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Law enforcement weigh-in on new Alabama gun bill that would do away with permits

A new gun bill stirring up controversy in Alabama. Senate Bill 3, proposed earlier this year would allow residents to carry guns anywhere without a permit.

Members of the Alabama Sheriff's Association are weighing in on Senate Bill 3. They want they public to be aware of their current gun options before quickly supporting the new bill, that would do away, with all gun permits in Alabama.

"The Alabama Sheriff's Association has been fighting this bill because we believe as public safety officials that it's a public safety issue to not having somebody vetting who's carrying a weapon in public," says Sheriff Heath Taylor.

Members of the Alabama Sheriff's Association say residents can now take advantage of the open carry law. This allows residents to carry a gun in the open, on public land or on private property with permission.

Authorities say, if Senate Bill 3 passes, it could jeopardize other gun guidelines, no in place including the concealed weapons permit. This requires gun-holders to have a permit to ravel with a loaded gun in their car.

"I understand the argument the criminal is gonna break the law... but I think the other side to that is... If you do away with the permit that's currently the law.. when we catch the criminals... we don't have any grounds to do anything with them... if you take that law away," says Sheriff Taylor.

Last year Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones weighed in on a similar bill that would've done away with the concealed weapons permit if it passed.

"I think my job and the job of law enforcement officers out there that I work with... is to do our best to protect our communities and if you take law away that hampers our ability to do that then you're hurting public safety," says Sheriff Jay Jones.

The efforts to get the concealed weapons permit wiped away did not pass last year in Alabama.

So far, Senate Bill 3 has not been taken up for consideration, but News 3 will keep you updated on its status.

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