In a joint statement Monday, the Baldwin and Mobile county Democratic parties curtly condemned the so-called “constitutional carry” bill, House Bill 6, describing the piece of legislation as “a perilous step that is out of touch with law enforcement challenges.”
House Bill 6, sponsored by State Rep. Shane Stringer, R-Citronelle, would allow individuals to carry firearms concealed or in a vehicle without the permit currently required under state law. The move has caused a stir among many law enforcement officials who see the legislation as potentially hazardous for officers and take away a tool used to seize stolen weapons.
“The bill is unnecessary and hazardous to law enforcement,” said Jason Fisher, chair of the Baldwin County Democrats. “With the recent tragedies we have seen in our respective counties involving our peace officers, it is inexcusable that we place their lives in jeopardy for a misguided attempt to make a fringe political statement in an election year.”
Stringer, a former Mobile County sheriff deputy who was fired for sponsoring the same bill during the previous legislative session, said in an interview with APR‘s Jacob Holmes that the U.S constitution allows citizens to “have the right to keep and carry firearms. Period.”
“This is not a second amendment issue,” the joint statement reads. “Like other permitting issues (driver’s licenses, building permits, zoning laws, road construction, seat belt wearing, etc.), requiring a permit is designed to protect the public and allow guns in the hands of responsible citizens – not in the hands of those identified as potential dangers to the public. If enacted, this bill will become a community safety issue and a perilous step that is out of touch with law enforcement challenges. Our county Democrats are united on this point.”
Both the Baldwin and Mobile county Democratic parties said they agree with Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran, who publically opposes HB6, and stating “concealed carry permits are sensible and constitutional tools that help ensure the safety of the general public.”
Recently, Cochran insisted that the Mobile County Commission adopt a resolution opposing legislation to nullify concealed carry permits.
The Mobile County Commission later opted to release a statement, instead of a resolution, during their Dec. 28 commission meeting expressing their opposition to “any proposed legislation that seeks to eliminate the necessity of obtaining a concealed carry permit.”
HB6 will be introduced officially during the upcoming regular legislative session beginning Jan. 11.