Commission appoints sheriff to implement new firearms law at courthouse

Published 3:17 pm Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Chilton County Commission voted on Monday to allow Chilton County Sheriff Kevin Davis to implement with full authority Act 2013-283, Alabama’s new firearms law, at the Chilton County Courthouse and annex buildings.

With the new gun law implemented on Aug. 1, commissioners wanted to take steps toward ensuring the safety of the courthouse and annex buildings by placing Davis in charge of implementing policies and procedures for the law.

Commission Chairman Allen Caton said on Wednesday that under the new law, it was unclear who was in charge of security for the courthouse and annex buildings but commissioners determined it should be Davis.

“It just made sense to appoint the sheriff to be in charge,” Caton said. “He is the one who can issue the concealed carry permits and it was just common sense that he would be the one to enforce the law at the courthouse and annex buildings.”

Although Alabama was already an “open-carry” state allowing residents to openly carry firearms in public places, the new law explains places people can’t openly carry firearms.

One of the places mentioned in the law that is off limits for guns is the courthouse, or courthouse annex, a building in which a district attorney’s office is located, or a building in which a county commission or city council is currently having a regularly scheduled or specially called meeting.

The commission’s vote on Monday would not change much for the residents living in Chilton County but would place direct responsibility on Davis for making policies and procedures to ensure the courthouse is secure.

Currently, any resident walking inside the courthouse or courthouse annex building carrying a firearm would be in direct violation of the new gun law, and Davis or any law enforcement officer would have the authority to arrest those individuals.