An Alabama Sheriff is outraged after Republican politicians in the state passed a new gun law that would remove a requirement for a permit in order to possess a concealed firearm.
The law has, of course, been cheered by gun rights activists, and given the overwhelmingly conservative and pro-Second Amendment bent of the law enforcement profession, you'd think they'd be cheering it too, right?
But many have instead decried it, saying it removes the primary mechanism by which they screen for people who should not be allowed to own a gun.
But in Alabama, an entirely different issue is causing alarm among law enforcement: the permitting process has traditionally been a major source of funding for law enforcement, leading Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham to accuse Republicans of...
"defunding the police."
\u201cThis year, legislators repealed the requirement for a concealed handgun carry permit. Many sheriffs opposed the move, arguing permitting not only provides a way to screen people who shouldn't have a gun but also because permits are a major source of funds. https://t.co/Hr1EtW80gV\u201d— AL.com (@AL.com) 1662481804
The permit process accounts for a staggering amount of police funding in Alabama--as much as 50% for some sheriff's departments.
Sheriffs in the counties of Montgomery and Baldwin have already reported six-figure funding losses because of the bill, which doesn't even go into effect until January.
And over the next year, officials say those six-figure losses will grow to eight, ranging from $13 million to $15 million based on the loss of an estimated 650,000-750,000 gun permit applications.
Republican proponents of the measure have pointed out that the losses will be offset by funding included in the bill for precisely that purpose, and because permits will still be required for gun owners wishing to cross state lines to states that require them.
But Cunningham wasn't convinced. Speaking to The Birmingham News, he decried the move as an attack on policing, taking Republicans to task for precisely what Republicans are always baselessly accusing Democrats of doing.
“This is just another way of defunding law enforcement at a time when violent crime is on a rise."
"I don’t think we will ever see funding from this come back and we need to look at other areas to get revenue to make sure we keep our officers trained and keep the latest equipment in our offices to help protect our communities.”
Naturally, people on Twitter found all this right-wing infighting ridiculous and a bit hilarious.
\u201cAlabama sheriffs are mad at GOP lawmakers for passing permitless carry, exacerbating gun violence AND defunding the police: \u201cThis is just another way of defunding law enforcement at a time when violent crime is on a rise,\u201d Montgomery County Sheriff https://t.co/q6RyE8q03s\u201d— Shannon Watts (@Shannon Watts) 1663049396
\u201cWell they blame Democrats. Republicans are the ones that are actually defunding the police in Alabama\n\ud83d\ude02\ud83e\udd23\ud83d\ude02\ud83d\ude02\ud83e\udd23\ud83d\ude02\nhttps://t.co/cb32gLLxzp\u201d— RobHanJr_Deerfield (@RobHanJr_Deerfield) 1662418909
\u201cSome Alabama sheriffs are pissed because they're losing a decades-old slush fund extorted from citizens as a de-facto tax on their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.\n\nFixed it for ya.\n\n#starveTheBeast\u201d— Nick August (@Nick August) 1663228536
\u201c@shannonrwatts And yet, not a single one of those Sheriffs will vote for a Democrat\u201d— Shannon Watts (@Shannon Watts) 1663049396
\u201c@shannonrwatts And yet they love to stand behind the twice impeached orange FG They can\u2019t have it both ways. GOP wants people armed for when they do declare civil war. Which side will the police be on then? Better question, will the GQP be for or against the police ? It changes daily\u201d— Shannon Watts (@Shannon Watts) 1663049396
\u201c@JohnSharp99 Turns out it was the Republicans that defunded the police\u201d— John Sharp (@John Sharp) 1662463527
\u201c@JohnSharp99 I remember when the sheriff's all said crime would be affected by permitless carry. We all knew the reason was cash. I guess all these sheriff's do not believe in the constitution. Why should we as citizens have to pay to exercise our constitutional rights?\u201d— John Sharp (@John Sharp) 1662463527
\u201cWait- if your pissed because you get most of your funding from "carry permits" this isn't the answer. \nYour funding should be coming from the STATE. \nThis just means your taking advantage of citizens rights to carry. \nNot ok\ud83d\udc47\n\nhttps://t.co/FjF04DZ9KO\u201d— Seren (@Seren) 1662448041
\u201c@aldotcom Who would have thought there would be intended consequences.\u201d— AL.com (@AL.com) 1662481804
Alabama is just one of 25 states that will allow concealed carry without a permit as of January 1 after a long push by the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun groups.