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Not everyone is taking the trend of states adopting permitless concealed carry well. An Alabama sheriff says the Yellowhammer State’s new permitless carry law “will impact us all in a very negative way.” And it’s a debate he’s “willing to have with anyone.” Barbour County Sheriff Tyrone Smith might regret throwing down that challenge, since his open letter reflects fundamental errors of the gun controller’s ideology.

Smith’s basic error is in thinking gun licensing laws make us safer at all, even though such laws don’t stop criminals and only create obstacles for peaceable citizens.

The sheriff is upset because, with the passage of HB 272, Alabama will no longer require a permit to carry concealed pistols. The lack of a permit requirement is sometimes known as “constitutional carry” or “permitless carry,” although I don’t like either term.

“Constitutional carry” gives the false impression that the Constitution is the source of our gun rights, when in fact the Constitution simply acknowledges and protects our pre-existing natural right of self-defense. “Permitless carry” makes it sound like a permit requirement is the status quo, and the freedom to carry without one is exceptional. Historically, the exact opposite was true.

“Free carry” communicates the truth of the mattter: this is the government getting out of the way of individuals exercising their natural rights. Almost half the nation has now adopted this approach, making it the most dominant means of “regulating” public carry of firearms in the nation—and the momentum continues to build.

But Sheriff Smith says Alabama’s free carry law was “recklessly” passed through the influence of “special interest” groups. This is a common trope: when self-defense rights are upheld, gun control activists often blame a shadowy “gun lobby,” rather than acknowledge their policies aren’t wanted.

Maybe the sheriff doesn’t realize gun control is increasingly unpopular, while firearm ownership is embraced by diverse groups across cultural and political lines. Perhaps Smith isn’t aware that gun restrictions—not gun rights—have often served the “special interest” of racist intent.

Gun control is losing support, as Americans from all backgrounds realize they are responsible for their own self-defense amid surging crime. Police do not have a legal duty to protect individuals. And the old saying is true: “When seconds count, the police are just minutes away.”

Nonetheless, Sheriff Smith believes free carry in Alabama “will make it extremely difficult for law enforcement to protect the citizens and themselves.” Those “who already have safety concerns,” he says, “should be furious” that concealed pistols will no longer require a permit.

Rather than getting mad and calling for gun control, Alabamians with “safety concerns” should take real steps to ensure their personal protection. A permitting scheme is not going to protect them from violence—because criminals don’t follow laws.

The people who commit home invasions, rapes, kidnappings, and murders are not scrupulous about getting their gun permits. It’s absurd to think violent offenders—often sentenced to death in Alabama—will be deterred by pistol permit laws with their comparatively minor penalties.

A law enforcement officer like Sheriff Smith should understand all of this. But some people truly believe the empty promises of “safety” made by gun control activists, and Smith seems to fall in this camp.

He is concerned that Alabama “ranks 5th out of 50 states that were analyzed for gun violence.” No source is cited for this ranking—he may have relied on the far-left Center for American Progress, or the first Google result for “gun violence by state,” both of which make such a claim.

Neither source appears to distinguish between criminal violence and acts of self-defense, making their data virtually worthless. At any rate, if Alabama really has this level of violent crime, that is all the more reason to remove any and all bureaucratic barriers to self-defense.

Smith also seems to think the cost of a permit is no big deal: “In my opinion, paying twenty dollars a year to obtain a pistol permit and alleviate unnecessary criminal issues is a no brainer.”

Yet there are many financially strapped Alabamians for whom that fee is hardly small change. More to the point, the government should be charging absolutely nothing for the exercise of natural self-defense rights.

If the Barbour County Sheriff is serious about debating all comers on the importance of gun permits, he probably shouldn’t have ended his letter with a list of over 20 states “that have laws passed such as ours.”

From Alaska to Wyoming, these free carry states strike me as great places to live.

And I don’t recall any of them being compared to a horror movie or a war zone. Those violent descriptions are reserved for locations like L.A. and Chicago—places with some of the nation’s strictest gun laws.

But, Sheriff Smith, if you still want to debate, I’ll take you up on your offer. Reach out and we’ll make it happen. People, not your office, have the right to decide how best to protect their lives and their loved ones, and I’m happy to advocate on their behalf.

