Debate Magazine

Alabama 18-Year-olds with Concealed Carry Permits

Posted on the 12 August 2013 by Mikeb302000

Miami Herald
Many Alabama sheriffs are seeing more young people ages 18 to 20 seek permits to carry concealed handguns now that a new state gun law makes it tougher to deny them. Bobby Timmons, executive director of the Alabama Sheriffs Association, said he's fielded more questions from law enforcement about pistol permits for those in that age group than any other topic since the law took effect Aug. 1. "Everybody in the world wants to know about this," he said. Timmons said people that age have always been able to apply for pistol permits in Alabama. But many sheriffs never processed the applications if they thought a person was too immature to carry a concealed weapon. "Before we said, 'Get the hell out of this office. I'm not giving you a permit,'" Timmons said. Under the new law, sheriffs can't ignore an application and must process it within 30 days. If they deny it, they must give the applicant a written explanation using guidelines in the new law. Then the applicant can appeal to district court, and a judge must rule within 30 days whether to grant the permit. Assuming the applicant passes a mandatory criminal background check, the new law allows a sheriff to reject the application if there is reasonable suspicion the person may use the weapon unlawfully or in a manner that would endanger the applicant or others. The law sets out 11 reasons the sheriff may consider. Most focus on the person having an involuntary commitment to a hospital or other facility for mental health or drug problems. But one says a sheriff can reject the request when the applicant causes "justifiable concern for public safety." Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden said he used to get one or two young people under 21 seeking a pistol permit each year, and he denied most of them. "Ninety percent are not mature enough to be out there with a gun," he said. But he said he had three come in the first week the law was in effect, including one on the first day.
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