New Gun Law Takes Effect: Gun Owners Take Notice

New Gun Law Takes Effect: Gun Owners Take Notice

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Al Watson always carries a loaded weapon concealed in his car.

"A Taurus 38," he says.

Along with being a gun owner, he's a retired fireman, and disagrees with part of Alabama's new gun law.

"I think it should be 21," said Waston.

Watson is one of many people renewing his pistol permit. Today, the first day of Alabama's new gun law, the office was fairly busy, and I didn't come across any 18 year olds looking to get a pistol permit. But I did find a 23 year old college student with his mother getting his first permit, along with 24 year old Antonio Chattin.

"Because it's just real dangerous out here right now and I just feel that everyone should have a gun you know. not just to hurt or harm no one but people these days is just doing very dumb stuff," said Chattin.

Mobile Sheriff Sam Cochran says the new law takes away his department's use of discretion.

"The sheriff's previously as a rule did not issue permits to those 18, 19 and 20. For discretionary reason, they felt like they were too young, had not had an opportunity to establish an adult record of behavior for safety reasons, but now the law has changed, we intend on following the law," said Sheriff Cochran.

The law also better clarifies the permission of people being able to carry their weapon into public places. If an establishment doesn't want people to open and carry inside they can post a sign at the front door prohibiting guns, but according to the sheriff, that won't stop some with a permit from entering.

"The only way a business could prevent that is to post a guard continuously posting at the entrance to their location," said Sheriff Cochran.

And as people exercise their right to bare arms, one training instructor stresses the importance of knowing how to properly use your weapon.

"While it's not required by the state or any other entity to get training I do recommend that everybody has some sort of defense training and pistol use training and lot of repetition makes for a better perfect reaction," said Joshua Stevens, Director of training for Alabama Gun Rights.

Sheriff Cochran also says the law allows permitted hunters to carry their firearms in their vehicles during hunting season.

The Sheriff says while the new gun law enhances the rights for people to protect themselves with firearms, it also tightens up part of the law to keep the guns out of the hands of people who are mentally ill. For instance, if a person was committed into a mental institution, their name will be put into a database that will block that person from buying a firearm and alert the sheriff's office when they try to obtain a pistol permit.

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