The sheriff of Russell County Alabama, Heath Taylor, is trying to make an argument about who should be issued a concealed carry permit (CCW), in the state of Alabama.
Taylor’s argument is that those who are going through a “divorce” or other “personal struggles,” should not be issued a CCW.
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The Russell County sheriff believes he should have the authority to deny those who haven’t broken the law, but might, from carrying a weapon. “Taylor says that what he knows about people goes beyond background checks, and he should be able to make decisions based on that knowledge,” according to Breitbart News.
When Taylor addressed the Alabama Sheriffs Association this week, according to Yellowhammer News, he said:
We know things that the computer can’t tell us. We know things about our citizens. We know who’s going through a divorce. We know who’s in a bad time, who may be drinking too much, who may be abusive, but hasn’t necessarily crossed the line of a crime. But in our opinion, they don’t need a pistol permit.
Alabama is one of 40 “Shall Issue” states in the nation. In “Shall Issue” states, the sheriffs only have a set amount of time to approve or disapprove a person’s concealed carry application. If a person’s name doesn’t come up in criminal activity, or in mental records, searches to prove an applicant unfit; then a CCW must be issued to said person.
In the past, sheriffs of Alabama had more discretion about who would receive a CCW. Some of the sheriffs abused that privilege and would only give CCW’s to those who had contributed to their campaign during an election year. Other sheriffs used their authority to deny CCW’s to their enemies.
In 2011, the Alabama divorce rate was the second highest in the nation according to a report from Find the Data. In that report it said that 13 out of every 1,000 people were going through a divorce. These rates are according to data provided by the American Bar Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the 2011 Census Bureau counts.
If the government started denying CCW’s to only those going through a divorce, for example, that would mean that approximately 13 out of every 1,000 people would be rejected for a CCW.
Taylor’s idea about having the authority to issue CCW’s would be akin to something straight out of the Minority Report movie. If you haven’t ever seen Minority Report, it is basically a movie where law enforcement targets pre-crime. (That would be crimes before they happen.)
It sounds like Sheriff Taylor thinks he has pre-cog abilities and can use them to decide who gets a CCW. Perhaps he hasn’t seen the movie Minority Report and how that ended for corrupt law enforcement officials in charge.
In the movie Minorty Report that is set in Washington, D.C. in the year 2054, John Anderton (Tom Cruise) is head of a new police force called “PreCrime,” which has driven down the murder rate in the DC area significantly by allowing the police to stop murders before they can even be committed.
“Anderton is alerted to a new murder that is to take place in 36 hours. To his shock, he is listed as the perpetrator. He does not know the victim, Leo Crow, leading him to believe that he is being set up.” In the end Anderton clears his name but has to go through many things to prove his innocence. (Partial synopsis provided by IMDB.)
Those in the crosshairs of Taylor are not like the character Anderton and could prove their innocence in fighting the corrupt system like Cruise’s character did. Therefore it’s up to every person who believes in American’s Second Amendment rights to ensure government officials, such as Taylor, never have the authority to decide who gets their Constitutional rights trampled.
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