The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Opinion

March 9, 2014

Pistol proposal is lethal legislation

— The Legislature is carrying a loaded gun and pointing it at the citizenry.

There’s a bill before the Senate that would allow people to carry loaded pistols in their vehicles without a concealed-carry permit.

Currently, a person can keep the pistol in their car without a permit. However, it has to be unloaded, locked up and out of reach.

Is it so dangerous now that we have to have loaded guns in the car?

Sen. Scott Beason thinks so. In fact, the Gardendale Republican compares it to having a loaded gun in the house and said an unloaded pistol isn’t useful in the car.

“You should be able to have a useable weapon,” he was quoted as saying. 

However, there is a considerable difference in protecting your home from intruders and driving.

Among the opponents of the bill is the Alabama Sheriffs’ Association. The group — who would know something about armed drivers — cited concerns for public safety in opposing the legislation. And the organization is concerned about the safety of law-enforcement officers who approach motorists after pulling them over.

Another concern, said Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely, is the mental state of the driver/pistol owner.

“You don’t know if they have a mental illness or not” because a concealed-carry permit requires applicants to have a background check while the legislation would negate that.

Blakely and others — all staunch supporters of the 2nd Amendment — hope that common sense will prevail. But he did offer this bit of advice: “Nobody is safe when the Legislature is in session.”

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