published Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Northeast Alabama sheriff’s offices to hold training classes on new gun laws


The first gun law class, sponsored by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, will be from 6 to 8 p.m. CDT Monday at the Tom Bevill Enrichment Center, 115 Main St., Rainsville, Ala. A second class is set for 6 to 8 p.m. CDT Aug. 22 at the DeKalb Theatre, 306 Gault Ave., Fort Payne, Ala. Dates for training in Jackson County will be announced.

With new gun laws taking effect Aug. 1, Northeast Alabama sheriff’s offices will hold training classes for the public on carrying handguns with or without permits.

Alabama gun owners can carry a weapon if they don’t conceal it. To carry concealed, they need a permit from the county sheriff.

Classes are set for Monday and Aug. 22 in DeKalb County and are coming to Jackson County.

Jackson County Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen said residents who want to carry guns should be aware of the changes. They include provisions allowing employees to keep weapons in their vehicles at work and provide certain protections and penalties for employers.

“It’s a very confusing law,” Harnen said. “We just want people to use common sense. If you’ve got a pistol permit, nothing really changes for you.”

The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, said lawful gun owners must have access to their firearms for defense if needed, The Associated Press reported. The new law allows owners to carry firearms openly in public places, with certain exceptions, and on private property with the owner’s consent.

The University of Alabama and the state’s community college system plan to keep prohibiting anyone other than law enforcement from carrying on campus. St. Clair County District Attorney Richard Minor, who also is president of the Alabama District Attorneys Association, told the AP the courts might have to decide whether universities could ban guns on campus.

The District Attorneys Association and the state Sheriff’s Association are hosting a meeting this week for law enforcement to go over the new laws.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at 423-757-6569 or

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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