March 11, 2016
Southern Torch (3351 articles)
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DeKalb man appeals pistol permit denial

By Joseph M. Morgan

joseph@southerntorch.com

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala.—A DeKalb County resident who was recently denied a handgun permit by the county sheriff’s department has filed an appeal to fight for his right to carry and conceal a firearm.

Rickey Pippin, 25, said that just prior to his permit denial in DeKalb he received approval from the federal government after passing an extensive background check. He said his ownership of the weapon is also recognized by the State of Alabama and it is registered with the Montgomery Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Pippin’s luck would end at the county level. Pippin says he was denied the permit because of a juvenile sex offense conviction he received almost 15 years ago when he was a 11-year-old minor. Pippin admitted that when he was 11 years old, he engaged in an inappropriate relationship with an eight-year-old. He also points out that he completed sex offender treatment years ago and has maintained a clean record over those years.

He points out that he was convicted under seal as a juvenile and said the laws are very different for adult and juvenile sex offenders.

“The only thing different between me and you is once a year I go tell the sheriff where I’m living and what I drive,” Pippin said in a recent interview with WAFF news. Pippin said that the requirement that he register as a sex offender is what alerted the sheriff’s department of his past and led to his permit being denied.

Pippin said when he asked why his permit was denied, he was told by an officer, “I don’t have to tell you anything other than I’m not going to give you one.”

Alabama law however, requires county sheriff’s to send out a form to applicants who are denied permits giving them at least one reason for denial by placing a checkmark in a box corresponding to the stated reason. None of the boxes on Pippin’s rejection form were selected and no other reason for denial was given other than the fact that he was registered with the sheriff’s department as a juvenile sex offender.

Pippin’s appeal date has been set for April 17, 2016. Alabama is an open-carry state, meaning that a permit is not required to carry a firearm in plain view of others in a hip holster or other visible place on the body. Pippin currently carries his firearm in compliance of Alabama open-carry laws, but he is not allowed to carry anywhere on his person a gun that is concealed by a jacket or other clothing. Pippin, who rolls off the sex offender registry next year, said his fight is not as much about being denied a permit, but more a matter of principle—that his sealed juvenile record was used as a reason to deny his permit.

A spokesperson with DeKalb Sheriff’s department declined Southern Torch’s request for an interview with Sheriff Jimmy Harris and said that they could not discuss the matter at this time.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

Comments

  1. Daniel
    Daniel March 14, 00:04
    This is complete BS and the entire front office of the sheriff's department needs a complete overhaul in staff who actually know the law and can actually interpret its meaning.

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