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“We know things that the computer can’t tell us. We know things about our citizens. We know who’s going through a divorce. We know who’s in a bad time, who may be drinking too much, who may be abusive, but hasn’t necessarily crossed the line of a crime. But in our opinion, they don’t need a pistol permit.” – Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor in Senator files bill to allow Alabamians to carry guns without a permit [courtesy yellowhammer]

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    • “…they don’t need a pistol permit.” The Constitution doesn’t require a citizen to prove a need before exercising an unalienable right. No individual. law enforcement official or other, has the right to make such a demand. What’s next…sheriffs like this one get to determine whether you really need to exercise your First Amendment rights, and decide to censor you because you tend to say ugly things when you get angry or intoxicated? The government didn’t give us the RKBA, and it have no right to deny on the basis of ‘need’..

        • If he’s got a pistol permit, then he might have a grudge and do something stupid, but if he doesn’t, everyone will be safe and sound? There’s no possibility that, because the guy might want to hurt someone, that he’d do it WITHOUT a pistol permit? People that are going to murder or hurt someone don’t care about breaking a pesky, pointless permit law. This is simply a power trip that sheriffs have had for years, and can’t let go.

    • Yes, the idea of a benevolent, all-seeing person who knows who’s been bad or good and reliably doles out benefits and punishments at his sole discretion is a story for children, not a basis for public policy.

  1. There may be a grain of truth to what he says in a small, rural county. But I live in Alameda county, CA. I have been here 30 years and have never, repeat, never had a face to face encounter with a deputy or the sheriff,

    How can they pretend to know me or about me?

    • In counties with fewer than 5,000 people, the sheriff probably does know all the pukes..
      In counties with big blue cities, the sheriffs are usually ignorant politicians, don’t know dookee about anything..

      • In a country of any size, the probability of the sheriff himself being a puke, is vastly higher than it os for any other random citizen.

        In general, for a call to ban someone from something to have any standing at all, all those who favor the ban needs to be the first affected by it.

    • Live on border of two county of pop 25000 ea. I know both Sheriff fairly well/first name basis.

      A Sheriff knows elected officials and political actives (of both parties). PERHAPS the NAME of habitual offenders. If there are cops anywhere walking a beat (not sitting on ass in a car) where they know a neighborhoodm this is certainly NOT the case with a County Sheriff or his department. Sheriff’s deputy spend their day driving around the roads of their county on patrol or responding to calls.

      I call BS on this sheriff.

    • A more relevant question: how does even a sheriff’s personal knowledge of someone trump that person’s right of due process?

      • Yep. It isn’t what he doesn’t know that’s the problem. It’s what he knows that just ain’t so. (h/t to Samuel Clemens and Will Rogers.)

        The sheriff simply hasn’t thought about how obviously confused his proposition sounds, and how revealing of a grandiose self-image. Count the county’s suicide-by-firearm. Were the suicidal carrying, or was the gun simply at home? And so on.

        The idea that he knows who’s been drinking to much is ridiculous: He knows of few of them, but doubtful he knows most. But if he does, he’s become like Santa Claus, as the first comment poster noted: Santa Claus is Coming to Town:

        He’s bugging your room,

        He’s reading your mail,

        He’s keeping a file
And running a tail.

        Santa Claus is tapping
Your phone.

        He hears you in the bedroom,

        Surveils you out of doors,

        And if that doesn’t get the goods,
Then he’ll use provocateurs….. so no permit for YOU!

        • Man asks his neighbor to borrow the neighbor’s lawnmower. neighbor replys, “that would normally be just fine, but my wife is getting her hair done this afternoon. The man response, “What does your wife’s hairdo have to do with it?”. The neighbor answers, “Nothing, but when I don’t want to loan my lawnmower, one excuse is as good as another”.

    • The Sheriff of San Francisco County knows that no one in town needs a CCW. No one. The Sheriff of Alameda County has a few friends who need one. I guess that means you are not one of the Sheriff’s special friends. I am lucky. My sheriff (Shasta) is shall issue unless he has a good reason to deny.

    • Biggest wacko in my small town is a deputy sheriff who resides here. Was hired in the late 90s when hard to find help. The ablity to fog a mirror was the chief job requirement. If there had been an actual background check with “authorities” in the community there is no way he would have passed. A nut. Hates my guts as I outrank him and am the “authority”. His preferred shift is graveyard when there is no supervision and typically is the only officer on duty in the county (IE loose cannon). I’ve had to “discuss” with the sheriff several time.

