Etowah Co law enforcement sign petition against gun bills

Every police officer and deputy in Etowah County{}has signed a petition against several gun bills. The bills would not allow sheriffs to turn down gun permit applications. Some law enforcement officers believe it would tie their hands.

Behind each signature, there are multiple arguments against Senate Bill 129 and House Bills 53 and 55.

"They are bad for everybody in the county," said Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin.

"There is absolutely nothing in this bill that is a positive for public safety," said Commander Rob Savage of the Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit.

"These bills need to be stopped before they go any further," said the police chief of Rainbow City.

These law enforcement officers want to stop guns from going into the wrong hands...

"We know this guy is a wife beater. He comes in asking for a permit. We turn him down for that cause. Otherwise,{}I would have to give him one. Would it be he just beat her this time? It may be he shot and killed her this time," said Entrekin of his fears of the passage of Senate Bill 129 and House Bill 55.

Under those bills, sheriffs would have to issue gun permits to anyone. If not, they'd{}face an investigation, fines of thousands of dollars and even the loss of their jobs. They would also fear approaching anyone armed in public.

"When someone walks in with a gun and we start getting calls, we don't have the right to stop the individual or even approach them or talk to them," said Chief Mitchell Hill of Hokes Bluff.

Another bill, House Bill 53,{}would put even greater liability on departments and may make insurance impossible to come by. It would require them to train retired teachers to serve as armed school resource officers.

"For liability reasons, we need armed school resource officers in every school. We don't need a knee jerk reaction," said{}Boaz Police Chief Terry Davis.

"We can go on and on about this all day but it's a common sense thing. We want what's best for the public. We want what's best for our children and our families," said Sardis Police Chief James Harp.

Gun legislation is moving slowly through the Statehouse. None of the bills opposed by Etowah County law enforcement have passed out of committee.