#Oathbreaker Alert! Alabama Sheriff Opposes Constitutional Carry

(Photo: Barbour County Sheriffs/Facebook)

As a county sheriff, one takes an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, which of course, includes the Second Amendment.  

The operative clause of the 2A clearly states, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” (emphasis added).

Permitting schemes are infringement.  It’s why the constitutional carry movement has taken hold in 24 states around the country.  

See, more and more, lawmakers are starting to realize red tape — in the form of background checks, fingerprinting, mandatory training — doesn’t belong between a law-abiding citizen and their right to bear arms.  

One shouldn’t need permission from government to exercise a fundamental right.  Period.  In fact, the more a government chills fundamental rights the more tyrannical it becomes.

Yet, there are those in government, like Alabama Sheriff Tyrone Smith, who believe, in spite of their oath to the Constitution, that permitless carry standards are an existential threat to public safety. 

SEE ALSO: Why Do Alabama Sheriffs Oppose Constitutional Carry? It’s All About the Money!

Sheriff Smith penned a letter this week to his constituents saying that although he is a “firm proponent” of the 2A, Alabama’s new law was “recklessly and inconsiderably passed by some lawmakers who are heavily financially supported by special interest group.”

“These Alabama lawmakers passed this bill with an abundance of evidence presented to them of how others states that have passed this type of legislation has had their crime rates increase dramatically,” Sheriff Smith, who represents Barbour County, continued.  

SEE ALSO: President Biden’s Budget Request Targets Firearm Industry

What evidence is Sheriff Smith referring to?  He doesn’t say.  But his claim that crime rates spike following the passage of constitutional carry flies in the face of a recent study.  As GunsAmerica reported back in February of this year: 

According to new research from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), allowing permit-less carry hasn’t led to increasing rates of violent crime. If anything, these rates have gone down in states that removed the requirement to obtain a permit before carrying a handgun.

Professor Carl Moody, CPRC’s research director, aggregated crime data from 13 states that have passed constitutional carry and could provide data since 2018. He compared the rates of murder, violent crime, police officer killings, and firearm homicides from the four years before a state introduced constitutional carry to the six years after.

He reported no statistically significant change in violent crime, police killings, and firearm homicide, and a drop in the murder rate.

If it were verifiably true that constitutional carry laws were directly linked to bloodshed in the streets, there’s zero chance that nearly half the country would have enacted them.  The opposition from Everytown and other anti-gun groups is already fierce, but if these organizations had any real evidence to support their doom and gloom proclamations, constitutional carry would never see the light of day.

The fear-mongering from public officials needs to stop.  But Sheriff Smith lays it on pretty thick.  

“What this letter is about is the fact that Alabama Lawmakers have passed a law that will make it extremely difficult for law enforcement to protect the citizens and themselves and restricts law enforcement in ways that has been proven very effective and most of the readers of this piece who already have safety concerns should be furious, because this will impact us all in a very negative way,” he writes in the letter dated March 28. “This is a debate I am willing to have with anyone.”

SEE ALSO: Passing Constitutional Carry is ‘Madness,’ Says MSNBC Columnist

I don’t need to debate the sheriff to simply let him know that prohibited persons — minors, felons, mental defectives, fugitives from justice, illegal immigrants, among others — are still banned from possessing firearms under federal law. 

Permitless carry laws do not expand gun rights to bad guys, troublemakers and others that should not have them.  Law enforcement still has the full weight of federal law to put violators behind bars for a long, long time.  

All the new law does is restore 2A rights the way the founders and framers intended.  Bottom line, a sheriff who swears an oath to the Constitution has no legitimate reason to oppose permitless carry.

However, as I noted in 2017, Alabama sheriffs do have a financial incentive to block it. Sheriffs’ departments across the state take in $100Ks in revenue annually from permitting fees ($20 per year per concealed carrier, I think). While this money doesn’t line the sheriff’s pocket, it is spent on new toys and tools for the troops.

It’s not unreasonable to assume this is the real reason why Sheriff Smith wrote his letter (see below). When in doubt about one’s motivation… follow the money!

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

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  • D. R. Perkins August 2, 2022, 11:53 am

    Jim Sugar – Quote “So for how long is a county sheriff term”

    Jim, their term is 4 years.

  • Ed Schrade April 1, 2022, 3:31 pm

    We had the same problem in Texas. You have some of these types that think they are a privileged class because they wear a badge. They forget that the Second Amendment doesn’t say you need a badge to keep and bear arms. The ” Constitutional Carry ” label is incorrect since there are still infringements . I am not anti law enforcement, only anti privilege.

  • tim April 1, 2022, 1:17 pm

    Took the end of the letter to see what it’s really about, $MONEY$ A sheriff that pits his name on the cruisers is looking for higher political office.

  • ccrider April 1, 2022, 12:49 pm

    He listed South Dakota, which is also a Constitutional Carry state. Former Governors held the same position as this Sheriff, but Gov. Noem signed CC into law. This year the fee for the optional Enhanced Permit to carry in other states was reduced to zero. The state will reimburse sheriffs $25 starting in July, I believe. They do processing and send applications to the state.

  • jim sugar April 1, 2022, 11:19 am

    So for how long is a county sheriff term before being unelected by the constituents of an Alabama County?

  • Armed and Dangerous April 1, 2022, 10:14 am

    Jim is absolutely correct. It’s about the $$. I wonder how those who are against constitutional carry would feel about requiring a permit but not charging a fee? I could live with that as long as the permit was available to anyone who was not a criminal or a mental case.

  • SuperG April 1, 2022, 8:46 am

    Thirty years ago, the FBI (before it became an enforcement arm of the Communists) said, “In areas where the majority of the population is armed, crime is lower”. My guess is that the Sheriff has “benefitted” from an anti-gun organization.

  • Jim Hovater April 1, 2022, 6:37 am

    Just reading Sheriff Smith’s comments speaks volumes’ about his educational background. I’m a former LEO and current Alabama resident. Years ago my wife worked for a local Sheriff’s department and was in charge of ‘pistol permits’. The ‘arguments’ AGAINST ‘Constitutional Carry’ are 100% about $$$.

  • Ronnie Maeker March 31, 2022, 11:45 am

    This is sure gonna hurt when Karma bites…

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