DeKalb County Sheriff opposes removing pistol permit requirement
March 2, 2017
Southern Torch (3791 articles)

DeKalb County Sheriff opposes removing pistol permit requirement

PHOTO: Window to apply for a pistol permit in the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

FORT PAYNE, Ala. “It’s not about the money,” DeKalb Sheriff Jimmy Harris said, when asked about his opposition to Senate Bill 24, which would remove the requirement for a permit to carry a concealed handgun in Alabama.

The bill in question, moved forward on Wednesday, heading out of the Judiciary Committee and on to the Senate by means of a 6-3 vote.

Currently, concealed carry is permitted within the state, as long as citizens obtain the necessary permit from their local sheriff. Without a permit, it’s currently illegal to have a loaded firearm concealed within a vehicle or to carry concealed.

Allen’s bill, SB 24, would still keep the permitting system in place. If the bill passes, Alabamians won’t need one for carrying within the state, but it will still be necessary to have a permit for carrying in other states which honor an Alabama permit.

While Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale spoke out in favor of SB 24, the bill is finding few other supporters among Alabama’s Sheriffs. Proponents say that the sheriffs are worried about lost income from the fees for the permits. According to Sheriff Harris, however, it’s about public safety.

“I’m a life-time member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), and I truly believe in our right to bear arms, but some people lose those rights due committing a violent crime or a felony, and that needs to be enforced,” explained Harris.

Sheriff Harris proudly displays his awards from the National Rifle Association (NRA) (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

Harris mentioned a court case from last year, when, Rickey Pippin, aged 25, filed an appeal against the Sheriff’s Department after being denied a permit. Pippen was registered as a sex offender for molesting an 8 year old while he was a juvenile. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office denied him the permit.

“The only person that knew he had assaulted and molested a child was me, the Sheriff. That was sealed. Which I can say this now because he opened the door,” said Harris.

“Would he commit that crime again? I don’t know, but I don’t want him having a gun concealed in case he decided to commit that crime again.” he added.

Although public safety is the top priority, Harris did point out that the fees from permits pay for vital equipment and training for the department to help keep the county safe.

“The fees are used to purchase equipment for our Special Response Team (SRT) that is our first response in incidents such as a school shooter or hostage situation. Those funds are also used to purchase trained dogs for our K-9 units,” Harris explained.

“I don’t think supporters of the bill would want responders to those situations to have out of date equipment if their family member or loved one was in that school or being held hostage,” said Harris.

“It has nothing to do with the second amendment or money, it’s about protecting the citizens,” concluded Harris.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch


  1. Danny Bweee
    Danny Bweee March 02, 19:41
    What a joke!!!!!!!!!!
  2. Jason
    Jason March 02, 20:01
    I will never vote for Jimmy Harris again anyone that thinks that it's a public safety issue when his department gets 100% of permit sales says that it ain't about the money. Ha ha ha ha he is against it cause he stands to loose his unaccounted funding! He should have to go through the county commission like the others have to do for more money in the budget. I will lobby against Jimmy Harris from now on if this is how is gonna treat the law abiding citizens of DeKalb county. We should not have to pay for our rights!!!
  3. Jerry thomas
    Jerry thomas March 02, 20:27
    So not having a permit stops criminals from carrying weapons? Wow, you ought to make stealing and drugs illegal without a permit then.
  4. Stephen Williams
    Stephen Williams March 02, 22:58
    Does anyone believe that criminals will not carry a gun because they don't have a permit?
  5. Ben Bushong
    Ben Bushong March 03, 03:41
    This is absolutely about the money. If it wasn't about the money, then why don't sheriffs suggest lowering the price of permits to zero, or at most, their cost. Why should law abiding gun owners be the ones to fund the sheriff's discretionary fund, rather than all of the county taxpayers who benefit from the sheriff's office? Nope, this isn't about officer safety. If permits aren't required, those violent criminals are STILL prohibited from even HAVING firearms (not just pistols that the permits cover). This is COMPLETELY about money and the control that these sheriffs wield over the citizens of their counties. The ONLY one that walks the walk and keeps his oath, as far as I know, is Sheriff Hale.
  6. Alex Hall
    Alex Hall March 03, 16:00
    Definitely about the money. You think someone with a criminal record won't carry a concealed weapon anyway? What does dekalb county need a special response team for anyway? There's nothing of value here that requires one

Write comment

Your data will be safe! Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person. Required fields marked as *