      If the guy had been assigned to my Inf Co there is no way I’d have allowed him to be armed.

    • Word.

      Or there’s the Deputy fiddling with his new 630 Lumen stream light on the rail of his M&P in a packed courtroom while his gun was still loaded. Colonel Cooper would not be proud.

    • Deputies? Hell, Chief of NYPD, later of CPD, Gary McCarthy, was repeatedly observed three sheets to the wind, for example by the NJ State police. Doubt he was sober when he and a pal started shooting streetlights out on City Island.

      And oh, it occurres to me: Permit holders commit, per capita, many fewer crimes than sworn LEOs per capita…each year. Yet most permit holders receive their permit without the slightest snooping in their bedroom (divorce) or den (drinking). The Sheriff hasn’t got a clue about his own personality problem. It speaks highly of his constituents, too.

    • That’s too simplistic. Look at New Jersey. The cops know the residents so well, they won’t give anyone a permit. They know better what’s good for you. They know that you don’t need your constitutional rights.

      • And here is the problem. There are a couple of “May-Issue” States that are virtually “Shall-Issue”. In these cases we MIGHT concede that police discretion could have a positive effect. Someone known to be irresponsible might be motivated to clean-up his act if he wanted to get a May-Issue permit. But, the Founding Fathers were skeptical that authority in the hands of government officials wouldn’t be abused. And, indeed, it has been abused in most of the May-Issue States. Because “May-Issue” has been rendered “Won’t-Issue” by these States’ officials they have spoiled any remnant of confidence we might otherwise have had in their responsible exercise of discretion. An abuse of power will – and should – be met with the withdrawal of the People’s delegation of power.

        • Iowa used to be may issue. That ranged from essentially shall issue to never issue. Because some sheriffs abused their authority over permits, the state switched to shall issue.

  2. “We know things that the computer can’t tell us. We know things about our citizens officers. We know who’s going through a divorce. We know who’s in a bad time, who may be drinking too much, who may be abusive, but hasn’t necessarily crossed the line of a crime. But in our opinion, they don’t need a pistol permit state issued police ID, badge, or duty weapon.”

    This guy must be the Sheriff of the Fantasyville County, Dreamland, USA. Cops have statistically more problems with drugs, alcohol, and domestic violence that the average American. Unlike us “citizens”, the badge gets you a free pass from just about every other copper on just about every transgression until it gets so bad that they can’t cover it up any more.

    He sounds like a political appointee, I can’t see Alabamans voting this kind of statist in to office.

    • “We know who’s in a bad time, who may be drinking too much, who may be abusive, but hasn’t necessarily crossed the line of a crime. But in our opinion, they don’t need a state issued police ID, badge, or duty weapon.”

      Ha! Well played.

  3. Just speaking for myself, but there are 86,000 people in my county. How in the hell is one person supposed to get to know 86,000 people that intimately? I’ve never even met my sheriff. And he knows all about me and he’s going to know if I get divorced and he’s going to use that information to deny me my constitutionally protected rights because ‘he knows better’? I don’t think so.

  4. You see the attitude displayed. Someone doesn’t understand that freedom is inherently dangerous but not as dangerous as a “dic-tatorial” powerful government.

  5. I’m sure he mentions divorce to suggest potential domestic violence. What does that have anything to do without allowing them to carry in public? Doesn’t almost all domestic abuse happen at home?

  6. “But in our opinion, they don’t need a pistol permit”

    But in our opinion, they don’t need a badge and a gun

    There fixed it for ya 🙂

  7. Translation: We know who should and should not be granted their Constitutional rights, at our sole discretion. That’s totalitarianism, not a constitutional democracy.

  8. Alabama is still “May Issue”. Luckily, most counties are run by good folks but some bad apples appear like Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor. The Alabama State Legislative Body needs to get to work and make Alabama a “Shall Issue” ASAP.

  9. Chances are that they already have the pistol, bud. Applying for a carry permit is their act of courtesy toward you. He acts as if holsters don’t work without his permission slip…

  10. In other words, you wish to rely upon purely subjective criteria, rather than an objective, verifiable, auditable standard.


    • Tell us again how Illinois has a “shall issue” concealed carry bill, and how great it is here. Or you could just copy and paste the latest news flash from “executive director” Richard Pearson & ISRA (IL state rifle association, the NRA tumor in Illinois.)