 

Cody J. Wisniewski (@TheWizardofLawz) is the director of Mountain States Legal Foundation’s Center to Keep and Bear Arms. He primarily focuses on Second Amendment issues but is happy so long as he is reminding the government of its enumerated powers and constitutional restrictions.

To learn more about the Center to Keep and Bear Arms’ work and support their fight for your natural right to self-defense—from both man and tyranny—visit www.mslegal.org/2A and donate today!

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55 COMMENTS

  1. quote—————“Permitless carry” makes it sound like a permit requirement is the status quo, and the freedom to carry without one is exceptional. Historically, the exact opposite was true.———quote

    Falsehood. An hour long special on TV examined gun control laws in Colonial America both before and after the singing of 2A and found that the bigger cities often prohibited people from carrying firearms and even keeping a gun loaded in the home. After 2A was signed these laws were NOT rescinded and actually increased steadily to this very day.

    And the Sheriff will easily win the debate because people who are not trained in gun safety and the deadly force laws of their state will not only be a danger to themselves but a danger to everyone else and a lot of unnecessary shootings will take place. In my own concealed carry class I was appalled and shocked by the lack of knowledge of the laws and of gun safety practices.

    • “people who are not trained in gun safety and the deadly force laws of their state will not only be a danger to themselves but a danger to everyone else and a lot of unnecessary shootings will take place”

      Speculation. Do better.

        • And you Storm Trooper (wannabe) refuse to accept facts that do not fit your political agenda. You scream “Do not confuse me with the facts as I have already made up my mind”.

        • dacian, the Dunderhead, First you have to have real facts. Not made up fantasy that you call “facts” .

        • This is one of the telltale signs of a communist. They pretend to have facts and shove the word down peoples throats, as if it puts them on the moral high ground. Nowadays, there are no facts. There are only cherry picked opinions that can and will be disputed at every turn.

    • dacian, the Dunderhead, what TV “documentary”? When did it air? What channel? Who put it together?

      Is this another one of your fantasies?

      • to walt the hillbilly

        It was MSNBC and it was a 2 hour special on the NRA. Millions of educated people watched it while you were glued to Trump Fox TV.

        You are out of your league. Give up while you are ahead.

        • dacian, the Dunderhead. ROFLMAOBT! MSNBC? Now there is a propaganda outlet if there ever was on. Only a blithering idiot would consider MSNBC to present anything but propaganda.

          You are right, I am way out of your (little) league. I have an education as well as common sense.

    • Dacian, that’s a load of crap. Early colonial firearms prohibitions forbade giving guns (or other weapons) to “indians” and “negroes”.

      Non prohibiting regulations typically required people to have guns. For example there were laws that listed the kit a militiaman was expected to have and the fines for not having it. Then there were regulations telling you when you had to bring your arms for inspection and training. Often that was after church service on Sunday. Then there were laws for the municipality to provide guns to people who were too poor to afford one, for militia service.

    • “…people who are not trained in gun safety and the deadly force laws of their state will not only be a danger to themselves but a danger to everyone else…”

      To date, and at no point in recorded human history, have untrained, or even inept firearms owners been on a danger level to “the public” with those who willingly and intentionally use guns and other weapons for their own illegal and immoral gains. True of individuals, as well as organized “governments” or rulers.

      To refuse humans the choice of being able to defend life and property merely because something “may happen” is ludicrous. This antiquated and unprovable notion is being rejected resoundingly in now half of the states by the citizens, who, by the way, are supposed to be the employers (bosses) of their elected sheriffs, representatives and appointed LEOs.

      If Sheriff Smith is unhappy with the people of his state, he should resign and move to, say, CA, MA, NY or one of the other states that at this time still practice his brand of tyranny.

  2. This is a bit misleading as his opposition is because of the loss of revenue to his Sheriffs Dept. Pistol permits are a large percentage of the Sheriffs budgets across this state and the loss of this revenue will have to be made up either in taxes or a drastic cut in the number of Deputies!

    • no.
      it’s NOT misleading.
      if the sheriff was concerned about loss of revenue, he should have said so.
      he did not.
      what he did say was this …
      “will make it extremely difficult for law enforcement to protect the citizens and themselves.”
      which has nothing to do with revenue, and implies lawlessness.

