GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)–The city council of Guntersville will hold a special meeting Wednesday at 4:30 to address concerns that have arisen over an emergency powers resolution.
The council wants to give Guntersville Mayor Leigh Dollar and future mayors, the ability to conduct some business during an emergency without having to have the council vote. The measure was introduced in reaction to the storms of April 27, 2011.
A prevision of the ordinance has gotten some people upset. It says that Guntersville police officers, during an emergency, have the authority to disarm a citizen if the officer felt that person was a harm to themselves or others.
WHNT News 19 received an email from The Tennessee Valley Constitutionalist Society upset with the proposed law.
However, WHNT News 19 has learned that Alabama law already gives every police officer and deputy in the state this exact same authority during an emergency. It’s actually been law since 1955.
The Code of Alabama, 31-9-10, Section C 2 reads as follows: “A law enforcement officer who is acting in the lawful discharge of the officer’s official duties may disarm an individual if the officer reasonably believes that it is immediately necessary for the protection of the officer or another individual. The officer shall return the firearm to the individual before discharging that individual unless the officer arrests that individual for engaging in criminal activity or seizes the firearm as evidence pursuant to an investigation for the commission of a crime or, at the discretion of the officer, the individual poses a threat to himself or herself or to others.”
This is almost the exact same wording of the Guntersville ordinance. The council will meet in the council chambers of the Guntersville Town Hall.