In yesterday’s Quote of the Day, Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson announced his department’s new “proactive” approach to citizens exercising their legal right to openly carry firearms in his city. A local member of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia emailed the Chief asking where he gets off challenging people engaged in a legal activity with no probable cause. Here’s the Chief’s response:
I am happy to know you are a law abiding citizen. I am well aware of the open carry law and the rights of an individual to openly carry a firearm in Alabama. My personal opinion as stated in the Tuscaloosa News article is just my opinion regarding the law and not an interruption of the law. I hope you are not naïve enough to believe criminals and felons would not disobey the law . . .
As someone who deals with criminals and felons I am not naïve enough to believe if they discovered they could carry a weapon openly and not be challenged by law enforcement some of them would not give it a try. I do expect my officers to respectfully speak with any one they come in contact with openly carrying a firearm in an effort to determine if they are legally within their rights to do so. We won’t know if we don’t ask. Thank you for your email.
Steven D. Anderson
Chief of Police
Tuscaloosa Police Department
3801 Mill Creek Av
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401