      • That is a conclusion without a basis in evidence. Criminals have been carrying concealed firearms without a permit. The permitting requirement, even if including a background check, does not and has not deterred them. Moreover, it is still illegal for a prohibited person or a minor to carry a concealed firearm, as it is illegal to commit any number of violent felonies using a firearm. The ONLY thing that changes is 1) there may be more guns being carried by law abiding individuals, and 2) those individuals will save $20 a year on fees.

    • also .. last i looked … sheriffs are sworn to uphold the constitution of the united states.
      “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
      is pretty self explanatory … even to a sheriff in alabama.
      for that matter … even to a commenter named rick.

    • All it takes is a couple extra speed traps and cutting back on some of the “tacti-cool” costumes for his deputies – or maybe, just maybe, he could figure out how to live with the available budget he has, you know, like millions and millions of everyday people do?

      Though I do wonder about these local law enforcement agencies crying the blues about losing permit revenue – why are their jurisdictions so dangerous that CCW permits create that much money?

  3. He’s full of donkey dust. I wonder if he’s related to dacian, the Dunderhead or Minor Miner49er.

      • SAFE, I don’t think that either of them could pass the physical or the mental evaluation or the physical agility or the background investigation.

        • Would be fun to watch that academy. CS wasn’t that bad but fuck oc at all levels and thankfully no video exists for my taser training.

  4. Poor, poor Jim Crow Gun Control sheriff smith, no doubt he’s stuck on the democRat Party plantation…Debate time is over and you still don’t get it sheriff smith…Either educate yourself and find out what a moron you’ve been or go pound sand.

    • Yeah this colored fellow doesn’t seem to “get” he sounds just like those cracker hillbillies who “held the black man down”. Irony ain’t it?!?🤓😃🙄

  5. Alabama and now Georgia if I’m not mistaken = 25 States.

    Meanwhile in South Carolina, we are fighting hard on a couple of things. Constitional Carry is one of them. We finally got Open Carry..if one has a CWP and that was a fight. Working on medical MJ for those who need, Cancer and Chemo are horridious if you’ve ever watched someone die like that.
    Just seems every thing just has to be a fight these days rather than use common sense.
    Ok, my rant for the day….maybe.
    Go Elon Musk!….except your POS Teslas. lol

  6. “Free Carry” is THE take-away from this article. USE IT wherever you can!!

    The gun control industry has already started using “criminal carry” for these new freedoms, even though, as everything else they say, it is a lie. Possession of guns by criminals WAS illegal before, and IS STILL illegal now.

    If we are to win over the fence-sitters, we have to use terms that accurately communicate our position.

    • I prefer “Right to Carry” because it is a Right and that Must be communicated and reinforced at every opportunity.

      • That’s a different answer to a different question.

        This is about a term used to describe states that have returned to that full “right to carry.”

        ALL Americans have the “right to carry,” but in some states that right is still being infringed.

        This term describes the status of those states that have formally chosen to adjust their laws to recognize that right.

        So yeah, it’s all “fruit,” but still apples and oranges.

  7. Barbour County Sheriff Tyrone Smith is the obvious member of an anti-2A special interest group called the Democratic Party, which is now an incubator for Socialists, Marxists, and Communists working to “Fundamentally Remake America” and not for the better. Vote him out!

    • Rick, that was part of the bill as passed. The state would make up the difference in revenue from a special fund. Each county office would be able to apply for the difference between what they took in on permit fees in the last couple years and any losses after the law takes effect the 1st of the year. As soon as the Sherriff’s Assn. found out they would still get the money, opposition collapsed. Where the special fund is coming from, I haven’t found out yet.

    • The process of issuing carry permits should NEVER have been a “revenue generating” function of the government. Ever. The fact that it was tells you all you need to know about the inherent evil of carry permits.

      Since the function of obtaining and holding a permit provides absolutely NO benefit to the holder, all costs to implement the function should have been borne by the government as a whole – with NO cost incurred by the individual permit holder.

  8. Whomever gets the joy of debating this rocket scientist Sheriff should ask him a couple of questions. 1. How many violent gun crimes have been committed by permit holders vs non permit holders? And 2. Since the answer to that is practically zero per year for permit holders then what is the point of making people get a permit?

