MONTGOMERY, Ala. – House Bill 308 aims to create a statewide concealed carry permit database called the Alabama Responding Officer Warning System, or AROWS. This software would only be accessible to law enforcement officers. The database would be managed by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Members of the Alabama Sheriff’s Association think that the bill is promising.
“All this does is brings that information to one place where it can be accessed by law enforcement officers all over the state,” explained Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones. “Instead of having to make a phone call or wait and check and see whats going on in separate offices.”
The bill would allow deputies to verify whether a driver has a concealed carry permit during traffic stops. Members of the sheriff’s association argue it creates a safer exchange.
But House Bill 308 isn’t the only gun permit in the House right now. House Bill 39, sponsored by a former Decatur Police officer, Proncey Robertson, aims to create a state-wide concealed carry permit and also give people the option of getting a one year, five year, or lifetime permit.
Some members of the sheriff’s association say that the bill would create extra obstacles for citizens.
“House Bill 39 would take away people being able to go to their local sheriff’s office and get their concealed carry permit,” explained Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack of Baldwin County. “They would actually go to that office and then the sheriff’s office would have to submit that paperwork to Montgomery, to ALEA.”
The sheriff’s association agrees that the power to issue a gun permit should rest in each county office, not be handled by a statewide entity.
But in the same breath, the association believes every sheriff’s department should have access to all Alabama registered concealed carry permits.
“We have come together, to make sure what we’re putting together is something that’s going to keep our officers safe and our communities safe as well,” said Sheriff Derrick Cunningham of Montgomery County.