inside their vehicles. In addition to officer safety and equally important is the very dangerous idea of allowing juveniles to ride around with handguns.

Q.
Is this bill just one step closer to removing my gun rights?
A.
No law passed by the State of Alabama can take away your 2nd Amendment rights. The current law which requires you to have a permit to carry a loaded pistol in a vehicle has been a law for more than 80 years.

Q.
Isn’t there already a law prohibiting a juvenile from possessing a handgun?
A.
No, existing law only prohibits the transfer of a handgun to a juvenile.

Q.
Is this just an opportunity to protect revenue from the sale of pistol permits?
A.
No. The same juveniles we oppose possessing a handgun in their car do not qualify for a pistol permit. In addition, it is important to note this law is opposed by police departments – agencies that do not issue pistol permits.

Please join me in opposing this bill by letting your representative know that you DO NOT want armed teenagers roaming our streets.  http://www.legislature.state.al.us/house/representatives/houseroster_alpha.html

Lori Myles
Sheriff’s Assistant for Public Affairs
251-574-NEWS (6397)
lmyles@mobileso.com