  9. 𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 $𝟏𝟓𝐤 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐛𝐲 𝐝𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧 𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐲 𝐣𝐨𝐛 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐡𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐲 𝐥𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐨𝐩. 𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐞𝐱𝐭𝐫𝐚 𝐝𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐛𝐲 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐞𝐛𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐞. 𝐖𝐰𝐰.𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐬𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐬𝐭.𝐜𝐨𝐦

  10. MR Smith needs to go find a REAL job (not cop). His lack of comprehension of the Constitution (to which he sure swore an oath) precludes him from that occupation.

  11. “His lack of comprehension of the Constitution…”

    This is a favorite hobby horse we like to ride, but what does an oath to “defend and support” actually mean? To which version of the Constitution do we refer?

    The original, sans Amendments?
    The original, plus only the BOR?
    The original, plus all the Amendments to date?
    The original as to adaption of societal changes?
    The original, plus SC rulings as to application?
    The original, plus all Amendments and court rulings as the oath-taker understands it?

    • the Constitution as ratified back in 17XX, and as properly ammended since then.
      Note well: ALL laws enacted that are contrary to the Constitution as above are repubnang, null, void, and of none effect. Somecourt cases have actually gone conuter to that constitution, those are also null/void, etc.

      • All you noted may be true, but academics are irrelevant in actual circumstances; another of our failed tactics.

        So long as one is not arrested or convicted for violating the laws as standing in current circumstances, it is quite laudable to live in concert with strict adherence to “the Constitution”. Once detected violating current laws, absolutism, originalist interpretation, and individual nullification of unconstitutional laws, it is the existing law that one must contend with.

        Since at least 1945, strict adherence to absolutism and originalist interpretation theory has not prevailed as arguments fending off enforcement of “unconstitutional” laws. The matter always seem to come down to issues of process, public safety, government interest, and “no amendment is absolute”. None of the gun control cases have defendants claiming that “interference equals infringement, thus the law is null and void as the gun control law interferes with/infringes upon the Second Amendment. Ergo the gun control law at the bar is on its face unconstitutional.” Courts, in practice, do not look from top down, but from bottom up to evaluate not whether a law violates the Constitution, but whether the underlying goal of the law “might” be permissible as an exception to the Constitution.

        Thus, we live in a reality where the Constitution serves merely as a general guideline, a guideline to be altered to fit perceptions, not truth. The only room the framers left for considering “exceptions” is the amendment process. People, government, decided long ago that legislation and court rulings are superior to the amendment process.

  12. Gun control in any form has never, nor will ever prevent a criminal from finding whatever weapons they want. Nor will gun control ever prevent a crime from happening. All it does is make things safer and easier for criminals and politicians/government to victimize the unarmed populace. Me, or any other more or less law abiding citizen armed or not, is no particular danger to any LEO who has contact with them. Nor are the citizens just felons in waiting.
    Permits are nothing but a tax on the right to bear arms. No permit scheme has ever made a potential felon change his mind about committing a crime. And, the truth is, if you think about it, we license drivers, has a driver’s license made bad drivers better? Likewise, a permit does not make anyone better trained or informed in gun law or safety skills. All it means is you paid the fee/tax, passed a useless test, passed the NICS background check, which is also useless in preventing criminals from getting weapons, and had your picture taken, or fingerprints made.
    And, since those who would commit a violent crime, or misuse a firearm, just don’t bother with the legal niceties of permits, taxes, or legal considerations, all permits do is make life more difficult for those who haven’t committed a crime.

  13. You would think someone who is a sheriff would know better from experience with criminals.
    Just goes to show you there are some people more interested in their own power and control over others and their intellectual capacity gets functionally disabled by their quest for those things. I wonder if he will get reelected next time he runs for office.

  14. According to the population stats, people aren’t exactly thrilled with living there. They’re doing something wrong.

    2000 – 29,038
    2010 – 27,457
    2020 – 25,223

  15. In Yavapai County Az. the sheriff’s dept. is a good example of how to interact with an armed public. They stick to the point of any contact and don’t go off on fishing expeditions. They don’t search first and drill you as to why are you carrying a gun. You are not assumed to be the bad guy first. So a few bad one might get away but the public accepts this balance by being armed. We don’t want and would never accept a police state.

  16. As Im being car jacked in Chicago I ALWAYS ask the perpetrator to show me their concealed carry permit. If they cant present it then they are in biiiiiig trouble.

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