      Richard is an insurance salesman in Chatsworth, which is also ISRA World Headquarters. I trust him and you should too. He’ll explain to you how the world works, and how police are “on the same side” of “law-abiding” (white) gun owners.

  11. I don’t know the name of my sheriff, I don’t think he knows me or my situation.

    If a sheriff knows someone is a danger to society then they should probably do their job and collect evidence to convict the ne’er do well of a crime. If not, then they should probably leave the people alone.

  12. IMO Alabama needs to get the permits out of the hands of the Sheriff. It results in a patchwork of differing permit requirements and permit restrictions. This is not just a problem for locals, but people carrying on reciprocity agreements, which are also limited due to low state mandated requirements for issue

  13. He’s right. The good tax paying, voting citizens of that county don’t need pistol permits according to the 2A of our Constitution. And they don’t need him either as he will surely come to find out.

  14. Hopefully this Sheriffs Department never has this issue contested in a court of law. They have no tangible/quantifiable evidence to point to that would prevent issuance of a permit. The law is the law, not “I heard Tim was going through a divorce or a bad time”. There are millions of divorced permit holders and define “bad time”. Maybe in small town U.S.A, population 7 a Sheriff could have that power/relationship but big jurisdictions…no way.

  15. We know who gave us campaign contributions. We know who has a sign for our opponent in his front yard. We know who is expressing unpopular opinions. We know who is from the “wrong side of the tracks.” We know who belongs to an ethnic group that votes the “wrong” way.

    Truthfully, I don’t know whether they are currently abusing their authority or not. But good civic hygiene requires that we put systems in place that make it less likely for authority to be abused, irrespective of whether we like the people who currently wield that authority.

  16. “We know things that the computer can’t tell us. We know things about our citizens. We know who’s going through a divorce. We know who’s in a bad time, who may be drinking too much, who may be abusive, but hasn’t necessarily crossed the line of a crime. But in our opinion, they don’t need a pistol permit.”

    He knows who supports the Constitution and he knows who not to fuck with because they already have guns.

    Fascist pricks like this make you want to Constitutional carry right now without waiting for a permission slip from just another man that doesn’t have your well being in mind.

  17. Some pigs are more equal and, apparently, clairvoyant. NO ONE IS COUNTING ON THESE AHOLES TO PROVIDE THAT KIND OF “PROTECTION” BECAUSE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.

    It is not just wrong, IT IS WRONGFUL, for these yahoo aholes to claim that they can protect you on the individual level.


  18. “They don’t need a pistol permit”, because the Sheriff must have all power to decide who gets to exercise a constitutional right.

    This clown needs to go. Now. This clown is why we have a 2d Amendment.

  19. Enough with preemptive laws that ban given actions on the premise somebody might do something wrong sometime. A free society is based on the principle everyone is expected to do the right thing, until they prove otherwise. Why not deal with actual wrongdoing, instead of woulda’, shoulda’, coulda’?

  20. Always follow the money. Fees like this pay for special toys to play with.

    “Attempts to loosen Alabama’s permit rules have previously failed. Law enforcement associations, primarily county sheriffs’ offices, have lobbied against changes because they are the chief recipient of the fees gun owners must legally pay to obtain a permit.”

  21. I’m sure he has 52,000+ friends on his Facebook page. Well, maybe a little less since some of the county will be minors.

  22. “He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you’re awake; he knows when you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake!”

    Omigawd! Santa Claus is a Sheriff!

  23. I think he was saying that since they know the troublemakers and thier problems, they will keep an eye on them, so they do not need to issue pistol permits. I would bet that most carry anyway, except for the people the sheriff was speaking about.

    • Yeah, what’s actually going to keep them from carrying? A law? If they want to carry, they’ll carry, whether illegally or legally. And if they’re up to no good, a silly permit law isn’t going to slow them down…

        • And if he’s a troublemaker intent on committing a real crime, a misdemeanor isn’t going to slow him down. Remember, murder is a crime, and there are plenty of those, with guns. The gun crime doesn’t slow down the murderer.

          That law would keep ME, a law abiding citizen, from carrying concealed, if I didn’t have a permit. We’re not talking about law abiding citizens, who shouldn’t need a permit in the first place. We’re talking about shady characters, who aren’t going to let a silly law slow down their criminal activities.

