Workshop will teach residents about new gun law

Published 9:23 pm Tuesday, August 13, 2013

In order to clear up any confusion about where guns can now be carried according to the new gun laws in the state, the Dallas County Sheriff and Selma Chief of Police are teaming up to educate residents on what is changing.

Wednesday morning at the Central Alabama Farmer’s Co-op, residents will have the opportunity to ask questions and gain understanding about the new gun laws that some — including law enforcement officers — have called confusing.

Selma Chief of Police William Riley and Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman are presenting the new gun law workshop form 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., which will be hosted by the Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce.

“We want residents to get the best understanding as possible and instead of going on hearsay or what someone is telling them, it’s important for them to hear what we have interpreted as the expectations of this particular law,” Riley said, adding the department has received inquiries in their office as well as on the street when officers are out on duty.

Riley said many residents think they can now carry guns openly without a permit — but that is false.

“One of the issues residents are asking about is who can carry a gun and they are still not sure of the law,” Riley said. “We always try to remind them that you have to have a permit to carry a gun on private property.”

Authorities across the state have tried to bring their officers up to speed on the new law as some parts are confusing.

Sheriff Huffman said each time he reads the new law he gathers something totally new, and interprets something different.

“You could read this 60-page law over and over again and still find something new every time,” Huffman said. “Parts of this law I like and parts of it I don’t like. There have been a lot of sheriffs that feel the same way.”

Riley sent several representatives from the SPD to Montgomery last week for a conference that helped explain the law to other law enforcement officers.

The chamber of commerce is hosting the event for free and it is directed at business owners who need to learn about protecting their own safety as well as the safety of their customers, as the new law allows those who do not have permits to carry guns into stores openly but not concealed.