  24. We’re making a list; we’re checking it twice.
    We’re going to know who’s naughty or nice.

    More total fantasy from the left.

  25. And THIS azzhole is one reason millions don’t respect cops. Acting as a standing occupying army instead of a servant or a “peace” officer.

  26. Wow, we live in a hard core tyranny. Government skools should be immediately disbanded. Let the enstupidation and baby sitting be done on someone else’s dime. We’d probably have an easier time getting rights back. Instead we should have government sponsored trade schools and citizen militia training.

  27. Hopefully, Alabamians will know who does and who does not need a badge, and act accordingly in the next election.

    Dear sheriff: I have nothing against the horse you rode in on, but as for you…

  28. How small would the county have to be for them to know the details of people lives?

    Where I live in the smallish, mostly rural and suburban county in south central PA, is 430k+ people at last check. No way the sheriff knows me and the state of my life unless we are acquaintances or I’ve run afoul of the law, and it would probably have to be on a regular basis.

    This is stupid think that maybe made sense in 1930.

    • Do you happen to be aware of programs like “stingray”, remote access terminal(RATs) software that can break into virtually EVERY cell phone, the GPS trackers that have been in EVERY cell phone since Jan 1, 2000, etc?
      They not only have the ability to know everything that you have been doing for years past, they can turn on your phone and capture the nudie shots of you and your wife that you thought nobody even knew about. Probably they already have and you aren’t even aware of it.
      But that doesn’t mean YOU will be on the list of not permit-able. Most likely you would be a prime candidate FOR a CCW in his jurisdiction. He would just need to extort enough cash from you first!

  29. One of the more enjoyable consequences of constitutional carry bills is how eager these little eichmans are to put their tyranny on full display.

    When one of these statists fan their plume of authoritarianism does it feel good to them? Like how it feels for a normal person to shovel an old ladies walkway or donate a few toys for tots? Or do they feel the evil and just like how the evil feels?

  30. Yes, County Sheriff’s know exactly who should, and should
    NOT, have CCW permits. “Everyone who gave my campaign x or greater, SHOULD, and anyone who gave me less than x, or nothing, SHOULD NOT! It’s as simple as checking his campaign records. What’s so hard to understand?
    It is easy so long as one doesn’t fall for the red herring about; “We know who’s going through a divorce. We know who’s in a bad time,”.
    So long as one knows that permits are good for a period of time, and that “bad times”, like good ones, come and go, one can instantly see how dishonest this LEO is…

  31. Basically only those people he likes can have permits. Everyone else by default can’t. A lot easier to remember that way.

  32. Sooo…..if a sheriff, deputy, or beat cop is going through a divorce, custody battle, or had a loved one die…..they should not carry a gun until someone else decides they are “ok” …

    What Jim Crow bullshit…..this guy’s county should vote his arrogant ass out of office if not impeach him.

  33. “Law enforcement associations, primarily county sheriffs’ offices, have lobbied against changes because they are the chief recipient of the fees gun owners must legally pay to obtain a permit.”

    Follow the money. This explains Sheriff Taylor’s opposition to Constitutional carry.

    • I think its more about power.

      The sheriff or Chief is the be-all, end-all of deciding who gets to carry in AL.

      Hard for a politician to turn loose of the power. The money is gravy.

      When I lived in IN, i had to go to the Chief to get a permit. He had to issue unless he could find a reason to deny.

      A friend on the force told me that the Chief would try to make me mad enough to lose my temper and deny my permit on grounds that I was unstable.

      I didnt bite and he gave me the permit. Carmel IN in mid-90s.

      First state I lived in where you could actually get a permit to carry legally.

  34. Uh……maybe Sherrif Andy Taylor might know all that, possibly Deputy Fife, too.

    However, the idea that a modern day sherrif of any appreciable sized county could have personal knowledge of the ins and outs of the citizenry’s suitability to carry a self-defense firearm, is as laughable as the idea of state-provided permission to carry is ludicrous.

    Good F’ing grief. Get over yourself. That finger you think you have on the pulse of the populace? It’s really just your thumb up your butt.

  35. Does he know who need a permit for a printer, too? Or is the First Amendment still safe in his jurisdiction, unlike the Second?

  36. I swear I saw Sheriff Heath Taylor “creeping” around highway Rest Area Men’s Rooms like disgraced former N.J. Governor Jim McGreevey, I wonder WHAT old “tin star” is hiding from his wife and his county’s voters.


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